Final Round News & Notes

May 24, 2009
Senior PGA Champion Michael Allen (photo: PGA of America)

Senior PGA Champion Michael Allen (photo: PGA of America)

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.

Tom Terrific

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.

Back-Nine Bests

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.

Masterful Mize

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.”

Frightening Fourth

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.

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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.