Lee Trevino was asked why he keeps playing every day. Then he got emotional.

Lee Trevino

Lee Trevino on Friday during the pro-am for the PNC Championship.

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“You know, word out is, you still hit balls, chip, putt, every single day.” 

“Every day.” 

“What motivates you to do that?”

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Gary Koch, the longtime golf analyst, had just caught up to Lee Trevino during Friday’s pro-am ahead of this weekend’s PNC Championship, and his six-word question was short, and it was deep. What motivates us to do anything, right? Maybe you’d answer quickly, but at the least, it’s going to require a bit of self-revelation.

Like Trevino’s response did. Before we share, it’s worth knowing that one of golf’s finest swingers has also been one of its greatest workers since his childhood — reading up on his upbringing is well worth your time — and the 83-year-old’s answer touched on that. With that, here’s Trevino, and if you’re in need of any kind of motivation, here you go. 

“Well, I tell you what, this game of golf, I never had a choice, as you well know,” Trevino began on Golf Channel. “When I was a young man with my educational background, this is the only thing that I could do and do well. And um, the good lord gave me a tremendous amount of talent, and I don’t want to disappoint Him when I see Him, number one. 

“Number two, I have no other options; I can’t do anything else. So I love doing it. I can look for balls — [laughs] — and do that stuff. But I love it, I do. I go out every day; I hit balls for an hour, maybe two, chip, putt, do whatever. I don’t play much anymore. I go out to Bighorn, as you well know, in Palm Springs and play a lot of golf out there, but mostly I stay around the house, yeah. Love the game. Still love it. Can’t play it nearly as well, but I love it.”

Good stuff. Notably, Trevino also is the only player to play in all 25 editions of the PNC, which pairs together majors winners with family members, and Koch also asked why he keeps coming back to the event. 

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Trevino’s answer on Golf Channel was more of the same. 

“Oh, god, this is it, this is our Masters,” said Trevino, who’s playing this weekend with son Daniel. “As soon as we jump on the plane and do whatever we do here Sunday night, we start thinking about hopefully we get invited next year and what we did wrong and what we can improve. But the problem is, Daniel’s getting better and I’m getting worse. So we’re kinda at the same level right now. 

“Two years ago, we had a good run, but I tell you, if you look at the field that’s here, that tells you what this is all about right here. I’m going to tell you, PNC has got the greatest thing they ever fell into in their life because they have a tremendous field here with Tiger [Woods] and [Justin] Thomas and all the guys that are here, and [Jordan] Spieth. But look forward to it every year. Yeah.”

Can Team Trevino win it?   

“I don’t think we can compete with these big guys, but that’s OK,” Trevino said on Golf Channel. “We’re just glad to be here. We were trying to set a goal — if we can go 19-, 20-under par, that’s respectable to us, yeah.” 

“All right, we’ll be watching,” Koch said. 

“Thank you very much,” Trevino said, before continuing his pro-am.   

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.

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