Big Island golfer savors first senior PGA tour win
PARK CITY, Utah Big Island native Steve Veriato won the Novell Utah Showdown senior golf tournament yesterday, his first victory in 99 senior PGA tour events.
Steve Veriato and his wife, Karen, embrace following his victory yesterday at the Novell Utah Showdown.
"I never thought I'd win, even though I always knew I could win," the St. Joseph High graduate said, choking back tears. "Sometimes, you play your very best and people beat you. That's how good the competition is out here."
Veriato's wife, Karen, caddied for him at the event.
Veriato's previous best finish in six years on the tour was third at the Kaanapali Classic on Maui in 1996 and 1999.
"Jim Colbert told me the other night it takes courage to do what I do, to keep playing even though I'd never won," said Veriato, who has been on the tour since 1996. "I've done well sometimes and not so well sometimes. Did he talk to me on the right week or what?"
Veriato, who now lives in Buda, Texas, spent 14 years as a club professional in the Lone Star State. He played on the PGA Tour from 1976 through 1980. His best finish there was second to Hale Irwin in the 1977 Atlanta Classic. He has also played on the Asian and Canadian tours.
Veriato has committed to playing at the Senior event at Turtle Bay, which begins Oct. 1.
Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the high school Cole graduated from.