Zurich Classic of New Orleans

TPC Louisiana

The Loop

Dodds makes most of rare opportunity

May 26, 2011

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- With the way the weather disrupted play in the first round of the Senior PGA Championship, those golfers in the morning wave at Valhalla GC got a big break.

One of those golfers was Trevor Dodds, who finished his five-under 67 about 6 p.m. That was 10 hours after his scheduled 8 o'clock starting time but more than an hour before the last afternoon starters were to begin their first rounds.

For Dodds, who isn't exempt on the Champions Tour and was 15th alternate to get into the Senior PGA last Friday, it was a chance to gather some momentum in a year when that has been hard to find.

Dodds, who found out Tuesday he was in the field after Joey Sindelar pulled out with a bad back, was a stroke behind Kiyoshi Murota's early lead. "I haven't that much competition," said Dodds, whose only 2011 Champions Tour appearance was at the Allianz Championship, where he was T.-41.  "It was really fun being a little bit psyched and ready to play."

A native of Namibia who has lived in the United States for many years, Dodds was in good position to earn exempt status at Champions Tour Q school last year but closed with a 75. That left him in the unenviable position of having to try to qualify for individual events.

"Those are tough qualifiers," he said, "40 or 50 guys playing for three or four spots. But that's the system."

Dodds, who won the 1998 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic (his only PGA Tour victory) after overcoming testicular cancer, chalks up the challenges he is encountering as a senior golfer to just another bump in the road.

"My career has been up-and-down," said Dodds, who has 15 professional wins. "It's been some good, some bad, but it's been quite an interesting journey. For somebody who learned to play golf on sand, it's not all bad."

-- *Bill Fields