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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.