Bob Gilder With a recent victory tear, the mild-mannered Senior sophomore is making a push for player of the year

September 22, 2002

SI: Is playing the Senior tour like taking candy from a baby?

BG: Not at all. Winning out here isn't easy. It only seems that
way when you're on a roll.

SI: So what's the view like from up there?

BG: It's draining. You get a little mentally tired. Wins don't
usually come like that for anyone. It's a rare thing.

SI: Four wins in seven weeks is pretty Tigeresque.

BG: I guess you can say that, except that Tiger dominates the
regular Tour. I don't dominate. Three of my wins went to a
playoff, which shows it's competitive till the end.

SI: Who was the easiest to beat in your playoffs--Hale Irwin, Tom
Jenkins or John Mahaffey?

BG: I'd have to say Irwin because he pretty much handed it to me.
He made a really marginal chip, so all I needed was a three-putt
on the first playoff hole.

SI: Do players leave nasty notes in your locker?

BG: No, but John Bland came up to me on the putting green after I
beat him [at the Allianz Championship] and told me he hated me.
The rest just ask me when I'm going to retire.

SI: Are you feeling overburdened by your success?

BG: I'll take whatever comes my way. What's hard about winning is
that hundreds of people call you. Everyone wants a piece of you.

SI: Any crowd-control problems when you're out there playing?

BG: I think we lost most of them to the NFL and college football.
We'll always have the die-hard golf fans, but we have to try
harder to capture the fans' attention.

SI: How do you do that? By hiring Hooters girls as marshals?

BG: Oh, I certainly wouldn't suggest that. Some fans are picked
to be so-called observers and are allowed to walk down the
fairways and talk to us between shots. That's been quite
successful. We're entertainers. We've gotten close to the fans,
and we're trying to get even closer.

SI: What's next, you and your wife, Peggy, having the gallery
over for dinner?

BG: Not exactly. By drumming up interest, I meant providing more
of the same excitement like winning.

COLOR PHOTO: DAMIAN STROHMEYER
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)