Three years after debut, Harris still getting better

1993 U.S. Amateur champ is poised for top 20 finish

Constellation Energy Classic notebook

October 03, 2004|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The improvement John Harris has shown in his three seasons on the PGA Champions Tour is reflected in his steadily improved scoring at Hayfields Country Club over that span.

Harris, one of a group who came to the Senior circuit after a stellar amateur career, made his debut here in June 2002, one week after turning 50. He improved each round and ended at 221, tied for 63rd. A year later, it was 217, and a tie for 28th.

Going into the today's final round of the Constellation Energy Classic, he stands tied for 17th after shooting 70-69 for two trips over the 7,051-yard course.

"It was steady and mistake-free," Harris said of his 3-under-par second round yesterday. "I didn't get some of the putts to go in, but it was OK. Another good round [today], and it will be a matter of a good week."

That will make three good weeks in a row. He entered the Classic having tied for fifth last week and tied for 10th two weeks ago. Overall, he has 13 top 25 finishes and $528,683 in earnings, a drastic improvement.

"That's how they keep score out here - with the money," Harris said.

A four-time Walker Cup player and the 1993 U.S. Amateur champion, the Caves Valley Golf Club member played in the 1995 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Caves Valley, where he was medalist and made it to the second round of match play.

Making his pitch

Dana Quigley made his 246th consecutive Champions Tour start Friday, and he's 4-under through two rounds. He was, however, much more interested, and animated, in talking about throwing out the first pitch before Friday's Orioles game against Boston.

"Camden Yards might be the best baseball park," he said. "It's fabulous. Every year we're here and the Orioles are in town, my wife and I go."

Before his golf season starts, Quigley and his wife go over his schedule and the schedule for major league baseball to see if they're in a city when that city's major league team is at home.

"Seven years ago, we had to pay to get in. Now it's like it was [Friday] night, and we're on the field with the TV people and the writers."

Et cetera

D.A. Weibring's 5-under 67 extended his streak of par-or-better rounds to 17, the best current string on the Champions Tour. Gil Morgan had a run of 23 earlier this year. ... The scoring average for yesterday was 70.701, down from Friday's 70.962. There were 25 rounds in the 60s compared to 28 Friday, and 51 were under par compared to 45 Friday.

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