SAUCIER – Former LSU golfer David Toms is looking for three solid days of golf this week as he competes for the first time in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oak Golf Club.
A rookie on the PGA Tour Champions, Toms was a 13-time champion on the PGA Tour, including his win at the 2001 PGA Championship.
Toms has played in four events this season, with his best finish coming in Hawaii in the season-opening Mitsubishi Classic. He finished in a tie for fourth in the event, which was shortened to two rounds due to weather conditions. He shot a sizzling 63 in his second round, his best round of golf so far this season on the PGA Tour Champions.
“There are a lot of good scores every week,’’ Toms said Wednesday as he took a break on the practice putting green at Fallen Oak. “If you have a very mediocre score on any of the three days, you don’t have a chance to win.
“I haven’t been able to put three rounds together so far this year so I haven’t contended. But I’m hoping to put together three solid rounds and see what that gets me.’’
That is one of the differences from the PGA Tour – these senior golfers have to make it happen in three rounds instead of four.
“I had a real hot second round (in Hawaii),’’ Toms said. “I need some more of those hot rounds. But it is more about putting three solid rounds together. You can be too aggressive the first couple of days. You can get in some bad spots knowing you have only three days. Sometimes I need to back off at times and not try to give too many shots away.’’
Toms played in a pro-am Wednesday with a foursome of Jeff Bertucci, David Mealey, Keith Fayard and Steve Wilson.
Toms is one of the new guys on the tour who will play Fallen Oak, a group that includes Steve Stricker, Jerry Kelly, John Daly and Jose Maria Olazabal.
Toms finished 15th in the Tucson Conquistadors Tournament, the latest tour event which was won by Tom Lehman two weeks ago.
“I’ve enjoyed the tour so far, traveling around, seeing new places, going back to places I used to play, seeing guys I’ve played with for a long, long time,’’ Toms said. “It’s been fun. Something new.’’
Being on the Coast this week and in proximity to Baton Rouge, Toms gets to hear plenty of LSU talk.
“I hate that Tulane beat us in baseball (Tuesday),’’ Toms said. “There are a lot of good things going on (at LSU) and there is some excitement around the athletic department. I’m hoping the baseball team can end up on a high note. I hope we can get the football team going in the fall. And before winter, see what the new basketball coach can do.’’
Toms was able to play a practice round late Tuesday to get a feel for Fallen Oak, which he has never played.
“I got a cart and played a round in two hours Tuesday,’’ Toms said. “There are very difficult green complexes. Yesterday (Tuesday) all the pins were in the middle so it will be interesting to see how the course plays once they start using the edges. I know it is one of more difficult courses we will play all year.
“Again, you have to know when to put the pedal down and be aggressive, and know -- on course like this -- when to back off because you can get into some tough spots.’’