In only a few weeks on the Senior PGA Tour, Lee Trevino has figured out why golfers over 50 years old still manage to shoot excellent scores - and hit the ball almost as well as they did several years ago when they were in their prime. "Take away the 2-, 3- and 4-iron, let them hit the 5-iron on down, and they're as good as they were 20 years ago," Trevino said.
Trevino's reference was to shorter courses on the senior tour.
Since the seniors still hit their drives a long way, they are then faced with fewer long-iron shots to the green. With the 5-iron through the wedge, Trevino thinks they are just as accurate as always.
"They're making just as many birdies," he said. "They probably hit the ball longer because of improved equipment. There's more precision. As we get older, we're not as agile. It's very hard to hit a 2-iron. I couldn't hit one when I was younger. You won't find one in my bag. That's the difference I've seen."
No Open for Lee: Trevino, who won the 1968 and 1971 U.S. Opens, will not play in the tournament this year at Medinah, Ill., Country Club. He was not given a special exemption by the United States Golf Association, and since his five-year exemption from the 1984 PGA Championship has expired, Trevino would have to qualify. He would be exempt for local qualifying but would have to endure 36-hole qualifying to get into the field. "I've got two of their trophies at home right now," Trevino said. "Why would I want to qualify? I won't play 36 holes." Trevino will play in the Masters, British Open and PGA Championship.
Phar-Mor: The Phar-Mor Inverrary Classic begins Friday in Lauderhill and has a unique arrangement with another tournament on the LPGA tour. The Youngstown Classic will be played in July, and in addition to the $400,000 purse being offered at each event, there is a $200,000 bonus pool to be distributed based on a player's combined finishes in both tournaments. If a player wins both, she will receive a $1-million annuity bonus to be paid in 10 annual installments of $100,000.
Notes: Pat Bradley built an 11-stroke lead at the LPGA Oldsmobile Classic but needed to make a 25-foot putt to force a playoff with Tampa's Dale Eggeling before winning. Had she lost, it would not have been the biggest collapse in tour history. In 1985, Judy Dickinson made it through the first two rounds of St. Petersburg's S&H Classic at Pasadena in a record 129 strokes but wound up seven shots behind winner Alice Miller. . . . That was Eggeling's best finish since 1983.
In the same tournament, former USF golfer Laurel Kean finished in a tie for fourth, her best payday since a tie for 10th in 1988. . . .
Paul Azinger decided to stop risking those fast trips to the airport to get out of town on Sunday night after a tournament. "That's just putting extra pressure on yourself, pressure you don't need and don't have to have," he said. . . . Prize money for this year's U.S. Open has been raised to $1.2-million, a $100,000 increase. . . . Some consider golf on television boring, but the final round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on CBS had better ratings than an NBA basketball game between Detroit and Utah and a college basketball game between Indiana and Illinois.