Anyone who loves golf has to love Dana Quigley, simply because he loves the game so much.
Quigley never skips a Champions Tour event and will be at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am this week, a tournament he has played every year since 1998.
But it still bugs Quigley that his amazing nine-year streak of tournaments played came to an end last summer when he withdrew from the Senior British Open because of a sore right hip and travel complications. He had played in 278 consecutive tournaments for which he was eligible and 264 overall.
"I'm definitely saddened by the fact that it's still not going," said Quigley, who has played in 14 tournaments in a row since. "It's something I was always very proud of. I'm going to try and chase that Quigley guy who has the record now. If I can stay healthy, I still love playing golf as much as I ever did. I can't see taking any weeks off because I don't want to play golf."
Quigley is coming off a career season in which he captured player of the year honors for the first time and became, at 58, the oldest player to win the money title, with $2.17-million. He won two times and had five second-place finishes.
And he is not satisfied.
Quigley is known to play more when he is home in West Palm Beach than when he is on tour. He says he has a hard time remembering a day when he is not on the golf course.
Even when he skipped the Senior British Open last year, he still played at home.
"I tell my son every time I'm out on the golf course, I learn something," Quigley said. "That's what makes you want to show up every day. You're not going through the motions. You're trying to figure something out. I really feel like I'm still improving. If you can't improve your golf swing you can improve the way you think about it and the way you attack golf courses. It's always a learning process. I don't think it ever ends."
WHAT A RELIEF: When Tiger Woods withdrew from the Nissan Open on Saturday, it was the first time he had done so because of injury. It was the second mid-tournament withdrawal of his career, the other coming at the 1998 Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where he elected to not return for the third round after it was postponed for six months because of weather.
Since Woods made the cut, he received last-place money of about $8,000, though it does not count on the money list.
But the funny fact from the episode: Woods received credit toward his pension for making the cut, likely a huge concern to someone reported to making more than $80-million per year.
STRONG DEBUT: Were it not for a balky putter, Boca Raton's Morgan Pressel, 17, might have become the first player in 55 years to win in her LPGA Tour rookie debut. Instead, Pressel tied for fifth, three strokes out of a playoff won by Joo Mi Kim. Pressel hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation during the final round of the SBS Open at Turtle Bay in Hawaii, but needed 32 putts.
"If I would have played a little better, I would have been right there," Pressel said. "I have to go into next week and work out the kinks and try to play better."
Pressel gets another shot at the Fields Open, also in Hawaii.
AROUND GOLF: The team led by pro Keith Fergus won Monday's Carrier Pro-Am with an 18-under score of 53 at the TPC of Tampa Bay, part of Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am week. Fergus' amateur partners were Dave Maronic, Steven Parker, Jim Schanstra and Matt Smyers in the best-ball, low-net event. Thomas Bjorn withdrew from this week's Match Play Championship, meaning Stephen Ames gets into the field and draws Woods in the first round Wednesday. After Monday night, players will not be replaced if they withdraw; instead, their opponent will receive a bye (Pairings, 9C). Seminole's Brittany Lincicome tied for 35th in the LPGA's opener, bouncing back from a first-round 76 with rounds of 69 and 70. Gary Player, who won the inaugural ACE Group Classic in 1988, missed the tournament for the first time in its 19 years because of a corporate commitment. He is playing in this week's Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, which he has never missed since its inception in 1988.
OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE PRO-AM
WHEN/WHERE: Friday-Sunday; TPC of Tampa Bay, Lutz.
COURSE: 6,828 yards, par 71.
PURSE: $1.6-million, $240,000 to the winner.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Hale Irwin.
FORMAT: The tournament is in its 19th year, but for the third time it will employ a pro-am format, pairing amateurs with pros during the first two rounds. The pros play their own ball for the professional portion of the event and a better-ball format with their amateur partners, who get to use their handicaps. While the pros play all three rounds, the top 12 teams advance to Sunday.
TV: 1:30-4 p.m., Friday-Sunday, Golf Channel.
TICKETS: $25 daily, $65 for a weekly badge. The Green-Hopper party pass includes access to three hospitality areas, the Michelob Ultra Watering Hole, the Coca-Cola Club and the Cuervo Nation. It's $85 for a one-day pass, $150 for a weekly pass.
SCHEDULE: Today - professional practice rounds; Wednesday-Thursday - Jose Cuervo Challenge. Shotgun pro-am begins at 10 a.m. each day. Friday-Sunday - tournament rounds, with tee times beginning about 7:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 9:30 Sunday.
INFORMATION: Call (813) 265-4653 or visit outbackproam.com.