Bob Lunn, Pro Golfer FEBRUARY 17, 1969

July 07, 2002

This could be the worst case of slow play in the history of
golf: In 1969 young PGA Tour pro Bob Lunn was billed in SI as a
"threat to the establishment," a big player (6'1", 210 pounds)
with an even bigger game who was ready to challenge Nicklaus,
Palmer and Casper for golf superiority. Thirty-three years later
he's still trying to rise to the challenge. A 57-year-old
assistant pro at Woodbridge (Calif.) Golf and Country Club, the
one-time hotshot, who won six Tour events but failed to menace
golf's elite, is making one last run at glory, this time on the
Senior tour. "I feel I can win again," Lunn says. "Even though
it's been a long time, I still remember what it feels like to
win, and I'd like to feel that again."

Lunn turned pro in 1965, a year after graduating from Abraham
Lincoln High in San Francisco (the school that also produced Ken
Venturi and Johnny Miller). He earned his Tour card in '66 and
two years later used his fearlessness plus length and accuracy
off the tee to win two tournaments. Lunn added one Tour victory
in '69 and another in '70. At the season-opening Los Angeles
Open in '71, Lunn, weighing 240 pounds, defeated fellow
heavyweight Casper in a playoff. One newspaper headline, Lunn
recalls, referred to the shootout as the BATTLE OF THE BULGE,
and that convinced him to go on a diet. Over the next three
months he lost 70 pounds--and his swing. "I lost too much weight
too fast," says Lunn, who weighs 205 now.

A freak injury four years later knocked him off the Tour. While
hitting a tee shot in the Memphis Classic, Lunn felt something
snap in his left wrist and was unable to swing a golf club. He
didn't play for the rest of the year as doctors attempted to
diagnose the injury. Lunn says they never did. A year later the
pain mysteriously went away, but his game didn't come back, and
he left the Tour for good in 1990 with career earnings of
$275,902.

Lunn has worked off and on for 22 years at Woodbridge, giving
lessons, running the pro shop and performing other duties at the
600-member club. In his free time he works on his own game.
Lunn's best finish in 56 Senior tour events is 34th, in 1995,
but he hasn't entered more than five Senior tournaments in a
year since '99. He's scheduled to make his first Senior
appearance this year in next month's Novell Utah Shootout.

The golfing establishment is still waiting to hear from him.
"Why should I stop playing competitively?" Lunn asks. "Many
people retire to play golf, but I'm in it already. I'm not done
with that part of my career yet." --Gene Menez

COLOR PHOTO: SHEEDY & LONG (COVER) A BLAST In his second year on the Tour the 23-year-old Lunn announced his arrival by winning twice. COLOR PHOTO: GERRY GROPP Lunn, 57, is an assistant pro in Woodbridge, Calif., and occasionally competes on the Senior circuit.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)