Dana Quigley's Perfect Life
Most tour golfers are blas� about their profession and like to tell envious working stiffs that golfing for a living ain't all it's cracked up to be. Not Dana Quigley. This New Englander wouldn't trade his life on the Senior tour for anything.
Quigley's affection for golf is not simply due to the $3.8 million he has won since turning 50 in 1997. He likes to play. Every day. Last week's Boone Valley Classic outside St. Louis marked Quigley's 106th straight start on the Senior tour, a streak second only to Mike McCullough's 125.
But Quigley, who tied for fourth, eight shots behind winner Larry Nelson, hardly limited his play to the three days of the tournament. The week was typical. After holing a dramatic 12-foot birdie putt to win the TD Waterhouse Championship by a stroke over Tom Watson, Quigley missed the last flight from Kansas City to St. Louis, so he and good buddy Ed Dougherty rented a car and drove, arriving in St. Louis at 1:30 a.m. Following a catnap, Quigley was playing in the Monday pro-am, a Senior tour staple that is typically devoid of name players. "To me it's not a duty," he says. "I bond with those guys."
The next morning he hooked up with Allen Doyle and Bruce Summerhays at Boone Valley for their regular Tuesday game, during which the only thing quicker than their sawed-off backswings and $2 presses is their toxic razzing. "You'd think we were playing for $8 million," says Quigley. "Sometimes other guys get in, but they don't come back, because the three of us, being from the munis, have needles that are too sharp."
Later that day Quigley joined the event's nine-hole celebrity shootout, and that night he attended a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. On Wednesday he played in another pro-am and again took in the Cardinals.
On Thursday he followed the pro-am with an afternoon of gambling on a riverboat casino. His wife, Angie, and their two children, Nicole, 18, and Devon, 15, joined Quigley in St. Louis that night, and the entire family attended the ball games on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, after the final round, the Quigleys wound down at the hotel by watching the Red Sox-Yankees game, and on Monday the cycle began again, in Nashville, site of the BellSouth Senior Classic.
"A perfect day for me would be to play a tournament round during the day and go to a Red Sox game at night," says Quigley. "Actually, that's pretty close to what I do now. Seriously, I wish there were more than three days of competition a week. In fact, I wouldn't mind seven."
Quigley does not argue with fellow pros who say he's deranged, except to point out that he is merely following his metabolism and his muse. "All my life I've been a guy who could go all day," he says. "I think the players who call me a weirdo envy my passion. I never wake up and not want to play."
For most of his years as a pro, Quigley didn't feel the same way about himself. After graduating from Rhode Island in 1969, he knocked around as an assistant pro until finally making it to the PGA Tour in 1978. He never won more than $32,000 in a season and by '83 had taken a job as a club pro. His extroverted personality made him popular, as did his penchant for buying rounds in the clubhouse until closing time. "Everything I do, I go overboard," says Quigley. "I couldn't have just one drink. I had to drink everything behind the bar. It took me a while to realize that I've had low self-esteem my whole life."