Lee Trevino intends to remain a major player on the Senior PGA Tour, but said he won’t play in future major championships.
Trevino, 61, winner of 29 senior titles, said prior to the Ford Senior Players Championship that he no longer has the patience to compete in major tournaments. He plans to maintain a schedule of 16 to 18 events per year.
“To play in a major championship and play well, you have to prepare for them and I’m just not going to do that,” said Trevino, who tied for 36th at the TPC of Michigan. “I have no reason to play in the majors anymore, because I have no chance of winning.”
Trevino, still one of the largest draws on the senior circuit, won four senior majors, the last coming in 1994 at the Senior PGA Championship. He won six majors and 27 PGA Tour titles prior to turning 50.
“The Tour doesn’t need me at the majors; the fans are already coming out for them,” he said. “I can do a lot more good by playing in the smaller events where they don’t get the type of field they get (at major tournaments).”
Hamstrung: Jack Nicklaus, coming off a tie for fourth at the U.S. Senior Open, withdrew from the Ford Seniors after 27 holes because of a herniated disc and a partially torn right hamstring.
Nicklaus, 61, suffered the hamstring injury warming up for Wednesday’s pro-am and competed with his leg heavily wrapped. He said the bulging disc in his lower back, diagnosed by his physician July 9, prevented him from putting weight on his right side and probably contributed to the hamstring injury, classified by the Senior Tour’s fitness trainer as a Grade 2 tear, which is up to 50 percent of the muscle.
“I couldn’t swing, and I was afraid of hurting it more,” said Nicklaus, who withdrew from the event for the second time in three years, but has only withdrawn from four tournaments in his career.
Nicklaus hopes to play in two weeks at the Senior British Open in Ireland, his first appearance in that event, after taking a rare week of vacation in Italy.
New Watson: Tom Watson was told by his doctor May 1 to stop playing because of a torn muscle in his right elbow. He has largely eschewed the practice range while working more on his short game.
The result: He won the Senior PGA Championship in late May, largely with good putting, and was in contention at the Ford Seniors thanks to his flat stick, eventually tying for eighth.
Farewell: Gary Player was girding for an emotional goodbye at Royal Lytham, where he is scheduled this weekend to play in his 47th and final British Open. After this year, Player, 65, no longer will be eligible for the Open Championship, an event he won three times, including in 1974 at Lytham.
Bob Charles, 65, the ’63 Open winner at Royal Lytham, also will make his final start.
“I really have such wonderful memories of the Open championship. It’s the most difficult tournament in the world to win,” Player said at the TPC of Michigan. “It’s not only the field, which is always world-class, but the elements – the hard ground, the deep bunkers, the rain, the wind, the cold. It’s still the greatest test in golf. It has a certain atmosphere and you know this is where great golf started.”
Short shots: Isao Aoki competed in his 1,000th tournament, was presented a cake and thanked Arnold Palmer for extending his career by spurring the growth of the Senior PGA Tour. . . . Jay Sigel, who had rotator cuff surgeries in November and January, tied for eighth, his first top-10 finish in seven starts this year. . . . Doug Sanders holed a 5 iron for an eagle on the first hole and added five birdies as he and Dow Finsterwald won the Grand Champions at the TPC of Michigan. They shot 67 and won $20,000 each in the best-ball event.
– Dave Shedloski