Well, after a dismal Match Play week in my predictions (dang you Steve Stricker!) I thought I needed to at least study the field at the Honda Classic to see if there was any inspiration for getting the right guys in my fantasy squad. (Big Shocker - Go Matt Kuchar!)
Making a run through of the field, I was quickly distracted by seeing the name Lee Rinker at the very bottom of the tee time sheet for the Honda. I'm thinking I know that name, but no details come to mind. It's time to turn to my friend Google! But here's the funny part...I put in LARRY Rinker instead of Lee and sure enough, a web site pops up and I'm reading about how Larry was a former PGA Tour Professional who made more than $2 million in his day and is currently an instructor (and guitar player) who would love to make you your best coach!
Googling again I find out that the latest news on Lee is that he just turned 50 and made it through Champions Tour Q-School last year and has full playing privileges for this year (2nd place behind Keith Clearwater). He's from Florida, so it makes sense that he either did a Monday qualifier or got a sponsor's exemption (which I still haven't found out).
I also found out that Lee and Larry are brothers...and they also have a sister who was on the LPGA tour for awhile. Lee took his shot at being a Touring Professional back in the 80's and 90's but struggled like so many do. His best year was 1997, and according to his PGA Tour stats on http://www.pgatour.com/ Rinker played in 189 Tour events prior to 2007 and earned a grand total of $1.2 million. According to Wikipedia, he hasn't made a PGA Tour cut since 1999.
He did have a total of 4 starts on Tour from 2007-2009 but didn't make any money. He's also had 89 starts on the Nationwide Tour making a grand total of about $316,000. He seems to have had success on the Club Pro Circuit, winning the South Florida PGA Open in 2008. Here's a neat site that shows his tournament history: http://www.databasegolf.com/players/playerpage.htm?samid=RinkeLee01
He has made 2 starts, and 2 cuts, on the Champions Tour this year and has earned just over $12,000 for his efforts.
It appears that he still serves as Director of Golf at Emerald Dunes in West Palm Beach Florida, a private course that costs $250 for guests, so he's probably not giving up his "day job" for the Champions Tour just yet. But hey, you never know!
Other than that, there's not a whole lot more on Lee Rinker that I could find out easily. I did a quick check of his first round progress at the Honda, and it looks like he's struggling a bit out of the gate. I don't know why he caught my attention this morning but he did...and now I'm rooting for him! Congratulations, Lee, on your Champions Tour status and here's hoping you make the cut at the Honda this week!
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Filed under: Cathy Erickson, Lee Rinker, Honda Classic