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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The Canterbury Tale: Senior PGA Prologue

May 18, 2009

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.

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Iron Chef is Featured Server at Pro-Am Draw Party

May 18, 2009
Michael Symon (center) with PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka (left) and President Jim Remy

Michael Symon (center) with PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka (left) and President Jim Remy

Pro-Am participants attending the draw party Monday night are in for a truly unique experience. While choosing which PGA legend they will be golfing with the next day, attendees will enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvrs selected and prepared by Iron Chef and Cleveland’s most celebrated culinary expert, Michael Symon.

Symon was named an Iron Chef in 2007 on the Food Network reality program, “The Next Iron Chef.” In 2008, he became a host for the network’s “Dinner: Impossible.” In addition, he is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, Esquire, Food Arts, Gourmet, Saveur and O, The Oprah Magazine.

In February 1997, Symon and his then-fiancée (now wife), Liz Shanahan, opened Lola in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. The restaurant garnered rave reviews, with Symon earning recognition in 1998 as one of the Ten Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine.

In 2005, Symon converted Lola into Lolita, and reopened Lola in downtown Cleveland the following year. In the fall of 2008, he also opened Roast at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, and now has plans to open two new restaurants in the Cleveland area – Bar Symon and The B Spot. Click here to learn more about his two new Cleveland restaurants.

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WKYC to Air Senior PGA Championship Preview Show

May 15, 2009

For those who missed it on SportsTime Ohio, the Senior PGA Championship Preview Show will air this Saturday (May 16) at 7:00 p.m. on Channel 3, WKYC.

Hosted by Jim Donovan and PGA Professional Jimmy Hanlin, the preview show features interviews with Canterbury Golf Club and PGA officials, a hole-by-hole analysis of the course, details of Canterbury’s rich history with the PGA and Major Championship golf, and the PGA’s reasoning behind completely rerouting the course.

Watch a :30 second clip below:

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Facts & Figures from last year’s Senior PGA

May 15, 2009

If history is any indication, the 2009 Senior PGA Championship will be quite a production. For some prespective, the following are some facts and figures from the 2008 Senior PGA Championship, which was held at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

Attendance

  • 50,000 people were estimated to have lined the fairways between Monday and Sunday
  • 25,000 spectators were transported by various shuttle busses

Concession Consumption

  • 15,500+ bottles of Aquafina water drank
  • 25,000+ bottles of Pepsi and Diet Pepsi drank
  • 25,000+ cups of beer served
  • 12,500+ bags of chips consumed
  • 1,400+ chocolate chip cookies eaten
  • 7,500 hamburgers grilled
  • 10,000+ hot dogs purchased
  • 130,000+ pounds of ice used

Temporary Power & Air Conditioning

  • 15,000+ KVA of commercial power used
  • 75 megawatts of generator power used
  • 350,000 feet of cable used
  • 2,400 tons of air-cooling equipment required
  • 15 temporary light towers set up
  • 100 cable ramps needed to help cover all the cables, hoses and wiring

Television and Media

  • 3.5+ miles of temporary cable laid
  • 12 television towers and one TV studio erected
  • 160 new flat screen televisions installed
  • 400 media credentialed and worked out of a 6,400 square foot media center
  • 10 hours of live TV coverage viewed in more than 70 countries (the 2009 Senior PGA Championship will be broadcast live for 12 hours)

Miscellaneous

  • 1,850+ adult volunteers and 120 junior volunteers served on some 40 Championship committees
  • 275+ on-site walkie-talkies used to make more than 1,000 radio transmissions per day
  • 250 GMC and Buick’s utilized to transport players, officials and their families
  • 7,500+ plants brought in and plant throughout Oak Hill
  • 25 temporary office trailers required

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Mark O’Meara Interview on WTAM

May 13, 2009
Photo: PGA of America

Photo: PGA of America

The 1998 Masters Champion and current Champions Tour player Mark O’Meara was interviewed this morning (5/13) on WTAM’s Wills & Snyder.

O’Meara shared the memory of his last trip to Canterbury where he defeated fellow Champions Tour player John Cook to win the 1979 U.S. Amateur. He also discussed the course itself, the Champions Tour competition, his thoughts on Tiger Woods and the level of his game coming into the 2009 Senior PGA Championship.

Listen to the entire interview here.

O’Mear’s legendary golf career includes 16 PGA Tour and 4 European Tour victories, as well as wins at the 1998 Masters Tournament and British Open Championship. In 1998, he also received the PGA Player of the Year Award.  O’Meara joined the Champions Tour in 2007.


Contruction Update: Course Set Up Continues

May 11, 2009
Course Construction Continues

Course Construction Continues

With less than 10 days left until the 2009 Senior PGA Championship, course preparations are well underway. A full-time crew of 50 people have been working to construct all the non-permanent onsite structures and preparing the course for all the expected spectators throughout Championship week (May 19-24).

Some of the non-permanent structures being built include:

  • 1 mile of fencing
  • 2 TV towers on holes 9 and 18
  • 3 grandstands on holes 2, 9 and 18
  • 25 hospitality, media and merchandise tents
  • 1 main leaderboard (“The Monsterboard”), which is 56 feet wide and 30 feet tall
  • 11 other leader and thruboards scattered throughout the course
  • 200 portable restrooms and 2 VIP restroom trailers

To see the latest construction pictures, visit www.SeniorPGA2009.com.

What’s Next:

This week, crews will assemble the main entrance, decorate the tent and clubhouse interiors, and begin moving in furniture. On Thursday and Friday, television crews from the Golf Channel and NBC will arrive to set up for their broadcasts of the events. For broadcast schedules, visit www.SeniorPGA2009.com.

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Media Day Quotables

April 30, 2009
From left to right: Bill Townsend, Jay Haas, Jim Remy and Doug Grabert

From left to right: Bill Townsend, Jay Haas, Jim Remy and Doug Grabert

On April 27th Canterbury Golf Club hosted the Senior PGA Championship Media Day. On stage, in front of a room full of local media outlets, Defending Champion Jay Haas was joined by Jim Remy, president of the PGA of America; Doug Grabert, NBC Sports golf director; and Bill Townsend, general chairman of the 70th Senior PGA Championship.

These gentlemen discussed details about the Championship, relived past Senior PGA moments and shared their memories of Canterbury.

The following are some of their quotes from the press conference. To read the full transcript, visit www.SeniorPGA2009.com.

Bill Townsend – General Chair for the 70th Senior PGA Championship

General Chairman of the 70th Senior PGA Championship Bill Townsend

“I want to roll out the red carpet for the thousands of spectators, the people that really care and want to see great golfers like Jay, here to my left, play up close and personal. The red carpet is out for you, and I hope to see you in the end of May.”

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Jim Remy – President of the PGA of America
picture-18Explaining one of his duties as the new president of the PGA of America:

“I want to take the opportunity to tell you that one of the great honors I have as president of the PGA of America is to make phone calls to recipients of awards and tell them they have won an award. And one of my most exciting days was the day I got to call Mr. Powell, Bill Powell, to let him know that he is the Distinguished Service Award winner for 2009.” Mr. Powell was on-hand at the press conference with his daughter, World Golf Hall of Fame member, Renee Powell.

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Doug Grabert — NBC Sports Golf Director and Cleveland native who got his start with local NBC affiliate WKYC
picture-19Regarding the weather last fall when NBC came out to scout the course for the best camera locations:

“When we came out in October, it was so cold, they had to go out and find gloves in the lost and found at Canterbury. It was 30 degrees, no golf to be played, straw on the greens and fairways, but we really appreciated getting the gloves.”

Discussing his memories of Canterbury:

“… the biggest memory I have from Canterbury is as a high school boy back in the early ‘70s. The PGA of America had a rule at that point … that (professionals) had to use local caddies at the PGA Championship. I remember 10 days before the event sitting out on the patio on an evening, nervous as I am right now, and they started pulling names out of a hat. As they are going along, there are players, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and then they called my name and out of the hat they pulled Raymond Floyd. So that ended up being something for a high school boy. A memory I’ll never forget.”

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Jay Haas – Defending Senior PGA Champion
haas_480x288Referencing his celebratory pose after winning the 2008 Senior PGA Championship:

“If any of you can take that trophy with one arm and lift it above your head, we’ll give you an exemption into the tournament in May.”

Regarding his defeat during the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill Country Club. With three holes to play, Haas was down three strokes. If he could tie his match the U.S. would have won the Ryder Cup.:

“And I happened to win 16 and then won 17 with a par, so now I got on 18 tee, and it’s a very difficult hole. If you’ve been to Oak Hill, it’s quite challenging. But I almost choked my guts out basically, but as you can see (referencing video highlighting his career) I was using one of those wooden drivers. Today, we have these big heads, you can’t hardly miss one. I hit a terrible drive.”

On being the defending champion of the Senior PGA Championship:

“To have my name on that trophy a couple times, is, like I said, the crown achievement of my career. To be here as a defender is really special.“

When asked if technology improvements have helped the seniors more than the regular TOUR player?:

“For me, I tell people all the time, in the early 80s when they first started doing the statistics, and my first year, I was about 252, 253 was my average driving distance. And for the last six or eight years, it’s been about anywhere from 275 to 278, somewhere in there. So, 25 yards longer, 25 years older, that doesn’t compute.”

To read the full media day transcript, visit www.SeniorPGA2009.com

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Pictures for the Senior PGA Championship Media Day

April 30, 2009

On April 27th, The PGA of America welcomed the local media, PGA of America, NBC and tournament officials, and defending champion Jay Haas to Canterbury Golf Club for the Senior PGA Championship Media Day. The day consisted of a press conference, one-on-one interview session, golf outing and Indians game.

We created an album on Flickr with all the behind-the-scenes pictures from the day. Be sure to click through till the end to see who won the chipping contest between Jay Haas and Indians Color Commentator Rick Manning, and to find out who tried to steal the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy, senior golf’s most coveted prize.

Jay Haas Interview during Media Day

Click the image to view the entire Media Day photo album.

For a recap of the Senior PGA Championship Media Day, be sure to visit the event’s official Website www.SeniorPGA2009.com.

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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.

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