Sunday, May 29, 2011

Eger Keeps Getting Better

   For a guy who spent a good portion of his adult life setting up championship courses for both the PGA Tour and the USGA, David Eger came within a eyelash Sunday of the biggest victory of his golf career.

   Eger, who lives part-time in Charlotte, was beaten by Tom Watson Sunday on the first hole of sudden death at the PGA Senior Championship at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky. Eger, 59, could look at his failure to birdie the par-5 18th hole in regulation -- he missed a five-foot birdie putt -- and again in the playoff -- when he hit his tee shot in a bad spot in a fairway bunker -- as the critical missed opportunities.

   Still, after shooting 74 in the opening round and taking advantage of a good final round on a breezy, difficult day, Eger had only minimal regrets. He hit a poor putt on the 72nd hole and, judging by his post-round comments, that's the one that will linger with him.

   But for a guy who was hobbling around on a broken ankle last summer, it's been a terrific year. Eger teamed with Mark McNulty to win the Legends of Golf title in Savannah last month and had a chance to win his first major championship on Sunday. Not bad for a guy who decided at age 48 to give professional golf a try after watching it from close range for so many years.

   "So just like Dana Quigley or Allen Doyle or Jay Siegel or even John Harris, it's the ultimate mulligan in life for a golfer to be able to come out here and play and play reasonably well at times and compete with the likes of Tom Watson and Hale Irwin and wonderful great players who I watched from a golf cart for years and years win tournaments and championships," Eger told reporters in Louisville.

   "It's not a bad feeling. I'm comfortable in my own skin."