November 12 2010
Tom Lehman is likely playing one of his last few events on the PGA TOUR this week. Unlike his fellow 50-something Tom Pernice Jr., who’s made it clear he wants to play on TOUR as long as he' can, Lehman said Friday he’s pretty committed to sticking mostly to the Champions Tour next year.
“There's a bunch of factors that go into it, but at the end of the day I feel a bit of a responsibility to support that Tour,” said the 51-year-old Lehman, who is 7 under through two rounds here. “I enjoy it out there. I really like the guys out there. The competition is good. The window, I think, out there to really be successful is guys in their early to mid-50s, so I think this is a good time to be playing out there.
“I really do think that at the end of the day you have to be committed one way or the other. I've played two years where I've kind of split my time, and I've played well, but I think I need to be kind of all in or not.”
This wasn’t an easy decision for Lehman, however, who said he still feels he can compete on TOUR.
“You know, there's a time when it's all about trying to make the top 30 or the top 10 or No. 1 or Ryder Cup teams, and I'm not at that point,” Lehman said. “When I play out here, it's simply because I enjoy it.”
Lehman added that he also doesn’t have a problem with Pernice or fellow Champions Tour Michael Allen spending as much time on TOUR as they do.
“That's the same mindset that I had for a long time,” Lehman said. “If I was 100 percent healthy, maybe I would think differently as well, but I've got my aches and pains and issues, and so I'm playing nearly on one leg. I have been for a while. So it would be tough for me to feel like I can get out here and compete at the highest level physically.” -- Brian Wacker