Having qualified through a tournament in Marysville, Calif., 58-year-old amateur golfer Dave Baskins will be part of the 156-player field Thursday when the U.S. Senior Open begins at Inverness Club.
His last visit here was 38 years ago when he advanced to the third match-play round of the 1973 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Between his Inverness stops, Baskins logged three years as a professional, quitting that quest at age 26, and he's spent the last 30 years working as a financial adviser in Sacramento. But his most interesting brush with fame came from a couple lines he shared with his friend and former Stanford University roommate John Neville.
Neville, who co-wrote the popular golf movie Tin Cup, which starred Kevin Costner and Don Johnson, used those lines in the movie's script.
"I actually played here at Inverness in 1973 at the U.S. Amateur," Baskins said. "John asked me, 'What was the coolest thing?' I said, 'Well, the range balls.' I told him, 'I didn't take any, but I sure wanted to. They were brand-new Titleists.' He put that into the script.
"Then, when they were in preproduction, he asked me, 'What's the cure for the shanks?' I started to give him what I thought was a real cure and he stopped me and said, 'No, I want something [funny].'
"So, I said, 'You take all your change and put it in one pocket, double-knot your left shoe, and put your hat on backwards,' and John put that into the film.
"I've gotten as much as I could out of that story. I told everybody. Some of my neighbors actually thought I wrote the film myself."
How does Baskins compare his odds of winning the Senior Open to those of the fictional Roy Tin Cup McAvoy (Costner's character) from the Hollywood version of the U.S. Open?
"I don't have as many logos," Baskins said. "I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm no Roy McAvoy."
While at Stanford, Baskins was on the Cardinal golf team for four years, including three years as No. 1 player.
"I work on keeping myself in shape," Baskins said. "I only play golf once a week, unless there's tournaments, and I hit balls twice a week. That's pretty much it."