EAST MOLINE — Considering what Dave Waugh has been through the last few years, the fact that he is even playing golf competitively is amazing.
That's what makes his accomplishments on the Quad City Amateur Tour this summer even more remarkable.
Waugh added to a tremendous 2019 season on Sunday with his third title of the season, winning the Short Hills Am senior division title with a two-day 142 total. He followed Saturday's opening 3-under 69 with a Sunday 73 for a five-shot victory.
However, another Dave tried to steal some of Waugh's headlines.
Short Hills member Dave Holmes had a stretch of six straight birdies on the back nine and missed a 30-foot downhiller on No. 18 that could have given him a 29 on the back nine. Holmes settled for the 30 in the low senior round of 68 that jumped him into a runner-up spot behind Waugh with a two-day 147 total.
It was actually the second time Holmes was looking at 29 on the back nine at his home course. He said that he shot that 7-under score as a 14-year-old in 1982 well before the course's redesign. He said he thought about that after his birdie at No. 17, his sixth straight.
But even a nearly magical back nine wasn't enough to catch Waugh, who is providing hope for so many golfers who seemingly can have so much to overcome in the game.
The 66-year-old, who has been a moving force on the QCAm Tour board for years, was not able to play in any tournaments last year because of a broken thumb. For the previous four years, he had to deal with a hip tendon issue that made it difficult to play, let alone be competitive.
“Yeah,” he said when asked if he thought his competitive golf was done after the torn hip tendon.
But he is proving otherwise with wins this year at Glynns Creek and Palmer Hills ahead of his second career win at Short Hills.
“I'm close to being injury-free; it's probably the least amount of injury I've had in the last three years,” said Waugh, who was winless in QCAm Tour championship flight play in his younger days, but has won 15 times in the over-50 set and the 2010 Senior Player of the Year honors.
With the help of therapists at ORA, a “dry-needling” procedure, and a dedicated workout regime that has rejuvenated him, Waugh is all smiles when he talks about golf now.
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“I did therapy with ORA starting last fall all the way til spring and they are just great,” he said. “It's the difference to me being able to play without my tendon firing up on me, which would keep me from being able to get through the shot, which is a lot better.”
Now in arguably the best shape of his life, Waugh said he has added strength which has correlated directly into better – and longer – golf shots.
“It's made a big difference,” said Waugh, talking about his golf and his quality of life.
But he now can look at a future that includes golf and not wondering if he would be able to make it through a round.
“Father Time is against me at 66,” said Waugh. “But I think I can still be successful.”
He is proving that as he in great position to nail down another Player of the Year honor at the Tour Championship at Oakwood Cpountry Club this coming weekend.
Sirois a winner: Short Hills member Andy Sirois took the home-course advantage and carried it all the way to a runaway title on Sunday in the Championship Flight.
The 38-year-old, who played collegiately for the St. Ambrose golf team, shot a 2-under 70 for a two-day 142 total as he lapped the field.
Former Riverdale High School standout Anthony Ruthey (75-74—149), competing in the student-athlete division, finished second. Adam Seitz, a non-tour member, was third with his 77-74—152 weekend ahead of top tour finisher Dave Schurke's 73-79—152 total.
Eight players were within one stroke of Sirois starting the final round, but nobody was able to make a serious charge as the winner offset two bogeys with four birdies – three of those in a four-hole stretch between 14-17.
“On the front nine, my driver was a little wayward,” said Sirois, who had a birdie and a bogey on his even-par 36 outward nine. “On the back nine, which is fairly short, I kept the driver in the bag and hit 3 wood. I didn't know where I stood the whole day, so I just played fairways and greens. I ran in a couple of putts, but mostly played to the middle of greens and two-putted.”