ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Davis Love III only had to hit a single shot on Thursday morning to take another step toward breaking a PGA Tour record. It's just one the 21-time tour winner isn't as optimistic about achieving anymore.
The 55-year-old Love's appearance in this week's RSM Classic, of which he's also the tournament host, is his 769th career PGA Tour start. It's a staggering number, but one that still has him in fourth-place on the all-time list, 34 starts shy of Mark Brooks.
"I had a plan at the start of last season that I was going to play full seasons on the PGA Tour last year and this season and would break that record," Love said during his Wednesday press conference at Sea Island Golf Club. "I had another surgery this summer that stalled that game plan. So it's going to be getting harder and harder to break Brooksy's record, so he may be safe now."
At least, for Love, the record doesn't seem to be a moving target. Brooks, who won the 1996 PGA Championship—the year before Love won his lone major at the same event—hasn't played a PGA Tour event in nearly two years. Love, who became the third-oldest winner in PGA Tour history at the 2015 Wyndham Championship, had been playing tour events at a good clip until failing to play double digit events for the first time in his career last season.
But he'll continue to get opportunities thanks to his PGA Tour lifetime membership earned via his 20-plus victories and 15-plus seasons. Love is also No. 4 on that list with his 568 times of qualifying for the weekend at a PGA Tour event trailing Jay Haas' 591.
Those starts will become a little more difficult starting next year, though, when Love joins the CBS Golf team. Love says he won't play those weeks he's on TV, but he does plan to play more PGA Tour Champions events.
"I would like to fantasize that I could play on the tour a couple more years and stay competitive and break that record that we talked about, but I think my game is showing that I'm losing speed, losing power," Love said. "I'm not going to really play on the regular tour on big golf courses. I would like to play Hilton Head a couple more times maybe and some of those places. I love the PGA Tour, but I know I'm not going to play it forever, and CBS is a team that I've always wanted to be on, so good timing."
Of course, it's not like Love needs any other playing accomplishments on what is already a World Golf Hall of Fame résumé. But if he does wind up tracking down Brooks, the two have a deal.
"He's been saying that if you go to pass me, I want to caddie in that tournament," Love said. "So we've been back and forth on the Champions Tour a lot about that record."