Kudos to my friend Steve Jones. He has had so many unfortunate things happen to him for his pro golf career after winning eight tournaments on the PGA Tour that included the 1996 U.S. Open. Really a stellar career of winning in a short period of time–eleven years. Yet he started the Tour in 1982, so that it took him six years to win.
Steve’s troubles started after his U.S. Open victory with a motor bike accident in the desert here in Arizona where we live. He banged up his wedding finger and got severe tendonitis in it. No matter what he tried, he couldn’t get rid of it. For years he had to hold that finger off of the golf club when he gripped it. He went several years without playing golf or much of it due to his injuries.
Steve started the Champions Tour in 2011 and soon lost his exemption. That’s because he won a lot of tournaments but was not as high on the All Time Money Winning List as you would expect, which is the main you get get exempt on either Tour. Eventually, the PGA Tour passed a new rule that was partly intended to get Steve exempt on that Tour. The reason was that it did not seem fair for such a successful pro golfer to not be exempt on the Champions Tour. But that rule didn’t work out for him. He has struggled with elbow tendonitis and surgeries for it while trying to get back on that Tour.
Today, the affable, 59-year old, six-foot, four inch tall Steve Jones finished in a four-man tie for sixth place in the Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club in Newport Beach, California. I hope there’s more of this Champions Tour success from this devout Christian-believer, whose lovely wife Bonnie works at Phoenix Seminary here in Phoenix (where I spend considerable time doing research in their library).
I saw Steve about four weeks ago at a theological conference at the church I attend. Humorous Steve said Bonnie was the only one in the family who had a job. Not this week, Steve. And good hourly wage.