Final Round News & Notes

May 24, 2009
Senior PGA Champion Michael Allen (photo: PGA of America)

Senior PGA Champion Michael Allen (photo: PGA of America)

For pictures from the Final Round of the 70th Senior PGA Championship, visit www.SeniorPGA2009.com.

Another First-Time Champion

Michael Allen is the 23rd player to win the Senior PGA Championship in his first try. Denis Watson (2007) was the most recent to capture the Senior PGA Championship in his debut. This list also includes Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Hale Irwin.

Hanging with Arnie

Allen and Arnold Palmer are the only two players to win the Senior PGA Championship in their Champions Tour debut.

A One-Two First

Since the beginning of the Champions Tour in 1980, this marks the first time that the top two finishers were making their first appearances in the Senior PGA Championship.

Tom Terrific

With his final-round 66 today, Tom Watson tied the low 18-hole score of the 70th Senior PGA Championship. Watson and Mize also shot 30 (4-under par) on the front nine today to match Fred Funk for the low score over either nine this week.

Fourth-Youngest in the Field

2009 Senior PGA Champion Michael Allen (born Jan. 31, 1959) is the fourth-youngest player in the field this week. Bob Tway, the 1986 PGA Champion, is the youngest. He was born May 4, 1959.

Lovin’ That Back Nine

Michael Allen shined on the back nine this week as he captured the 70th Senior PGA Championship. He played the back nine in 7-under par.

Back-Nine Bests

Ross Drummond and Lonnie Nielsen (second round) and Tim Simpson (third round) all fired 4-under-par 32s, the best scores on the back nine this week.

Masterful Mize

Earlier this spring, Larry Mize made the most of his only appearance outside the Champions Tour this year. The 1987 Masters Champion, Mize opened with 67 at The Masters and finished in a tie for 30th place.

Seven Swinging Senior PGA Champions

Tom Watson led the seven former Senior PGA Champions who played all four rounds this week at Canterbury Golf Club. Their 72-hole scores and finishing places:

  • Tom Watson:  280 (E)  4th
  • Jay Haas:  282 (+2)  T9
  • Mike Reid:  289 (+9)  T44
  • Allen Doyle:  292 (+12)  T57
  • Hale Irwin:  293 (+13)  T59
  • Tom Wargo:  294 (+14)  T68
  • John Jacobs:  296 (+16)  T70

Strong Finish for O’Meara

Mark O’Meara’s return to the site of his 1979 U.S. Amateur triumph, which served as a springboard to his outstanding professional career, turned out to be a memorable one.  After opening with 76, O’Meara improved every round, shooting 70-69-68. He closed out his 2-under par round today with a birdie on No. 18.

“I got off to a rough start on the back side the first day and I could have packed it in but I didn’t,” said O’Meara. “I kept hanging in there and fighting and to shoot what I did over the last three days was a good accomplishment.  So I won a little bit of the battle. I didn’t certainly win tournament, but at least I fought back.

“And now here I am 30 years later, having won 30 tournaments around the world and 16 in the United States … I propel it all back to the Canterbury win here in ’79. So I feel very fortunate to have played this great game for a long time.”

Frightening Fourth

The 470-yard, par-4 fourth hole was the hardest this week in terms of stroke average, at 4.412. The par-3 17th hole yielded the fewest birdies for the week (22).

Tough Finish for Stockton

Thirteen years after winning the U.S. Senior Open at Canterbury Golf Club, Dave Stockton started strong this week but was unable to finish in the same manner. The 67-year-old Stockton, who opened with 70, closed today with 78 for a four-day total of 13-over-par 293. He tied for 59th place.

Drummond’s Long Walk

The midway leader here at Canterbury Golf Club, Scotland’s Ross Drummond struggled over the weekend. He shot 76-76 and finished tied for 37th place.

Deja Vu for Haas

Defending Champion Jay Haas closed with 69 today and finished in a tie for ninth at 2-over-par 282. Interestingly, Haas tied for ninth the first time he defended his Senior PGA Championship title, in 2007 at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (S.C.) Golf Resort.

A Very Normal Norman

Set back by a triple bogey on the 16th hole in the second round, Greg Norman played two ordinary rounds over the weekend. For the Championship, he shot 73-72-73-72. Last year, in his Senior PGA Championship debut, Norman shot 72-73-72-73.


The Cut and more News & Notes from Friday

May 23, 2009

Weekend TV Times

NBC Sports will televise the final two rounds of the 70th Senior PGA Championship. The dates and TV times (Eastern Time):

Saturday, May 23 — 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 24 — Noon to 3 p.m.

The Cut is 7-over (photo: PGA of America)

The Cut is 7-over (photo: PGA of America)

Cut Falls at 7-Over Par

A total of 77 players will compete over the weekend, with the 36-hole cut falling at 7-over-par 147.

Among those who failed to qualify for weekend play are nine major champions (listed based in order of finish) — Craig Stadler, Fuzzy Zoeller, Jerry Pate, Nick Price, Ben Crenshaw, Sandy Lyle, Lanny Wadkins, Bob Charles and Charles Coody.

66 is The Magic Number

With both Michael Allen and Ross Drummond shooting 66 today, four players over the first two rounds have now tied the Canterbury Golf Club competitive course record for low score. Scott Hoch and Tom Purtzer also shot 66, in the first round.

Drummond Goes Low

Ross Drummond made four birdies on the back nine today and posted a 4-under-par 32. Drummond and Lonnie Nielsen are tied for lowest score on the inward nine over the first two rounds.

James Blair, Scott Hoch and Tom McKnight each shot 3-under-par 31 in the opening round, and those remained the best front-nine scores after 36 holes.

Putting Machine

Drummond’s 24 putts today are the fewest in a round by any player over the first two days.

Tough Defense

The good news for Defending Champion Jay Haas is that he made the 36-hole cut. The bad news is that he struggled throughout the second round and finds himself nine strokes back at the midpoint. Haas had five bogeys for the round and shot 74 for a two-day total of 145 (5-over par).

Seven Senior PGA Champions Make Cut

Haas and six other Senior PGA Champions made the 36-hole cut — John Jacobs (3-over par); Tom Watson and Hale Irwin (4-over par); Mike Reid and Haas (5-over par); Allen Doyle (6-over par); and Tom Wargo (7-over par).

Fuzzy Zoeller (8-over par) and Denis Watson (11-over par) missed the cut.

Langer’s Eagle Makes Three

With his eagle-3 at the 15th hole this afternoon, Bernhard Langer joined Kiyoski Murota and PGA Club Professional Jim Woodward as the three players to record eagles over the first two rounds. All eagles have come on No. 15, a 549-yard, par-5.

Major “Rookies” Make the Cut

Larry Mize (1987 Masters), Tom Lehman (1996 British Open) and Bob Tway (1986 PGA Championship) all made the 36-hole cut in their Senior PGA Championship debut.

Mize carded his second straight 69 and is tied for second at 2-under-par 138.

Lehman bounced back from an opening-round 75 to shoot 2-under-par 68 today. He is 3-over par midway through the Championship.

Tway just survived for weekend play after rounds of 75-72 — 147.

Jacobs’ Streak Ends at 20

John Jacobs, who made 18 consecutive pars in his opening round, parred his first two holes today before making a bogey. He had two more bogeys for 73 — 143.

Stockton Matches Jacobs

Dave Stockton and Jacobs, playing partners over the first two rounds, each shot 70-73 — 143.

The Funk Man Plays On

Fred Funk, one of the most popular players in the game, posted back-to-back 71s and is 2-over par, only six strokes out of the lead.

12th is Toughest, 15th Easiest

Through 36 holes, the 461-yard, par-4 12th hole ranks as the toughest on the course. Interestingly, only 23 birdies combined have been made on Nos. 17 and 18 — that’s seven less birdies than on the 12th hole alone.

The easiest hole by far is the par-5 15th, where the field made 85 birdies over the first two days. That’s 23 more birdies than the next-closest hole (No. 16).

Sub-Par Rounds Up by Seven

There were 17 rounds under par yesterday, compared to 10 in the opening round.

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News & Notes from Friday

May 22, 2009

The Cut List – To see who was cut from the field, visit www.SeniorPGA2009.com.

Round 2 Photos – Visit www.pga.com/seniorpga/2009/multimedia/photo/ for photos of the 2nd Round.

Michael Allen (Photo: PGA of America)

Michael Allen (Photo: PGA of America)

Some Potential “Firsts” for Allen

With a second-round 66 today, Michael Allen has put himself into position to be the 23rd player to win the Senior PGA Championship in his debut. Denis Watson, in 2007, was the most recent player to do so.

Allen is also shooting to become just the 14th player to capture his first event on the Champions Tour. Furthermore, Arnold Palmer won the 1980 Senior PGA Championship, and remains the only player to capture the Senior PGA Championship in his debut on the Champions Tour.

Eagles Are Soaring

Kiyoshi Murato of Japan and PGA Club Professional Jim Woodward recorded the first eagles of the 70th Senior PGA Championship in the morning round. Both eagles came at the par-5 15th hole. Bernhard Langer also eagled this hole in the afternoon round.

O’Meara and Cook, Day Two

After playing poorly in the opening round while paired together, 1979 U.S. Amateur finalists Mark O’Meara and John Cook improved in the second round. O’Meara, the U.S. Amateur Champion at Canterbury 30 years ago, shot even-par 70 today and is at 6-over-par 146. Cook finished the day one stroke better with a 69 for a 4-stroke lead over his playing partner for the Championship.

Ruining His Round

Greg Norman was coasting along today, 2-under par for the round until his game unraveled at the par-5 16th hole. From the rough, Norman pitched his third shot over the green, into a wooded area and out of bounds. Norman then dropped from the same spot where he had previously hit, pitched the ball on the green and three-putted for triple-bogey 8.

Norman then bogeyed the 17th hole and finished with 72 for the round and a 5-over par total. He will make the 36-hole cut.

Another View of Jacobs’ 70

Since 1992, when such statistics began to be kept, no player in the Senior PGA Championship had parred all 18 holes in a round until John Jacobs did so in the first round yesterday at Canterbury.

Roller-Coaster Back Nine

Keith Fergus parred Nos. 10 and 18, but in between Fergus had four birdies and three bogeys on his closing nine today. Fergus shot 69 and is 2-over par after 36 holes. Chris Starkjohann also rode the roller coaster but without so many hills. Chris parred 10 and 18, and inbetween recorded 5 birdies and 2 bogies.


More News & Notes from Thursday

May 22, 2009

Scott Hoch (Photo: PGA of America)

Scott Hoch (Photo: PGA of America)

Live Scoring available at www.SeniorPGA2009.com.

Steady as He Goes

John Jacobs, the 2003 Senior PGA Champion, was the model of consistency in the opening round of the 70th Senior PGA Championship. Jacobs parred every hole for a round of 70, hit 12 of 14 fairways, and 16 of 18 greens in regulation. And he was 1-for-1 in sand saves.

Tracking the Senior PGA Champions

Jacobs and three other past Senior PGA Champions — Hale Irwin, Dave Stockton and Denis Watson — shot 70 in the first round. Two-time and Defending Champion Jay Haas had 71, while Tom Watson, Allen Doyle and Fuzzy Zoeller each shot 72. Tom Wargo and Mike Reid carded 74s.

Norman’s Driving Woes

Greg Norman struggled off the tee in the opening round, hitting just five of 14 fairways. He finished with 73.

The Boys from the ’79 Amateur Final

Mark O’Meara, the winner of the 1979 U.S. Amateur at Canterbury, and John Cook, who lost to O’Meara in that final match, never got much going in the first round today. O’Meara, starting his round on No. 10, made double-bogey on 15 and triple-bogey on 16. He shot 76 for the round.

Meanwhile, Cook bogeyed three straight holes (4, 5 and 6) and shot 73.

How the Course Played

Statistically, the back nine played considerably harder than the front nine in the opening round. With par being 36 on the back, the field averaged 38.432 strokes on that side.

On the par-34 front nine, the field played to a stroke average of 35.781.

Stockton at “Home” in Cleveland

It should have come as little surprise that Dave Stockton opened with a 70 — his best score in the Senior PGA Championship since 2003 — considering his fondess for the Cleveland area.

Stockton, now 67, won the 1996 U.S. Senior Open at Canterbury, captured the 1968 Cleveland Open and even called suburban Cleveland his “summer home” in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Back then, before Stockton had enough money to fly back to his native California during a break from the PGA Tour, he and his wife, Cathy, would often stay with a local friend and play Chagrin Valley Country Club in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Not Much Red

There were only 10 players under par in the first round and 22 players at par or better.

Tough 12th, Easy 15th

The par-4 12th, measuring 461 yards, played as the toughest hole in the opening round, with a stroke average of 4.626. Only eight birdies were made on 12, while there were 48 bogeys, 24 double bogeys and three “others” (triple bogey or worse).

The 18th and 17th holes ranked second and third, respectively, in difficulty. There were only five birdies on each hole among the 156-player field.

Conversely, the 549-yard, par-5 15th hole yielded 39 birdies and just 27 bogeys and three double bogeys. It ranked as the easiest hole on the course, with a scoring average of 4.961.

Flying Under the Radar

There were no eagles or holes-in-one recorded in the opening round today.


News & Notes for Thursday

May 21, 2009

CANTERBURY GOLF CLUB’S COURSE RECORD
IS A LONG STORY WHICH INVOLVES A PROUD AMATEUR

Canterbury Golf Club’s competitive course record is owned by a former amateur turned Tour professional and broadcaster – Bobby Clampett. He posted a 5-under-par 66 (played at par-71) in the 1979 U.S. Amateur.

The lowest score in relation to par by a professional is 5-under, and shared by eight individuals:

  • Sam Snead in the 1940 U.S. Open (par-72)
  • Five players in the 1973 PGA Championship (par-71) – Al Geiberger, Don Iverson, Denny Lyons, Buddy Allin, Lee Trevino
  • Chick Harbert and Chandler Harper in the 1946 U.S. Open (par-72)

However, the lowest score ever posted at Canterbury is owned by a lifetime amateur and club member, Brian Sparrow (age 54).

While playing in his regular Sunday foursome in 2002 from the back tees with par set at 72, Sparrow finished with a 8-under-par 64.

“It does feel pretty good to know I have the lowest score ever shot at Canterbury,” said Sparrow, a native of Providence, R.I., and winner of the 2007 Northeastern Ohio Amateur and the 1990 Michigan Medal Play Championship. “It was the lowest round I’ve ever had. I can tell you that my partners weren’t talking to me much that day. We have our own very competitive group, and it wasn’t what I would call a casual round.”

Three for the Ages:

When the threesome of Dave Stockton, Bob Charles and John Jacobs teed off on the first hole today at 7:50 a.m., they brought with them:

  • 204 combined years of age (Charles, 73 years; Stockton, 67; Jacobs, 64)
  • 136 years of combined professional experience (Charles, 49 years; Stockton, 45; Jacobs, 42)
  • Three major championships during their PGA Tour days (Stockton, 1970 and 1976 PGA Championship; Charles, 1963 British Open)
  • One Senior PGA Championship (Jacobs, 2003)

Together Again

Charles and Stockton are very familiar with one another while competing for senior major championships at Canterbury. In 1996, they played all four rounds together, with Stockton ultimately winning the U.S. Senior Open. They are playing the first two rounds together here this week.

In addition to Charles and Stockton, the last time O’Meara and Cook played Canterbury, they were paired together in the final match of the 1979 U.S. Amateur, with O’Meara eventually getting the better of Cook. Thirty years later, they too are paired together for the first two rounds.


Wednesday News & Notes

May 20, 2009

Wednesday Quotes

“Great golf courses and great designs stand the test of time.” — Ohio native John Cook on Canterbury Golf Club, which was designed in the 1920s and is where Cook reached the final of the 1979 U.S. Amateur

“Visually, this is one of the best-looking courses we’ve ever played on for this Championship. Everything is so well-defined and right in front of you. It’s a pleasure to play here.” — Dana Quigley on Canterbury Golf Club. Quigley has six top-10 finishes in 12 Senior PGA Championship appearances.

O’Meara and Cook

Mark O’Meara and John Cook, winner and runner-up respectively, in the 1979 U.S. Amateur held at Canterbury Golf Club, come back this week playing at a high level. Each has three top-10 finishes in his last three starts on the Champions Tour.

The 1979 U.S. Amateur

A total of 11 players who competed in the 1979 U.S. Amateur are back this week at Canterbury for the 2009 Senior PGA Championship. Joining O’Meara and Cook from that list:

  • Dan Forsman
  • Ken Green
  • Gary Hallberg
  • Scott Hoch
  • Larry Mize
  • Brent Murray
  • Joey Sindelar
  • Hal Sutton
  • Bob Tway

This stellar group has accounted for 84 PGA Tour victories and five major championships. Some of the other participants in the 1979 U.S. Amateur included the late Payne Stewart, Fred Couples and Bobby Clampett.

For the First Time

Forty players are making their debut in the Senior PGA Championship this week. That class includes:

  • Wayne Grady, the 1990 PGA Champion
  • Tom Lehman, the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain and 1996 British Open Champion
  • Larry Mize, the 1987 Masters Champion
  • Hal Sutton, the 1983 PGA Champion
  • Bob Tway, the 1986 PGA Champion

Home “Court” Advantage?

In addition to his ability, defending champion Jay Haas is tapping into the minds of some Canterbury locals this week. His caddie, Tommy Lamb, is a nephew of Mike Kiely, a PGA member and the caddie master at Canterbury. Lamb has caddied on and played the course numerous times, Haas said.

Haas also has looked for advice from Bob Fairchild, winner of the Canterbury club championship 16 times – “There were a couple of greens that he [Fairchild] talked about , certain positions that the ball might break a littler oddly, that you might not expect it to move left or move right,” Haas said. “And he just said it’s pretty obvious — keep the ball below the hole.”

4-Under Might Be Golden:

Both Jay Haas and Loren Roberts thought that a 4-under-par total of 276 would serve any player well over 72 holes at this Senior PGA Championship.

This is the first time that Canterbury has played to a par of 70 in competition.

A Major Reminder

Dave Stockton, a two-time PGA Champion and 1991 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain, won the last senior major championship held at Canterbury Golf Club — the 1996 U.S. Senior Open.


Pro-Am Results, News & Notes

May 19, 2009

Tom Kite walks with his Pro-Am Teammates (photo: The PGA of America)

Tom Kite walks with his Pro-Am Teammates (photo: The PGA of America)

THE PRO-AM’s TOP PRO

Tom Watson, the 2001 Senior PGA Champion, posted the low professional round in the Pro-Am held today at the Senior PGA Championship. Watson offset two bogeys with four birdies for a 2-under-par 68 to edge Ohio native John Cook by one stroke. Defending Senior PGA Champion Jay Haas and Wayne Grady, the 1990 PGA Champion, each shot even-par 70.

THE PRO-AM’s TOP TEAM

In the team competition, 1997 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain Tom Kite led his group to victory.  Kite and amateurs David Biscan, Bob Morris, Bob Nakasone and Jonathan Vassil shot 13-under-par 57 to win by one stroke over the team paced by two-time PGA Champion Nick Price (Jim Brown, Mac McLaughlin, Jerry Draga and Greg Bumbu).

For photos of the Pro-Am visit www.SeniorPGA2009.com.

PLAYER QUOTES

“These fairways [at Canterbury Golf Club] are better than a lot of greens I’ve putted on.” — PGA Club Professional Mike San Filippo, competing this week in his seventh consecutive Senior PGA Professional.

“There are two things you must do this week to be successful here [at Canterbury]: You must drive the ball in the fairway and you must keep the ball below the hole. This is probably the toughest set of greens I have ever played on one golf course.” — Kirk Hanefeld, the 2008 Senior PGA Professional National Champion, who is making his fourth consecutive appearance in the Senior PGA Championship.

A GATHERING OF CHAMPIONS

One of the great traditions of Senior PGA Championship week is the annual gathering of both Senior PGA Champions and PGA Champions for dinner and camaraderie. On Tuesday night, Defending Senior PGA Champion Jay Haas hosted the Champions’ Dinner at Canterbury Golf Club. He was joined by 14 other Champions, including:

  • Allen Doyle (1999 Senior PGA Champion)
  • Hale Irwin (1996, 1997, 1998, 2004 Senior PGA Champion)
  • John Jacobs (2003 Senior PGA Champion)
  • Mike Reid (2005 Senior PGA Champion)
  • Charlie Sifford (1975 Senior PGA Champion)
  • Jeff Sluman (1988 PGA Champion)
  • Dave Stockton (1970 and 1976 PGA Champion)
  • Hal Sutton (1983 PGA Champion)
  • Bob Tway (1986 PGA Champion)
  • Lanny Wadkins (1977 PGA Champion)
  • Tom Wargo (1993 Senior PGA Champion)
  • Denis Watson (2007 Senior PGA Champion)
  • Tom Watson (2001 Senior PGA Champion)
  • Fuzzy Zoeller (2002 Senior PGA Champion)

They dined on a menu chosen by Haas and his wife, Jan, which included:

  • Baby mixed greens with warm brie in puff pastry
  • Petit filet mignon with rosemary-infused reduction
  • Lobster tail with scallion-lemon zest buerre blanc
  • Whipped potato croquette
  • Grilled asparagus
  • White chocolate banana cream pie (a favorite of Jay and Jan Haas and a recipe from Winnie Palmer, the late wife of Arnold Palmer)

As a gift to the assembled Champions, Haas selected a Match Pewter pitcher.

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