Maryland pro McGinnis hopes to extend good run


April 11, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Lee Trevino and Raymond Floyd are among the favorites for this week's 54th annual PGA Seniors championship at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Mike McGinnis and David Jimenez are not.

McGinnis, head professional at Holly Hills Country Club in Ijamsville, and Jimenez, formerly of Wintergreen, Va., and now director of golf for a multi-course development in West Palm Beach, Fla., qualified by placing among the top 70 in last fall's PGA Senior Club Professional championship.

This will be McGinnis' second start in this event, and he hopes his recent form continues.

"I've been playing really well," he said recently. "I won the pro division in the Rums of Puerto Rico tournament [shot 70 and won a four-way playoff with a birdie at the third extra hole], then went to Hawaii and hit it solidly.

"The only problem I've found in big events, such as the Seniors championships or the Kemper, is handling the pressure. I feel like I can compete, but mentally it gets to me. I'll play well enough to get on the leader board and then fall off.

"The last time [in the PGA Seniors], I was 4-over par after 27 holes and on the board. I birdied 10 and parred 11 and 12, then played the last six 11-over par and missed the cut. It's a one-shot deal. You have two rounds to do something."

It's easy for McGinnis, 54 next month, to see what he is up against.

"The tour players playing against me is like me playing against my members," he said. "It's totally different for the two sides."

Trevino and Floyd, on the other hand, are part of the tour scene and will be on more familiar ground. Last year, Trevino led the Senior Tour in earnings with $1,027,002, and Floyd became the first player to win on the regular and Senior tours in the same year, and totaled $1,178,909.

Neither was quite so rich when they first met in the parking lot of an El Paso, Texas, golf club 26 years ago. Floyd thought Trevino was the locker-room attendant.

L "I'll never forget it. It was like yesterday," Trevino says.

"I saw this white Cadillac drive up and Floyd got out. I took his bag and put it on a cart and brought him to the locker room. I unpacked his bag, took his shoes over and cleaned 'em. And he paid me. I was going 'Mr.Floyd' this and 'Mr. Floyd' that."

Floyd, 24 at the time and considered a hotshot, had been brought to town for a high-stakes match with the local champion. He finally got around to asking Trevino who he was playing. "When I said, 'Me,' Raymond almost fell off his stool," Trevino said.

According to Trevino, when Floyd's companion asked the tour player if he wanted to check out the course, the answer was a quick no. "I'm playing this locker-room guy; I don't need to see the course."

At the time, however, Trevino was working in the pro shop, and his "matches" were backed by a rich group of cotton farmers who liked to gamble. The year before, the group had flown Trevino in from Dallas, and he beat Fred Hawkins.

After Trevino shot 65 to beat him the first day, Floyd demanded "an emergency nine." Trevino, barely able to keep a straight face, said: "Mr. Floyd, I can't play no more. I got to put the carts up."

Trevino won the next day, and on the third day, only an eagle at the last hole enabled Floyd to break even. "I broke even on the money, but he beat me two of the three days. That's enough for me," Floyd said.

"When Raymond left, he said: 'Boys, I'll see y'all later. There are easier games than this on tour.' I heard when he got back on tour, he told 'em: 'Boys, there's a little Mexican boy out in El Paso. When he comes out here, you're going to have to make room for him.'

"What Raymond didn't know, and I don't think I've told this part of it before," Trevino added, "was that we played dirty pool. I got a couple of my friends to take him across the border to Juarez after that first round, and, well, you know, Raymond liked to party in those years."

A year later, Trevino did make the Tour players move over, winning the U.S. Open at Oak Hill CC, in Rochester, N.Y. And he's never stopped joking -- or winning.

College women

The recent women's intercollegiate tournament held at Kaneohe, Hawaii, had an area flavor.

The University of Georgia, coached by former Baltimorean Beans Kelly, came from 11 shots back on the final day to win the 16-team event.

Texas, Stanford, and Oklahoma State tied for second, five shots back.

Among the players were Arantxa Sison (Glenn Dale GC) of Oklahoma State, tied for 19th with 232, and two who tied for 51st with 247, Kelly Just (Suburban) of Dartmouth and Geri Vartabedian (Bowie) of Georgia.

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