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Notebook
Jaime Diaz
November 20, 2000
Tour CasualtiesIdentity Crisis
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November 20, 2000

Notebook

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Numbers
Tom Kite led the Tour in earnings 20 years ago with $375,698, an amount that would not have gotten him into the top 125 on the money list this season. Here are the earnings leaders since 1990 and where their winnings would have placed them on the list in 2000.

   

Earnings

Rank

'90

Greg Norman

$1,165,477

38

'91

Corey Pavin

979,430

48

'92

Fred Couples

1,344,188

34

'93

Nick Price

1,478,557

32

'94

Nick Price

1,499,927

32

'95

Greg Norman

1,654,959

24

'96

Tom Lehman

1,780,159

22

'97

Tiger Woods

2,066,833

13

'98

David Duval

2,591,031

5

'99

Tiger Woods

6,616,585

2

Tour Casualties
Identity Crisis

It happens every fall. A longtime fixture on the Tour drops out of the top 125 on the money list and loses his card. Dan Forsman was a casualty this year.

The 42-year-old Forsman, who had held on to his exemption every year since joining the Tour in 1983, was in the 125th spot before the final event of the season, the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, but missed the cut in Madison, Miss., and finished 128th. Forsman had not sent in an application to Q school and says he hasn't decided how much he'll play in '01, relying on his partial exemptions to get into tournaments.

Forsman has four victories, the last at the '92 Buick Open. In 1997 he lost to David Duval at the Disney in a playoff that was a part of the latter's breakout winning streak. Forsman is also remembered for contending at the 1993 Masters until pushing a seven-iron into Rae's Creek on the 12th hole of the final round, a shot he memorably described as "drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa." He tied for seventh.

Forsman is sure he still has enough game to continue but is not certain that he has the desire to do so. He says his feelings remind him of one of the favorite sayings of his neighbor in Provo, Utah, fellow Tour player Mike Reid: "Playing golf is the hardest way to make an easy living that there is."

"When I missed the 125, I was really down," says Forsman. "After so many years, your identity is wrapped up in being a Tour player, and suddenly I was a failure who didn't deserve respect. Then I thought, Finally, this year is over, and I'm glad. I would miss a cut by three or four shots, something I had always taken really hard, and think, Good, I get to go home now."

Forsman is an epileptic, and that is another factor pulling him off the road. Since he was a junior at Arizona State University, Forsman has suffered an average of one violent seizure a year, always at night. His last, in December 1999, was so intense that he dislocated his left shoulder. When he is competing, Forsman is reluctant to take his medication because it makes him sluggish, but the stress of tournament play can induce a dangerous seizure.

Forsman also acknowledges that the Tour's new breed of player is making it harder for aging veterans to hang on. "Surviving in the Tiger Woods era is a tough equation," he says. "I've always been pretty long, but these guys are bombing it 40 yards by me. Forty! And they have this terminator attitude, like they basically own the place. They see guys like me as dead wood. There's no respect for what you might have done. It's just, 'Get out of my way' It doesn't do your ego a lot of good."

That's Forsman, self-effacing and painfully honest (In the Tour's media guide he lists "truth" among his special interests.) He's also smart. At the '93 Masters no one who attended his Sunday press conference will forget the passion and detail with which he recounted his state of mind before and during the shot that cost him the tournament. Jokes his wife, Trudy, "Dan needs to lose about 250 points off his IQ."

Forsman is well enough off financially to not have to play, but he hasn't been able to measure how much he would miss the game emotionally. "Something inside me hungers to get it done, to win again," he says. "But to be competitive I've almost got to be a different person. I remember talking to Tom Weiskopf after he had left the regular Tour. He said, 'Dan, if you're going to win out there, you've got to be one miserable, selfish son of a bitch.' That's true, and I never enjoyed being that person."

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