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.


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.”

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