The tour still has horses. Charles, Colbert, Murphy, Stockton and some others have become stars as Seniors, but the tour was originally built on superstars. In fact, it was practically invented for Palmer. Then Gary Player, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Trevino and even Nicklaus, as an occasional visitor, helped take it to a higher level. Trouble is, the superstar cookie jar is about empty. Nicklaus won twice early this year but played only seven times. Trevino was bothered by physical problems and didn't get his first win until the week before the Senior Tour Championship. Johnny Miller and Tom Watson, who will turn 50 within the next two seasons, aren't expected to play much Senior golf.
It would help if Trevino could squeeze another year out of his aching body. He is suddenly optimistic in the wake of his unlikely victory in the Emerald Coast Classic in Milton, Fla., where Stockton finished bogey-bogey to create a five-man playoff that Trevino won with a long putt. "I had a bad year," Trevino says. "Even the win last week doesn't scratch the itch. I'm still itching."
Trevino says he came back too early from the neck surgery he underwent in October 1994. During rehabilitation he built up the muscles in his right shoulder, which improved his range of motion, but when he swung through the ball, he suffered spasms in his shoulder and rib cage. Doctors tested everything but found nothing. The guys in the Senior tour fitness trailer solved the problem. They determined that Trevino needed to build up the left shoulder so he could finish his follow-through. He's feeling better now, and instead of thinking about quitting, he's thinking about winning. "I think next year will be very good if I can take off 20 pounds," Trevino says. "If I don't, I will struggle. If I do, I think I'll win. I'll go out on a limb—I like to do that. If I lose the weight, I'll win three times and over a million dollars. If I don't, I'm going to eat me some tacos and drink me some Crystal Light and the hell with it."
Trevino, who will turn 57 in a few weeks, may be too old to dominate the Senior tour the way he did six or seven years ago. Conventional wisdom holds that when a player hits 55, he can still play well but is probably not going to be a top-10 money-list guy anymore. "Everything comes to an end sooner or later," Trevino says. "You're going to get to the point where you don't win anymore. You have to be able to take that like a man. No sense being bitter."
Unlike a certain battery-powered bunny, you can't keep going and going and going....