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Quigley, playing through pain, stays in the game

The constant pain in his right hip may be telling him to take it easy, but Dana Quigley has no plans to slow down soon.

And who can blame him?

The 58-year-old from West Palm Beach had a dream season in 2005. He was player of the year for the first time in his career, and landed the Arnold Palmer Award as the leading money-winner.

What's more, he was the only player to top the $2-million prize-money mark in a season - about $400,000 more than his best in 2000. With victories at the '05 MasterCard Championship and Bayer Advantage Classic, Quigley also increased his total of Champions Tour titles to 10.

In 2006, Quigley ranks 15th on the circuit with $83,000, as he battles through the pain that disappeared over the winter.

"I've been hurt all year," he said this week at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. "I hurt myself Sunday at the MasterCard (last month), my first practice round. I played 54 holes on (that) Sunday and I played 36 on Monday and 45 on Tuesday and then on Wednesday, my hip was paining me like it was last year, maybe a little worse."

Quigley doesn't think that resting for a day will help, so he just presses on. He brought in three acupuncturists from Naples last week and has plenty of massage therapy, but nothing seems to help. "I think maybe I can figure a way to play, a different way to hit it, but really I am hitting the ball pretty well so it could change at any time I think," he said.

His other pressing concern is the blistering play of Loren Roberts, who went right from the PGA Tour to the Champions Tour last year when he turned 50. Roberts is high atop the '06 money list with $755,000 ( Don Pooley is next closest with $308,840).

"I tried not to gauge my performance on what Loren Roberts has done because he's on some kind of drug, we don't know what it is yet, but we're all trying to get it," he quipped.

But Quigley likes that Roberts has raised the bar for everyone else. And he especially likes the course at the TPC of Tampa Bay. "It's a great ball-strikers course, no question," he said. "This is one of the better ones we play all year."

Quigley is ready to roll, despite the aching hip. The trophies in his living room remind him what he's achieved - and what may lie ahead. "On this tour," he said, "the thrills just keep happening."

THUMBS UP: PGA veteran Jay Haas, a relative newcomer to the Champions Tour (Class of 2004), has enjoyed his first experience on the TPC of Tampa Bay course. "Not knowing this golf course, it's fun to get down here and play," he said. "I was able to play a practice round yesterday afternoon and played the pro-am today. I really like the course. It's in really nice shape. I think it's pretty difficult actually. The greens are tough. You can hide the pins in different places." Haas won two Champions tourneys in '05 and has nine PGA tour titles.

TREVINO'S BACK: He's the same jovial Lee Trevino, who has won more than $13-million all time on two tours. But Trevino is hardly in full swing after revolutionary surgery in May in Germany, with two steel rollers inserted in his lower back. "I'm doing okay," he said. "I'm still having a lot of problems with my right leg. But as far as hurting, I'm not. And I can see each and every day that I pick up a shot here and there." Still, Trevino knows he's missing too many to be satisfied. "Right now, I'm making about 40 percent," he said. "I'd like to get to 50-50 and then 60-40 and if I can get back up to 80 percent, I can compete."

MISCELLANY: Two teams tied with the top score of 57 in the Jose Cuervo Challenge on Thursday: pro Allen Doyle with Kevin Terboss, Dave Lockwood, Dave Kersey and Dan Costello, and pro Mark Jameswith Wayne Metziere, Chris Sparkman, Michael Vail and Craig Geer. Weather predictions for the weekend: today variable cloudiness with a few passing showers possible, high 73; Saturday variable clouds with scattered showers and possible thunderstorms developing late, high 77; Sunday, morning clouds but increasing sunshine, breezy and cooler, high 68.

- DAVE SCHEIBER, Times staff writer

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE PRO-AM

WHEN/WHERE: Today-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.

INFORMATION: Call (813) 265-4653 or visit outbackproam.com.

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