Mayfair off to strong start in Champions Tour rookie season

Billy Mayfair

Former ASU star and PGA TOUR veteran Billy Mayfair turned 50 on August 6, 2016, and five days later found himself making his Champions Tour debut at the U.S. Senior Open at the historic Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio.  

It’s a birthday he had been anticipating for nearly two years because it meant that he would be eligible to play on the Champions Tour.  

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be so excited to be turning 50, but that was how I felt as I was about to embark on a new stage of my career,” Mayfair said “It is a little strange to be known as the ‘young guy’ or the ‘rookie’ out here, but it is a new challenge in my career and I am excited at the possibilities.”

Those possibilities included nearly winning a Major in his first Champions Tour start, ultimately finishing T2 at the U.S. Senior Open.

“I was wondering if I could do it again, and I proved that to myself,” Mayfair said after his near win at Scioto. “That’s the thing I’m probably going to take the most away this week. Under the gun, under a lot of pressure, I hit some good golf shots. It’s a good feeling, trust me.”

The T2 finish was important to Mayfair’s shortened Champions Tour season, as he entered the Schwab Cup Standings in 36th place.

“That’s huge for me, especially since I only have a handful of tournaments to try to qualify for the playoffs and reach the Charles Schwab Cup here at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale.”

Mayfair has played solid golf through seven tournaments. Along with his runner-up at the U.S. Senior Open, he has four Top-25 finishes, including a T15 at the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach where he shot a final-round 8-under 64 to vault into the Top-20.  

He did qualify for the Schwab Cup playoffs, entering 40th in points at 440,192, impressive considering he did it in just seven events, while the majority of the field has played upwards of 20 events.  

The playoffs get started October 27 at the Powershares Championship, with the Top-54 set to advance to the Dominion Charity Classic on November 3. Following that, the Top-36 will advance to the Charles Schwab Cup, where every player will have a mathematical chance to win the Cup.

“My goal at the beginning of the season was to play well enough to earn a spot in the Charles Schwab Cup and I’ve put myself in good contention to achieve that goal,” Mayfair said. “It’s been a great start so far, I’ve had some good rounds and some not so good rounds, but I feel like I’m in great shape mentally and physically, and I like where my game is at.”