Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Wave of Seniors Marquee Names Are Nearing Tour's Age

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Wave of Seniors Marquee Names Are Nearing Tour's Age

Article excerpt

Hale Irwin, Gil Morgan, Dave Stockton and Jim Colbert have

dominated Senior PGA Tour golf in the last five years.

Great Senior players all, to be sure. Stockton and Colbert own

two Senior Tour money titles each. Irwin won it last year with a

record for earnings on any professional Tour, and Morgan was a

close second, both clearing the $2 million mark.

Colbert has two player of the year awards, Irwin and Stockton

one each. Morgan has a jump on this year with two victories in

the first five events, and nearly double the earnings of

Stockton, No. 2 on the money list.

However, with the possible exception of Irwin, a three-time

U.S. Open champion and a 20-time winner on the PGA Tour, those

names are hardly box-office. And, coincidence or not, TV ratings

and attendance on the Senior Tour were down slightly last year.

But the next wave is coming.

As much as the current Fab Four of Irwin, Morgan, Colbert and

Stockton have hogged the money and the titles in the mid-to-late

1990s, they may simply prove to be an interregnum between one

era of Senior golf and the next. Between now and 2001, the

leaderboard will undergo significant changes with a batch of new

50-somethings.

Larry Nelson started the Senior Tour "youth movement" is his

quiet manner last fall. A 10-time winner on the PGA Tour,

including two PGA Championships and one U.S. Open, Nelson won

his Senior first title at the American Express Invitational Feb.

22 and leads the Senior Tour in scoring through March 13.

In May, former PGA and Players champion John Mahaffey turns 50,

followed two weeks later by Gary McCord, a man of no PGA Tour

titles but sure to be an entertainer in the Chi Chi Rodriguez

vein.

Then in 1999, three players arrive with arguably the biggest

impact on the Senior Tour since Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino

turned 50 within six weeks of each other in 1990. Tom Watson,

Lanny Wadkins and Tom Kite will be eligible for the Senior Tour

during the fall and winter of that year, bringing with them a

combined 73 PGA Tour victories, 10 major championships (eight by

Watson) and two Players Championships. …

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