Lundstrom unknown, not unheard Q-school medalist rides steady course, isn't sure he can win at this level

State Farm Classic notebook

July 03, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Before David Lundstrom made his Senior PGA Tour debut in January, he told his friends at home in Houston that he thought he could finish in the top 10 to 15 in events, but he didn't know if he could win.

This was after putting four sub-par rounds together to earn the medal in the harrowing experience known as a tour qualifying school. Six months later, there have been three top 10's, but he is still seeking that first victory.

"I'm a fairly steady scorer, but I thought I would have had some 8- to 9-under totals by this time. I can get it to five or six, but then wind up with two good rounds and one bad one," he said yesterday after his pro-am round in the State Farm Senior Classic at Hobbit's Glen Golf Club in Columbia.

In 16 starts, his best has been a tie for seventh (twice), and he is No. 43 on the money list with $198,524.

"Last fall, my objective, my dream, was to make it through the qualifying school. Winning the medal was just the icing," he said. "Going in, I felt I was playing well enough. I had won some three-day mini-tour events, and that gave me some confidence, although I knew there would be a lot more pressure.

"It was awful. Two years earlier, Frank Conner had told me the final round was the toughest day of his life. Now it was my turn, and I called and told him I was in the same spot, and he said some nice things that helped."

Lundstrom began the last round tied for the lead with Buzz Thomas. "I three-putted the first hole, and thought, 'Oh, no, not now.' Then I settled down, birdied 3, 7-8-9-10, and was able to calm down."

He closed with a 68-276, good for a four-stroke victory over Jose Maria Canizares, the only other one in the field with four sub-par tours.

Lundstrom, 51, was an All-American basketball player at Bradley University in the late 1960s, and is just one of several tour players with two-sport backgrounds. Hale Irwin was a two-time All-Big Eight defensive back in football at Colorado, and Jim Colbert had a "limited" football career at Kansas State.

Also, Hank Cooper was a quarterback at North Texas State, and later a member of the U.S. national volleyball team, and Conner is one of only two players (with Ellsworth Vines) to play in the U.S. Opens in tennis and golf.

"I'm not a natural golfer," Lundstrom said, "so the two most important things I have are a mental toughness from basketball, and staying in shape.

At Bradley, he was joined by three players who went into pro ball, but as he said, "Even with that group, we still couldn't win our conference [Missouri Valley]. Louisville had Butch Beard and Wes Unseld, and we couldn't beat them."

Et cetera

Dana Quigley fired a 5-under 67, and a team headed by professional Jim Colbert shot 21-under 51 to share the honors in the second of two State Farm pro-ams.

Bucky Buchanan, 33, a Special Olympics Maryland athlete and a Hobbit's Glen employee, presented Arnold Palmer with a gold medal, and a shirt, as he was named to the honorary board of Special Olympics Maryland, the tournament's primary beneficiary. Buchanan, a participant since he was 8, competes in golf, softball, basketball, bowling and swimming.

Pub Date: 7/03/98

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