Originally created 05/17/02

Morgan not optimistic about Instinet three-peat



PRINCETON, N.J. -- Gil Morgan is not optimistic about his chances for a third straight victory in the Instinet Classic.

Hampered by neck and right shoulder injuries, Morgan said he might have skipped the Senior PGA Tour event and rested at home in Oklahoma if he was not the defending champion.

"My game's not in very good shape and I haven't played or practiced as much as I would like," Morgan said Thursday. "You never know, but I'm not anticipating being in top form."

He set a course record with a 9-under 63 in the first round last year, and finished with a tournament-record 17-under 199 total in 2000 on the Gary Player-designed Tournament Players Club at Jasna Polana. He a 15-under 201 total last year.

"This is the last tournament I've committed to, and I may just wait and see before I play again," Morgan said.

This year's Instinet field is the deepest since the tournament moved to Jasna Polana two years ago. The top three money winners - Hale Irwin, Doug Tewell and Dana Quigley - are entered, and Player also is playing along with Lee Trevino and Chi Chi Rodriguez.

Irwin has two victories this year to push his tour-record total to 34. He leads the money list with $1,131,100.

"My irons aren't as crisp as they were early in the season, and the last three tournaments have been bizarre," Irwin said. "I've been doing things not typical of my game. But I'm driving the ball well and I'm working in the direction to correct my iron game. I feel very good."

Quigley, off to his best start in his six-year Senior PGA Tour career, is confident about his game.

"I'm very positive and very confident," said Quigley, playing in his 180th straight tournament. "If I have a good putting week, I'll be in contention here."