Blake, who turned 54 last week, has exceeded just about everyone's expectations in his senior golf career. He claims three victories and $3.6 million in earnings, signs of a surge that stems from one simple factor: He's healthy.
And that makes Blake's career renaissance a great story. A back injury limited his PGA Tour opportunities in his late 40s and nearly made him quit the game. But he devoted himself to rehabilitation for nearly two years and was ready to play again when he turned 50 although he lacked complete access to the Champions Tour, based on lifetime earnings.
But he played his way into full status and has become a consistent performer. He's matched the three Champions Tour victories of fellow Utah residents Bruce Summerhays and Dan Forsman, while topping their best single-season showings. Forsman was seventh on the money list in 2010 and Summerhays was eighth in 1998.
Among native Utahns, Blake is by far the most successful pro golfer. He won only one tournament on the PGA Tour, a 1991 event in San Diego, but managed to retain exempt status for nearly 20 years. He's positioned to keep playing the Champions Tour for at least a few more years, having reached the top 70 on the all-time money list.
Blake has earned a total of $9.2 million on the two tours. He was inducted into the Utah Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.