Las Vegas, Nevada (April 21, 2010)–It’s been 10 years since Las Vegas golfer Bob May was in the middle of THE golf story on the PGA Tour. It’s a story May never gets tired of hearing about. OK, maybe a little. A young golfer on a meteoric rise (Tiger Woods) and a journeyman player whom Tiger battled in junior golf (May) get hooked up in an epic battle at the 2000 PGA Championship. May and Woods were paired in the final group and everyone in the golf world was tuned in. May’s final round 66—his third straight 66—wasn’t enough to hold off a hard-charging Tiger who carded a final-round 65 to force a three-hole playoff.–By Bill Bowman
Woods would go on to win the playoff and has been atop the golf world for as long as anyone can remember. May has three second-place finishes on the PGA Tour and $3.66 million in career earnings (248th all-time) but back troubles sidelined him for the better part of three years a couple of years ago. It could have been worse. “The doctor said he was pretty sure the operation would work, but he couldn’t guarantee it,” May said. But after rehab and with plenty of work on the range at TPC Las Vegas—one of more than 50 Las Vegas golf courses—he’s back on tour now, even though it’s the Nationwide Tour. And the Las Vegan has a return to the PGA Tour in his sights. A tie for 19th in last week’s Fresh Express Classic moved him up 50 spots on the money list to 80th. The Top 25 earn PGA Tour cards and, plain and simple, that’s his goal.
His four rounds last week were 69-69-67-68 for an 11-under-par total. He’s hoping to springboard that solid effort as the season progresses. “It really did boost my confidence,” May said. “It was nice to get four good rounds under my belt and finish strong.” The 41-year-old plans to play 25 or so Nationwide events this year. “I’ll see how the body holds up,” he said. “As long as I’m playing well, I’ll be out there.” With guys like Kenny Perry and Freddie Couples still hitting the winner’s circle, May is optimistic. “You’re never too old to play well and win,” he said. “At least that’s the way I feel and it’s why I’m still competing.” But no matter what happens in May’s golf career, he will always have the video of his head-to-head showdown with Tiger to remind him of that hard work can lead to success. “The love of the game is what’s kept me out here and kept me going,” May said.