Can David Toms Re-Enter the Winners Circle at Travelers Championship?

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2009

FARMINGDALE, NY - JUNE 19:  David Toms watches his tee shot on the 13tth hole during the continuation of the first round of the 109th U.S. Open on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on June 19, 2009 in Farmingdale, New York.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

CROMWELL, CT - It’s difficult to think of David Toms as anything other than a top-20 player in the world.  He’s been a member of three Ryder Cup and three Presidents Cup teams and has won 12 PGA Tour events, including the 2001 PGA Championship, over the course of his career.

But, David Toms has not won a PGA Tour event in three and a half years.

In 2008, Toms made just $799,114 and finished 131st on the Tour’s money list and 136th in FedEx Cup points.

At the age of 42 and with $30.7 million in careers earnings (and undoubtedly a lot more earned off of the course), Toms was at a crossroads—fade off into the sunset with his millions upon millions of dollars or re-apply himself and try to make one more good run before his best years on tour are behind him.

20 years ago, Tom’s competitive career might have been all but finished.  But, with the advances in equipment and the level of physical fitness now prevalent on the PGA Tour, player’s primes are lasting into their mid- and even late-40's.

Toms has clearly re-applied himself to the game this year, and he already has a lot to show for it.

So far this season, Toms has six top-10 and eight top-25 finishes in 16 events.

Toms finished second in his first event of the 2009 season—the Sony Open in Hawaii—and finished second again just two weeks ago at the St. Jude Classic.

Toms has already doubled his 2008 earnings, and we are only half way through the season.

Right now, David Toms has to be one of the front-runners for Comeback Player of the Year, and a win this week at the Travelers Championship, where he is currently in second place and just one-stroke behind Kenny Perry, might just cement it.

Toms opened with back-to-back scores of 65 in the first two rounds of the Travelers Championship, which is taking place this week in Cromwell, CT.

“Yeah. I mean it’s—I‘ve played well so far this week,” Toms said after completing his second round early this morning. “It’s just a good start is really all it is. I need to keep it up”.  

Toms, a native of Shreveport, LA, will be paired with Kenny Perry and Ryan Moore this afternoon at TPC River Highlands.

Win or lose this weekend, the first half of the 2009 season can be viewed by David Toms as an extreme success when compared to last year.

But, for a player who has 12 career wins and was accustomed to winning multiple times each year in the early 2000's, there’s only one thing that will make Toms truly feel as if he has made it back to the top of the game, and that’s a victory.