by Jeff Skinner
I spent some time at The Constellation Energy Seniors Players Championship on Wednesday. I got to listen to a few of the elder statesmen of golf talk about life on the Senior Circuit and what motivates them.
Fred Couples discussed his recent back procedure and a bit of Presidents Cup and said he still loves watching Phil Mickelson and Tom Watson play but just as well rather go to a hockey game. Tom Lehman discussed how coming to Westchester used to be one of his family’s favorite stops. But with his children growing up and having their own lives, he’s here by himself this week. Tom Watson once again said the Champions Tour is the greatest mulligan ever and that he still likes to compete. He loves Westchester and still enjoys playing grand old courses.
They all were asked about the level of play that some of the old players are able to maintain. Watson himself is 60 and fresh of a major win at The Senior PGA Championship and a T22 with the youngbloods at the Open Championship. To a man they all commented on Hale Irwin and how well he is playing recently. They said Irwin is working as hard as any player out there. Lehman even said he looks like he could still play football. Irwin was an All Conference defensive back at Colorado while he played golf well enough to be the 1967 NCAA Champion.
Irwin is modest about his play but the numbers don’t lie. Irwin is the all time Champions Tour Winner with 45 victories. He has seven top tens this season and is 18th on the money list. That’s not bad for a 66 year old that is playing against those “kids” like Coulpes and Mark Calcavecchia. He also shot his age, 66 at The U.S. Senior where he tied for fourth place. He says his career is in the rear view mirror but from the looks of things if you can shoot your age you’re going to be around for awhile.