Davis Love III enters the Barracuda Championship needing a good performance here and at the Wyndham in two weeks to get into the PGA Tour’s annual post-season shindig.
Love currently sits at 168th with $284,800 in winnings, which is nearly $330,000 behind Richard Lee, who has won $618,443.
The veteran is in an interesting situation. He’s old enough to play on the Champions Tour, but would prefer to stay on the PGA Tour for now.
“Obviously trying finish off this season and make it into the playoffs,” Love said before heading out to his pro-am round for the Barracuda Championship at Montreux Golf & Country Club. “Next year would be my 30th consecutive, so I would like to work my way back up and at least be competitive; maybe get in a few of the bigger tournaments next year. One more run through some of the places I like to play before start focusing on the other side.
“But I’m already making my schedule for next year. I’ve only got two Champions Tour weeks that I’m wanting to play. One of them is in Hawaii in the start in the year.”
Love believes he can still be competitive on the regular tour despite the fact his best finish is a tie for 26th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He has tied for 35th, 37th and 39th in his last three events.
“Ball striking wise, the last three tournaments I’ve been up there,” Love said. “That isn’t the problem. I’m not getting too old that I can’t hit it anymore. I just got to get the ball in the hole, and that’s more mental than physical. I’m just working on that and trying to get my confidence back more than my physical game back.
“I’ve watched a lot of guys play really well in their late 40s, early 50s, all the way back to playing with Raymond Floyd in the Tournament of Champions when he had won on both tours. That’s my goal: I would like to play Kapalua again. I love that event. I would like to play in Akron. No offense to being here, but I would like to play in Akron again. Bridgestone is one of my sponsors, and I would like to play there again. “
Love admits to being envious when he watches some of the major events he no longer plays in.
“Watching the highlights of those guys teeing off there, I would like to play the Doral, the Match Play, things like that,” Love said. “I would like to see how good I can get. Not putting any expectations on myself; just seeing if I can get my game back is where I’m at.
“You watch Watson. Heck, He tied all of us at the Greenbrier and made the cut, was like 4-under par with a pile of really good players at 4-under, including Tom Watson in his 60s. So there is no reason why I can’t continue to make cuts and continue to compete out here for a while longer.”
Love hopes with a new sponsor the tournament will get its own date, and hopefully draw some of the game’s biggest names back to Reno. He also said opposite events are needed to get the younger players.
“Somebody said, ‘Why wouldn’t they move this tournament to Seattle or somewhere else,” Love said. “No, they just need their own date here. They don’t need to move it somewhere else. This is a great tournament. They just need an open date. Maybe down the road one will pop up.
“We’re working at the McGladrey Classic right now on playing two courses instead of one in the fall so we can play more players. We need the young guys, the guys coming off the web.com and we need more start times. So we need this event. This is a very important event for a lot of young guys and a lot old guys that want to play that aren’t in Akron. So, yeah, we need this one. We need Puerto Rico. We need weeks like that to get the guys that aren’t in World Golf Championships to give them starts.”