David Frost still maturing like his fine wine as he contends in Senior Open

Like the fine wine he sells, David Frost is maturing nicely with age. At 62, he’s 12 years older than the likes of Padraig Harrington, but the South African is still a bloody good golfer.

David Frost during the second round of The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at Gleneagles. Picture: Phil Inglis/Getty Images.
David Frost during the second round of The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at Gleneagles. Picture: Phil Inglis/Getty Images.

The 10-time PGA Tour winner and six-time victor on the Champions Tour couldn’t find his name on the exempt list for the Senior Open Presented by Rolex when he scanned it earlier in the year.

Encouraged by a nudge from his daughter, he decided to give it a go in the qualifying for the event’s first visit to Gleneagles and is glad he did.

After coming through one of the 18-hole shoot-outs at Blairgowrie earlier in the week, Frost is sitting handily-placed on the leaderboard at the halfway stage after solid opening scores of 67-68.

“Overall, I struck the ball really well the last two days and made a few putts ,” he said of his five-under total. “So I'm very, very happy with my game.

“I’m just happy to have come through the qualifier and now played two nice rounds. I’ll regroup and maybe reset my goals for the weekend.”

Like many others in the field for the season’s concluding over-50s major, Frost is enjoying being back at the Perthshire venue, where he played in the Bell’s Scottish Open in his prime on the main tours.

“Yeah, I spoke to Peter O’Malley the other day and he won here in 2002. (Told it was actually 1992) Oh, wow!” said the Cape Town-born player who now lives in Florida. “I’ve got a lot of good memories here, though I don’t really remember the golf course at all, just the 18th.

“But I enjoy the Scottish style of golf, as everybody does. It’s just so refreshing being back and Gleneagles is an iconic place.”

Frost’s best performance in The Open came on Scottish soil. “Muirfield in 1987 I was the last group with [Paul] Azinger when [Nick] Faldo won,” he recalled of a sixth-place finish. “That was a great experience as I was very young back then - just 26.

“At Carnoustie in 1999, I was in the second last group with Justin Leonard and hit it in the water at 18 (to finish joint-seventh behind Paul Lawrie).

“But Muirfield was a better finish for me. I remember leaving it in the bunker on 16 and the next shot I holed for a par - that was one of my highlights over here.”

Away from golf, Frost owns a winery in the Western Cape that produces vintages named after Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Frostwine.com is emblazoned on his clothing and cap.

“I play full time on the Champions Tour. I enjoy playing and that, as well as drinking and selling wine, keeps me going,” he said.

“I enjoy a glass or two at night. It’s more than just a hobby for me. I have a little portfolio of wines that I distribute in the States and it will give me something to do after golf in a couple of years time.

“I’m the third generation in the business. I grew up on a grape farm and golf got in the way somewhere - it took me off course (laughing).”

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