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Quigley never tires of life spent on the greens

Dana Quigley is having too much fun to take a break from golf, even in the offseason.

"I'm through the first 18 by 10:30 and then (you've) got the whole day in front of you. What else would you do?" said Quigley, who tries to play at least 36 holes seven days a week.

The Champions Tour iron man is among the record 39 players in today's 54-hole MasterCard Championship, the first of 30 official events on the 50 and older tour.

Last year, Quigley birdied two of the last three holes to finish 18-under 198, defeating Larry Nelson by two strokes. It was the eighth tour win for Quigley.

"To spend a year as the defending champ of this tournament, it's been quite a thing," he said.

The 56-year-old makes his record 233rd straight start for which he has been eligible and 219th straight start overall. He was the only player to appear in all 31 events last year.

While Quigley had a golf-filled break, Hale Irwin had the opposite.

"I tried not only to give my golf game a rest, but also my back," Irwin said. "So I'm a little bit rusty. But I feel good. It'll get there."

What did he think about Quigley's two-round days?

"He's a sick man," Irwin said. "Dana loves the game, and that's absolutely terrific, but I don't even think about doing what he does."

Irwin, who has a record 38 tour victories, has been successful in Hawaii. Three months ago, he won the Turtle Bay Championship a fourth straight time, fifth overall.

Besides Irwin, the $1.6-million MasterCard features five other members of the World Golf Hall of Fame: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson.

Palmer, 74, is playing in his 50th pro season. He debuted in the 1954 Miami Open but did not earn his first check until the 1955 Masters. He tied for 10th in the event and took home $696.

"It was money in those days and it was very important," he said.

Palmer said he will play a limited schedule.