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.

Advertisements

Greg Norman Headlines Legendary 70th Senior PGA Championship Field

April 14, 2009
Jeff Sluman, Greg Norman and Fuzzy Zoeller at the 2008 Senior PGA Championship -image credit PGA of America

Jeff Sluman, Greg Norman and Fuzzy Zoeller at the 2008 Senior PGA Championship -image credit PGA of America

To view the entire field, visit http://www.pga.com/seniorpga/2009/news/2009fieldlist.html

Two-time British Open Champion Greg Norman will headline a legendary 156-player field at the 70th Senior PGA Championship. Norman is among 25 former Major champions who will compete for the prestigious Alfred S. Bourne Trophy at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio, May 19-25.

Between 1963 and 1998, these 25 Major winners combined to win 47 Championships, including 14 Masters Tournaments, 12 British Opens, 10 U.S. Opens and 11 PGA Championships. Some notable names among them include Raymond Floyd, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Mark O’Meara, Nick Price, Tom Watson and Fuzzy Zoeller.

In addition, the field will also include 13 Ryder Cup Captains and 10 World Golf Hall of Fame members.

Defending champion Jay Haas (2006, 2008) heads a list of 11 past Senior PGA Champions looking to add another title to their already historic resumes. Past Champions include Allen Doyle (1999), Floyd (1995), Irwin (1996, ’97, ’98, 2004), John Jacobs (2003), Larry Mowry (1989), Mike Reid (2005), Tom Wargo (1993), Dennis Watson (2007), Tom Watson (2001) and Zoeller (2002).

The 2009 Senior PGA Championship marks the first time many of these golfers will be playing Canterbury’s historic golf course, which will become only the second course in the U.S. to host all five rotating men’s championships. For seven contestants, the Championship is the first time back since the 1979 U.S. Amateur Championship. Most notably, O’Meara and Ohio-native John Cook who faced off in the final match that year. O’Meara eventually edged out Cook to win.

In addition to Cook, four other Ohio golfers will be competing in this year’s Championship. Thomas Herzan of Findlay, Gary Robison and Jim Logue of Canton, and Cory George of Lancaster all qualified for the Championship by finishing in the top 35 at the 2008 Senior PGA Professional National Championship.

For a full listing of the 156-player field, please visit www.pga.com/seniorpga/2009/news/2009fieldlist.html.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook


Senior PGA Championship and Canterbury’s Ties to the Masters

April 10, 2009
Picture credited to PGA of America

Picture credited to PGA of America

This week, the World’s best professional golfers are competing to win a coveted green jacket at the 2009 Masters Tournament at Augusta National. Looking back, there are several very unique ties between the Senior PGA Championship, Canterbury Golf Club and the Masters Tournament.

Henry Picard’s Green Jacket
A winner of the Masters Tournament receives an August National members’ green jacket, which he gets to take home for one year. When Champion returns to defend his title, he is expected to return it to Augusta. Every green jacket ever won is now on display in the clubhouse — well every green jacket except for two.

In 1938, Henry Picard, Canterbury’s head professional from 1949 to 1964, won the second Masters Tournament. Once Picard received his green jacket,  he wore it every Sunday to greet Canterbury golfers on the first tee. The jacket then hung in his closet in Charleston, S.C. until it was given to Canterbury. As a tribute to Picard, the jacket now hangs within the clubhouse for all its members to see.

Gary Player’s 1961 green jacket is the other outside of Augusta. It is now in South Africa at Player’s home.

The First Senior PGA Championship
Legendary amateur player Bobby Jones organized the inaugural Senior PGA Championship in 1937. The first course to host the senior tournament was Augusta National. Augusta hosted the Senior PGA Championship again the following year.

Nicklaus’s 14th Title
When Jack Nicklaus won the 1973 PGA Championship at Canterbury Golf Club, it marked his 14th Major Championship. This broke the old record of the most major championships won by a golfer, which was held by Bobby Jones — a founder of the Senior PGA Championship and the reason the tournament was played at Augusta National for its first two years.

Senior PGA Past Champions and Masters Honorary Starters
The first and second Senior PGA Champions, Jock Hutchinson in 1937and Fred McCleod in 1938, served as the first honorary starters at the Masters in 1963. They hit the first balls at every Masters until 1973. The honorary starter is a tradition that still lives today, as 1980 and (Jan.) 1984 Senior PGA Champion Arnold Palmer teed up the first shot in 2009.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook


The Champions Tour is home to 11 past Masters Champions

April 3, 2009

There are currently 11 Masters Champions competing on the Champions Tour, with a collective 16 Masters victories. To put this into prospective, the PGA Tour has only eight Masters Champions, with a collective 13 Masters victories.

Each of the following golf legends, and potential Senior PGA Championship contenders, will attempt to add another green jacket to their already historic careers when the 2009 Masters Tournament tees off at August National on April 9.

  • Gary Player (1961, 1974, 1978)
  • Raymond Floyd (1976)
  • Tom Watson (1977, 1981)
  • Fuzzy Zoeller (1979)
  • Craig Stadler (1982)
  • Ben Crenshaw (1984, 1995)
  • Bernhard Langer (1985, 1993)
  • Larry Mize (1987)
  • Sandy Lyle (1988)
  • Ian Woosnam (1991)
  • Mark O’Meara (1998)

A word of warning to all PGA Tour golfers … these guys can still play! Last week at the Punta Espada Golf Club in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, Mark O’Meara (T-2), Bernhard Langer (T-6) and Craig Stadler (T-15) finished a combined 26 under par.

Visit www.pga.com for special coverage of the Masters and all things golf.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook


CHAMPIONS TOUR PLAYER SUPER BOWL PICKS

January 31, 2009

Jay Haas
“I think Pittsburgh will win. I would like to see Arizona win because they’ve never done it before, but I think Pittsburgh’s defense is very good. I think they are probably the better team. I think overall its going to be hard to contain Arizona’s receivers, but I think Pittsburgh’s defense will stop their running game and make it hard for them.”

John Cook
“My mom will hate me, but I like a lot of offense so I can see the Cardinals shocking the world a little bit and winning. It’s such a great underdog story and I like to see that.”

Hale Irwin
“My heart wants to say the Cardinals. You know I think the Steelers are very sound. I think you’ve got great quarterback play on both teams; the Steelers defense is awesome but the Cardinals have seemingly beat two other defensive-minded teams the last two weeks. If the Cardinals come and play their best game they can win but they’re going to have to play their best game.If I was a betting guy I’d probably take the Cardinals and the points because they got it done on that last drive last week when they had to.”

Keith Fergus
“ It ought to be a really great game and the Cardinals have really started playing well, especially those wide receivers and Warner is playing good and they’ve got good running backs. I think they’ll give Pittsburgh all they can handle. I just hope it’s a good game. I don’t really care who wins but I’d like to sit there and watch it. I think Pittsburgh might have a slight edge in the game.”

D.A. Weibring
“It looks like Pittsburgh has the best team, but I’m going to pull for the Arizona Cardinals. I think it’s a nice story.”

Curtis Strange
“I like Pittsburgh. They’re playing well and have a good young coach and have a heckuva team.”

Jeff Sluman
“Have to go with Pittsburgh. I think they’re probably the best defense Arizona’s faced and I think they are a much more powerful team on the offensive and defensive lines.”

Loren Roberts
“The betting money says Pittsburgh is going to win probably by a couple of touchdowns, but for some reason emotionally I’d love to see Arizona win because of Kurt Warner. You know after winning the Super Bowl he kind of got lambasted a little bit as being over the hill, but it’s nice to see him back again. I think Pittsburgh will win but I’m pulling for Arizona.”

Andy Bean
“Pittsburgh is my pick. I just think they have a better defense and that is usually what ends up working in championship games.”

Ben Crenshaw
“I think a lot of people are pulling for Kurt Warner because he’s been through a lot in his career. I’m kind of pulling for the Cardinals and think they might pull it out.”

Tom Watson
“My pick is the Steelers. I always go with the AFC team.”

Tom Kite
“I’m going to go with Pittsburgh. Everybody else seems to think they’re the best and they’ve got a better defense so I’m going to go with defense.”

Allen Doyle
“Your heart maybe wants Arizona, but if you’re betting money, you’ve got to go with Pittsburgh because of that defense.”

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook


“Rookies” now eligible to play in the 2009 Senior PGA Championship

January 27, 2009

It’s been a while since they’ve been called rookies, but as soon as PGA professionals turn 50 years old they become eligible to start competing on the Champions Tour.

The following “rookies” are all turning 50 before the May 18 cut off of the 2009 Senior PGA Championship and are possible first-time contenders for senior golf’s most prestigious and historic prize — the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy.

Player and his most notable wins

  • Blaine McCallister – 1989 Honda Classic, 1993 B.C. Open
  • Jay Don Blake – 1991 Shearson Lehman Brothers Open
  • Russ Cochran – 1991 Central Western Open
  • Steve Jones – 1988 AT&T Pebble Beach, 1996 U.S. Open
  • Curt Byrum – 1989 Hardee’s Golf Classic
  • Tom Lehman – 1996 British Open, 1996 THE TOUR Championship
  • Olin Browne – 1999 Colonial, 2005 Deutsche Bank
  • Bob Tway – 1986 PGA Championship, 1989 Memorial
  • Larry Mize – 1983 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic, 1987 Masters Tournament, 1993 Northern Telecom Open, 1993 Buick Open.

For a full list of PGA professionals turning 50 through 2015, check out the link below:
http://www.pgatour.com/2008/s/10/03/futurelist.champions/index.html

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook


Langer wins first tournament of 2009 Champions Tour

January 27, 2009

The 2009 Senior PGA Championship would like to congratulate Bernhard Langer for his winning performance this past weekend at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. He kicked off his sophomore season on the Champions Tour by shooting 18-under over the three-day tournament, edging out Andy Bean by one stroke and defending Senior PGA Champion, Jay Haas, by three strokes. Click here for the full article.

Langer could be the one to watch this May at Canterbury Golf Club. Last year, at the 2008 Senior PGA Championship, he finished second to Jay Haas by only 1 stroke, and finished in the top 10 in 14 of the 20 Champions Tour events he competed in, winning three of them.

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook