St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

TPC holds special place in his heart

Bruce Summerhays got his start at the TPC of Tampa Bay, qualifying in 1994.

By JOHN SCHWARB, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 17, 2002

LUTZ -- Just about every Senior PGA Tour player gushes about the quality and the challenge of the TPC of Tampa Bay, but to Bruce Summerhays it is more than just a favorite stop on the circuit.

The golf course is a part of him, just like his wife, eight children and, ahem, 17 grandchildren. It is where he truly started his senior career, one that has added up to more than $6-million in earnings.

And who knows, maybe today it will be the place where he wins again.

Summerhays, who starts today's final round at the Verizon Classic at 9 under, two shots behind Bruce Fleisher, has been coming here since 1994, when he placed fourth in the senior qualifying tournament.

"I'll remember that forever," Summerhays said. "I couldn't putt out, I had a 1-footer left and I would have stepped in someone's line. Just to sit there knowing you've made it, you just get tears in your eyes."

The Homestead, Utah, resident did more than just take his exemption, play a few events, make a few bucks and ride off -- he has become a tour mainstay.

Summerhays' career earnings rank 22nd, not bad for a man who earned $10,302 on the PGA Tour. He became a club pro, working at San Francisco's famed Olympic Club and later in Utah. He raised his family, who then pushed him out at age 50 to try the senior tour.

"The family said, "Hey, Dad, you need to try that,' " Summerhays said. "So I got ready and prepared to win, not just qualify."

He has two victories, though the last came in 1998. Summerhays turned 58 on Thursday and believes he has more success ahead. Whether that third win comes today, he's not likely to stop smiling.

"No matter how I do on this golf course, it's a wonderful place to be," Summerhays said. "It holds a special place in my heart."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

  • With compensation set, the decision is Mariucci's

  • Devil Rays
  • McHale upbeat about Rays' future
  • Torborg enthused about Marlins' hopes
  • Vaughn: 'I'm coming to play the outfield'
  • Huff brings new focus to spring

  • Lightning
  • Dudley made many right moves as GM

  • Daytona 500
  • Reminders of a legend
  • Helicopter coming to pick up Gibbs crashes; 2 die
  • Junior takes No. 3 to checkered flag
  • Robinson picks up where Guthrie left

  • Letters
  • Lack of cash to blame for Lightning's troubles

  • Golf
  • Fleisher up for the challenge
  • TPC holds special place in his heart
  • Late rough spot hinders Quigley

  • College basketball
  • Rebels' crawling pace stymies UF
  • Kohn's career day keys Bulls romp

  • Outdoors
  • Fishery council asks: What to do about reds?
  • Daily fishing report

  • Preps
  • Leesburg hustles past Panthers 79-52
  • Citrus holds off Leopards
  • Panthers' pin memorable
  • 'Cats claw way to first crown
  • Tornadoes blow away East Lake
  • Springstead 3rd behind Brandon
  • Bucs rally to defeat Rams for third time
  • McMillen's 34 points pace IRC past Bayshore
  • Bulls, Raiders each have one champion
  • SPC rips Mooney for title
  • Spartans use depth to sink Dunedin
  • Countryside rolls, sends 7 to state

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts