Life at 50 Looks Good for Dick’s Open Champion Doug Barron
If there was ever a storybook road to a Tour of Champions title Doug Barron has lived it. Baron just turned 50 on July 24 of this year and it has turned into a remarkable journey. He turned 50 one day prior to the first round of the Senior Open Championship where he competed and finished tied for fifth place with Colin Montgomery.
Barron then comes to Endicott and has to try and play his way into a spot in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open. He competes in the Monday qualifier and shoots a round of 66 to secure his spot. He ends up in a two-way tie for first place after the first round, sole possession of the top spot after round two and then out-duels World Golf Hall of Fame member Fred Couples to earn a two-stroke victory and the Dick's Sporting Goods Open crown.
Barron became the 13th open qualifier to win on the PGA TOUR Champions circuit. The last open qualifier to do so was Willie Wood who won the 2012 Dick's Sporting Goods Open.
Barron stopped playing on the PGA TOUR in 2012 with his last sanctioned event on the Korn Ferry Tour's Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open in October, 2012. After seven years off the competitive tour he and his wife decided to give the Tour of Champions a shot. With his win at the En Joie Golf Club Barron earns first place prize money of $307,500. Along with the check and the trophy Barron earns an exemption on PGA TOUR Champions through the end of the 2020 season. He also gets a two-year exemption into the season ending Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Barron earns his first victory in 377 events across three sanctioned Tours including 238 on the PGA tour. His earnings at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open have made the decision to return to competitive golf a success less than a month into it. It's is a truly remarkable story.