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Zoeller aiming for second Senior Major

Fuzzy Zoeller won the Masters in 1979 and the U.S. Open in 1984 on the PGA Tour.

The 50-year-old rookie on the Senior PGA Tour added another kind of major by winning the Senior PGA Championship a month ago.

While one might think there can't be many similarities between winning majors on the two tours, Zoeller insists there are.

``Anytime you win major tournaments, period, whether they be on the PGA or the Senior Tour, it adds a lot of strings,'' Zoeller said Wednesday. ``When you have strings, everybody pulls you here and pulls you there.

``The major tournaments, that is what we're governed by for some reason, which is good because you have to be governed by something.''

Zoeller hopes to add more strings by winning the $2.5 million Senior Players Championship, which begins Thursday at the TPC of Michigan. Allen Doyle is the defending champion, defeating Doug Tewell on the first playoff hole last year.

Jack Nicklaus withdrew from the tournament on Wednesday because of muscle spasms.

Tom Watson, expected to play in the British Open next week, chose not to play in the fourth and final Senior major of the year, while Lee Trevino's appearance was a surprise after he said last year's Players Championship would be his last Senior major.

However, Trevino noticed recently his endorsement contract with Spalding called for him to compete in 15 official events. He needed to play in another tournament and, after appearing in last week's Par-3 Shootout at the Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Mich., he opted to change his mind and play in another Senior major.

``I just had to change things up this week for that contract,'' Trevino said. ``Hey, I've been in Michigan a lot this summer. Grand Rapids (Farmer's Charity Classic), Treetops and now here. Tell 'em I've retired to Michigan to play golf.''

Zoeller will have a chance to win a second major this year along with Jim Thorpe, who won The Tradition, and Don Pooley, who won the U.S. Senior Open.

However, Zoeller said it's impossible to predict how he'll do this week.

``With this crazy game, I never know,'' he said. ``I've had three back surgeries, so I'm kind of winning when I get out of bed every day. Playing with friends is a victory.''

Zoeller is smiling, joking and winning again several years after he made racially insensitive comments after Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters.

As Woods was on his way to victory, Zoeller told CNN, ``Tell him not to serve fried chicken next year ... or collard greens, or whatever the hell they serve.''

Woods didn't acknowledge Zoeller's apology until three days later.

``I made the mistake and it was something that went over like a lead balloon,'' Zoeller said. ``I guess I was tattooed as being a racist pig out here, so I guess I'll take that to my grave. But that's one man's opinion. Anybody who knows me, knows that I'm not like that. But that's what I was tattooed as and I have to live with that.

``But I'm the one who made the mistake, so there's nobody to blame but myself.''


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