Vol 22 March 2013

Mac Everett
General Chairman

Kym Hougham
Executive Director

Jan Ivey
Director of Marketing and Sponsor Relations

Tony Schuster
Director of Operations

Gwen Crow
Tournament Coordinator

Paula Burnett
Volunteer Coordinator

Christine Lockett
Tournament Project Manager

James Stevens
Tournament Assistant

Champion's Flashback

2004 - Joey Sindelar

This is the second in a series intended to reflect on our champions. Joey Sindelar not only won the first playoff in the tournamentís short history with his victory in 2004, he remains the oldest winner at the age of 46. These days Sindelar spends a majority of his time competing on the Champions Tour.


Joey Sindelar, 2004 Champion

So, you just won 1,008,000?

JOEY SINDELAR: That's wild. I really want to know what my parents are thinking right now. Because my dad delivered mail for 35 years and my mom drove a school bus. That's a stupid amount of money no matter what you do, let alone that. We'll have a lot of laughs about that. It's bizarre.

I can remember when I made Tour School in the fall of 83, you know, the school part of it, you go out and beat your brains in for 6 or 7 rounds and you have your meeting if you make it. And I can remember them plain as day, Mike Shea or some Tour official saying, boys, we've had unprecedented growth on the Tour the last few years. We're going to be playing for $19.2 million this year. We don't know how long it's going to last. Corporate America has endorsed us. We're thrilled. Whatever you do, do the right thing, because this is bizarre how much we're playing for. 19.2 million for all of the purses put together for the whole year. 22 years later I can't even imagine. This is awesome.

It has been 14 years since I won. My oldest son is just under that amount. He was a couple of months old -- he was born in February, I won in the summer, and I was telling the media people out front, they think those trophies in my case are replicas, things I picked up in a local sporting goods store to fool them. Now we have a real one to show them.

You are here in Hawaii for the Mercedes Championship because of your 2004 victory in Charlotte. This must be special?

JOEY SINDELAR: Another checkmark on the golf exchange since I won. To start the year here, I'm a little bit mad that my vacation was shortened by a couple of weeks to have to come and do this, but I'm getting over it. It's working okay. (laughter)

In 2005, Sindelar returned to Quail Hollow Club to defend his title. After two rounds, he was only two shots out of the lead. Eventually, he would finish tied for 33rd, which is the best finish by a defending champion in tournament history.

Q. Obviously you're a popular figure anyway, but after the win last year you were pretty popular. Do you still feel that momentum amongst the galleries?

JOEY SINDELAR: They're trying very hard to talk me into it. Every single hole, "repeat, do it again, it's yours." I'm sure the other guys got tired of hearing that, but they understand. There are favorites as we go each week. The guys handled that great. There's some weight to be given to that. It's a good reminder that you did it once, why not again. You know, here we are, we're down to 36 holes and still have a shot at it. It's very exciting.

Q. Would it be as meaningful?

JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah, but in an entirely different way, I'm sure. The victory last year just changed everything. It was my revisit to winning and experiencing all this, Tournament of Champions and all that stuff, so of course it would be old hat the second time through (laughter). But this is still a magnificent tournament to win. So it would be equally as good but for an entirely different set of reasons.

Q. Why do you think you play so well, is it the course, the city, the state, the steak subs? Is there a single --

JOEY SINDELAR: I just don't know. Maybe you get -- obviously we're excluding Tiger and Vijay and Phil and those guys, but for the rest of us, out of 15 tries you get four or five good ones, so maybe these are my four or five and I'm just getting them early. I don't know, I like everything about it.

You know, you couldn't ask for anything to be better, from golf course to purse to conditions to housing to easiness of transportation; you're close, you're not going to miss your tee time because of a traffic jam. Everything about the week is doable. But there are others like that, too, that I've never done that well in say. It's a mystery, I just don't know.