Grady's Back ... But, Alas, No Beer

August 17, 2007

SUNRIVER, Ore. -- Wayne Grady, wearing sneakers because of bad feet, knows his return to competition will be full of baby steps. The friendly Australian who won the 1990 PGA Championship turned 50 last month and is embracing senior golf, fully aware that he has some work ahead of him.

"I suppose getting used to playing golf without having a beer," Grady said Friday when asked about the biggest challenge of competition after about a decade away from it. "I'm not used to going 18 holes without having a beer. Unless Tim [Finchem] changes the rules, I'm going to have to get used to it."

Grady started with 76-71 at the Jeld-Wen Tradition, his third start on the Champions Tour -- he missed the cut at the Senior British Open and finished T-53 at the 3M Championship. "I don't have any immediate expectations," he said, "except to try and get comfortable and get a feel for playing tournaments again. I'm very fortunate to have an exemption [PGA Tour career victory category], and I'm looking forward to having a bit of fun. My daughter [Samantha] is 20 years old and is back home in Australia working, so for my wife Lyn and I,  it's almost like a second honeymoon, getting out to travel and do some things on our own."

Grady and his family moved back to Australia in the late 1990s and he has played sparingly since while getting involved in several businesses. He is 14 years removed from his last victory of any kind, at the 1993 Indonesian PGA Championship.

"I'm not the greatest golfer in the world, but I'm a better golfer than I am a businessman," Grady said. "I hope to enjoy this and work at it, too. Not too many times do you get a second go at your profession."

-- Bill Fields