Quigley nearing Ripken-like Senior streak | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Quigley nearing Ripken-like Senior streak

ELDORADO HILLS, Calif. – Unable to fulfill his dreams on the PGA Tour, Dana Quigley is living it up on the Senior PGA Tour.

The 52-year-old is enjoying his second golf career so much that he hasn’t missed an event since winning the 1997 Northville Long Island Classic as a qualifier.

The Cal Ripken-like streak is up to 76 and will likely continue until Quigley stops having fun or feels his place on tour is financially secure.

“I’m playing every week because I love playing, but you have to keep playing to keep your tour exemption. I’m having a ball and I can’t imagine not doing it,” said Quigley, who reported during a Monday press conference promoting the Oct. 11-17 Raley’s Gold Rush that his most significant injury during the streak is a sore elbow.

“Physically I don’t do a thing … I don’t eat healthy. I’m a member of the lucky gene club.”

Boosted by capturing the Raley’s Gold Rush at Serrano Country Club, Quigley topped the million-dollar mark in winnings last year with $1,103,882 in prize money. Quigley’s final-round 8-under-par 64 rallied him to the Gold Rush victory – one of his two victories during the final 10 tournaments of 1998.

“It’s the first tournament I’ve won with my children watching. After seeing the look in their eyes after I won, I’ll never forget that,” Quigley said.

After a spotty PGA career in the late 1970s and early 80s, which produced a career-best sixth-place finish in the Milwaukee Open, the former University of Rhode Island golfer retreated to a position as head professional at Crestwood Country Club in Rehoboth, Mass.

Hence, when Quigley turned 50 and came out for the Senior Tour in 1997, his only recourse was to go through the frustrating Monday morning qualifying tournaments. Normally, only four players out of more than 100 hopefuls qualified for that week’s event.

“It’s very, very difficult to get into a senior event, and it’s only going to get increasingly difficult,” Quigley said. “I tried 10 Monday qualifiers and my worst round was 2 under. I only got in five times.

“This was my only shot to make some money in my life. My dad didn’t want me to do it.”

Through 23 events this summer, Quigley has 12 top finishes and stands sixth in earnings with $805,429.

Notes: Tom Watson hasn’t ruled out playing in the Gold Rush. His agent Charles Rubin said Watson “has the Gold Rush high on his list for consideration” … Chi Chi Rodriquez will be back after undergoing successful angioplasty surgery while in Sacramento during last year’s tournament … weekday passes for the Oct. 12-14 practice rounds are $14 per day and daily tournament tickets are $19 .. juniors (17 and under) and seniors (60 and over) will save $5 off the daily tickets, and children under 10 who are accompanied by a paying adult will be admitted for free.

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