Benefield: Windsor golfer Tim Bogue disappointed but determined after Senior Open debut
I called Tim Bogue to check in on his weekend of golf.
Bogue, who lives in Windsor, qualified for the U.S. Senior Open Championship in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that was played last weekend. He was three strokes from making the cut. A respectable showing, I thought.
But Bogue’s response to my “I want to talk about your weekend” question told me something different.
In effect, he said: I didn’t play golf this weekend.
“If I would have played halfway decent, I don’t know if I would have been too nervous to win, but at least I could have been in the mix,” he said.
Instead, the longshoreman who qualified at the Diablo Country Club last month finished 11 over and three off the cut. He spent his Saturday and Sunday walking the course instead of playing it. And it didn’t have to be that way, he said.
“If my game is on, I felt like I could win that tournament,” he said.
But it was 51-year-old David Toms who held the trophy aloft, his first tournament win in seven years.
“If I would have parred the 12th hole both times, I would have made the cut,” Bogue said. “It wasn’t even a hard hole. But that’s golf. When you play it long enough, it happens.”
On both Thursday and Friday Bogue fell behind fast, but then played his way back into the conversation.
“Both days I got off to terrible starts,” he said. “I brought it back to at least respectability.”
And respectability was no easy feat on a course that seemed to rattle even the old pros.
“The putting was so difficult I got into every single putt,” Toms told reporters.
“Here, the greens, they’ve got you on edge,” Kenny Perry said.
“It was the hardest golf course I have ever played,” he said. “The rough was super long where you had to chip out and all that good stuff. And the greens were so fast, it was really crazy.”
And then there was the altitude. And the wind.
“Uphill, downhill, wind, elevation,” he said. “It was like a math test on every hole.”
But that’s where an insider tip from Davis Love III comes in handy.
Love, captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup teams in 2012 and 2016, and winner of 21 PGA Tour events including the PGA Championship in 1997, was teamed up with Bogue for one of his practice rounds. Their third? Scott Verplank, winner of five PGA Tour events since 1985. Not bad.
And it was Love who swapped phone numbers with Bogue’s caddie in an effort to hook Bogue up with the green reading book.
“They were really awesome guys,” he said.
His first practice round was with Duffy Waldorf, winner of four PGA Tour events.
And that’s what the Open is about — getting a chance to play with and against the big guns. And Bogue, despite what he might tell you, held his own.
He bested a pretty long list of excellent golfers on a course that was, by all accounts, brutal. Bogue scored better than Tom Kite, Fred Funk, Jesper Parnevik and baseball Hall of Famer John Smoltz.