For those familiar with “The Canterbury Tales,” written by Geoffrey Chaucer, it is hard to miss the fact that this epic poem shares its name with the course that will host the 70th Senior PGA Championship this week. “The Canterbury Tales” is a collection of stories by a group of individuals making a pilgrimage to a city named Canterbury. Chaucer included a prologue to introduce the premise, each pilgrim and set up his or her tale.
We thought it would be fun to make our own “Senior PGA” version of this prologue. May my English teachers forgive me …
It’s happening in Cleveland, three days from now
A Championship, prestigious, historic and how.
The destination, a course rich in tradition
Towards Canterbury they come with PGA permission.
This week the Seniors will visit this city,
Professionals, some one hundred and fifty.
In fellowship, they are golfers all
Legends, proficient at striking a ball.
While all are eligible for the AARP
They are energetic and fun, you’ll definitely see.
By comparison, I seem frail and scuzzy
Even standing next to the one named Fuzzy
From across the country they’re making the trip
By car, by plane, but probably not ship.
One destination, one place to play
To Canterbury, as you heard me say.
Among them 23 major champions there are
41 titles combined, and that’s just thus far.
13 Masters, 12 British and 7 Open claimers
9 PGA Championships and 8 Hall of Famers.
Their Defending Champion comes raring to start
He possesses a weapon with whom few would part.
Tommy Lamb is his name, a friend and caddy
Read greens at this course when he was a laddie.
Twice has the Champion defeated his friends,
But with none does he plan to make amends.
Ready and waiting will be the Great White Shark
He has more fans than most amusement parks.
As one of the biggest names ever in the sport,
A repeat champion he is planning to thwart.
At his side will be a former tennis star
Reminding him no winner only shoots par.
For some this will be their first time back,
In ’79, a lifetime of memories did they lack.
In that year, two amateurs were at their best
Just starting to distinguish themselves from the rest.
O’Meara and Cook were in the finals that year
The former victorious and garnered the cheer.
With them were Hal Sutton and Bob Tway
PGA Champions they would be one day.
Seven coming back were here in ‘73
When Nicklaus said, “This Majors record belongs to me.”
In ‘96, of these seven, Irwin and Stockton returned
Unfortunately, for the title one would still yearn.
While Irwin made a push in the eleventh hour
It’s unlike Stockton to cower.
The U.S. Senior Open trophy he got to kiss
While Irwin settled with the near miss.
However, Irwin was not to be undone
Since then, four Senior PGAs he has won.
All these golf greats, from Bob Charles to Bob Tway
Are still some of the best despite all the grey.
It is for one thing they crave, one primal need,
To have their names etched beside that of Sam Snead’s.
The winner will be listed with Nicklaus and Palmer,
Trevino, Floyd, Watson, Player and Zoeller.
But to the winner, it’s important to warn
Surprisingly heavy is the trophy named Bourne.
Make no mistake, it’s senior golf’s most historic prize
But to hoist it with one hand would be most unwise.
To Canterbury they flock ready for war,
Sure to leave fans wanting for more.