No. 7 on money list ($73,251)
“You got to know each other. You went out. It was low-key. Nobody had cell phones. It was just a very intimate, close-knit kind of group. Everyone was in the same hotel. We’d play money games and then all go to dinner together.
“Sizzler was always a solid play for dinner. We at a lot of mom-and-pop places. There was the Black-eyed Pea. The pot roast with corn and fried okra, that was just about as good a meal as you could get. You could get in and out for $12 bucks.
“The rodeo was in town the same week we were in Yuma, Arizona. We got so caught up in the rodeo. We couldn’t wait to finish our rounds so we could go to the rodeo. I bought this big old cowboy hat and Chris Kite dared me to wear it while I was playing, so I played in Yuma wearing a cowboy hat.
“If I swung upright, I’d get my arm caught on the bill. I thought, ‘If I ever need to flatten my swing, I’ll just put on a cowboy hat.’ I made all these friends over at the rodeo. They would come over to watch me, and they were hooting and hollering every hole because I had a cowboy hat on. Then I’d finish and go hoot and holler and watch them.
“I had played pretty well on the mini-tours when I first turned pro and bought a brand-new BMW 528e. I bet I put 60,000 miles on my dang car that year. I drove every event, and the Tour went from Bakersfield, all the way across the country (to Florida) and then up into Maine and then back over to the Northwest part of the world, Boise, Idaho, and Santa Rosa, California.
“I remember I drank a lot of Dr. Pepper. I drank a lot of Jolt cola, took a lot of No-Doze to stay awake between drives. You had one of those Rand-McNally atlases. I made a lot of U-turns that year. I may have made more U-turns that year than anyone in the history of navigation. Invariably, you’re looking for the road and you pass it and you have to make a U-turn. You were always stopping and making phone calls, stopping and asking for directions, when you were going from place to place. You got lost a lot.
“I remember playing at the Yale Golf Course (in the New Haven Open) and I missed the cut. The next event was in Maine (the New England Classic), and in between Yale and Maine, I had a couple of days to kill, so I went over to Newport, Rhode Island. I had a friend there who played the TOUR, P.H. Horgan III. Everyone knew P.H. His family owned a restaurant. I was in there having dinner and some guy in there told me he had a sailboat and he was happy to take me out on it. I spent three or four days on it just eating oysters, drinking beer and sailing, and not playing any golf.
"All of a sudden, it was Wednesday, and I realized I had to drive to Maine. No practice round, no nothing, and I won the event. So I thought to myself, ‘I’m obviously preparing for these events the wrong way. There’s a lesson here, to have a little bit of fun between these events.’”