Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A New Age for North 50-Year-Old Youngster Joins Low-Key Legends

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A New Age for North 50-Year-Old Youngster Joins Low-Key Legends

Article excerpt

ST. AUGUSTINE -- The year Andy North was born, 1950, Sam Snead won 11 times on the PGA Tour and cruised to the money title with $35,758.

The year Andy North played his first full season on the PGA Tour, 1973, Sam Snead won his sixth PGA Senior Championship.

And in 1978, the year Andy North won the first of his two U.S. Opens, Sam Snead combined with Gardner Dickinson to win the first Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

Two men, two champions, one 37 years older than the other. Yet they're both at the World Golf Village's The Slammer & The Squire course this week for the 23rd annual Legends of Golf.

"That's the beauty of this event," said Tom Watson yesterday, also making his debut in the two-man, best-ball event that is regarded as the inspiration for the formation of the Senior PGA Tour. "It's that ageless element of what golf is all about. You can play forever."

When North tees off in tomorrow's first round (he'll play in the Legends Division with 19-time Senior Tour winner Jim Colbert), he will be the youngest man to ever play in a Senior event at 50 years, nine days. North beat Gil Morgan by two days.

Snead, who played Tuesday in the 18-hole Demaret Division tournament for players 70 years and older, is 87, the oldest player in the field this week. There were 20 other players 70 years or older in the Demaret Division, 20 or more years older than "kids" like North, Watson or Lanny Wadkins.

"It's hard to believe I'm 50, let alone the age of some of these other guys," said North. "I've been accused of not being anywhere near that mature. But I've been looking forward to the Senior Tour. It's going to be fun playing competitive golf again, because I wasn't very happy with the way my other career ended."

Snead, one of 11 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame in the field this week, said the newest kid on the block will find that there is still a strong desire to win on the Senior Tour. …

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