San Bernardino native and Redlands resident Dave Stockton figured he’s experienced just about everything on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. But he added a new feat to his illustrious professional career last week at the Champions Tour’s Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, held at the TPC Tampa Bay in Florida. On his first hole of his 2007 season debut, Stockton earned a triple bogey, and later added another triple bogey, en route to a 10-over-par 81. “The worst opening round and worst start in my career,” said Stockton, who began his professional career in 1964. “The funny thing was I started the round with six balls and lost three of ’em in the first three holes. I didn’t know if I was going to run out of balls before the end of the round.” Luckily, Stockton didn’t. Although the round wasn’t his best, he recovered the following day with a second-round 70, then finished with a rugged 80 on Sunday, where temperatures in the Tampa Bay area hit the low 40s with winds that reached more than 30 mph. “It really was miserable for golf, but what are you going to do,” he said. “Set all sorts of personal worsts, but it happens.” Stockton played a sporadic 2006 season as he spent much of last season with his wife Cathy, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. He played 14 events and plans on playing about the same amount this season. “Cathy had her last chemo treatment on Jan. 11 and we have six weeks of radiation ahead of us,” he said. “We tolerate it the best we can. She walks two miles a day, and when she doesn’t, she spends a lot of time in the garden.” Stockton turned 65 this past November, but doesn’t plan on retiring. He needs to play a minimum of 11 events to qualify for the tour’s benefit plan. “That’s become pretty important to us,” he said. “Playing at least 11 is a priority. After this year, I can see playing the minimum. “Obviously, I’m not shooting to win tournaments, but to play competitive golf means a lot to me. It really comes down to enjoying myself with my friends. I’m not ready to give that up.” The Champions Tour makes its annual Southern California appearance with the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach (March 9-11) and the AT&T Champions Classic in Valencia (March 16-17). Plan on Stockton playing in both events. Already this season, the 50-and-over Tour has been influenced by the younger entrants. Earlier in Hawaii, rookie Fred Funk won at Turtle Bay with the largest margin in Champions Tour history That group of newcomers has built an excitement for fans who follow the senior circuit. Although, Stockton would like to see some of the young guys take their time at enjoying success. “It’s an exciting year with an influx of new people,” he said. “We really have an interesting cross section of players. (Mark) O’Meara, (Nick) Price, (Scott) Hoch … I would’ve liked to have seen Funk struggle a bit instead of playing so well right off the bat. “But, O’Meara (who fired an 82 on Sunday in Tampa Bay) struggled a bit. Good to have him humbled. We don’t want to have those guys have too much success right away.” And when playing isn’t on his agenda, he and sons David and Ron are heavily involved in corporate events. The three plan on working several events this year. They also are involved in a golf and residential development in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “It’s a spectacular site,” he said. “Tom Fazio has 36 holes that he’s designed. David’s working on real estate and a smaller course will be a golf school that’s ours.” SENIOR STROKE PLAY Thomas Herzan of Findlay, Ohio, fired a final-round 5-under 67 to win the fourth annual Callaway Golf PGA Western Senior Stroke Play Championship, held at PGA of Southern California on Tuesday at Beaumont. Herzan won the 54-hole event by one shot over Ronald Stelten of Palm Desert and Chris Starkjohann of Encinitas. A SENIOR CALLING San Bernardino Golf Club will play host to the San Bernardino County men’s amateur championship March 26-27. The format features individual gross and net champions. Age groups are 50-60, 61-70 and 71 and over. Cost is $85 and includes green fees, award ceremony with dinner and a free practice round. Deadline is March 18 and the field will be capped at 100. For information, contact (909) 885-2414. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!