CHAMPIONS TOUR UPDATE – Week of May 20
Kenny Perry finished T33 at last week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship. It was Perry’s first PGA TOUR start since last year’s Greenbrier Classic in July where he finished T46. Duffy Waldorf finished T48 and Vijay Singh, who has yet to tee it up on the Champions Tour, made the 36-hole cut but missed the 54-hole cut.
Bobby Wadkins will be making his 1,000th career start (combined PGA TOUR/Champions Tour) when he tees off at this week’s Senior PGA Championship. He has 713 starts on the PGA TOUR and 286 more on the Champions Tour to his credit.
Bob Gilder will be playing in the 59th consecutive major championship on the Champions Tour when he begins the Senior PGA Championship, the longest streak in Champions Tour annals.
This year’s field at the Senior PGA Championship includes players from 34 states and 17 countries.
Current Champions Tour Rules Officials Joe Terry and Gene Smith were Co-Vice Chairmen of the National PGA Rules Committee during the 1992 PGA Championship at Bellerive and will return to the host venue for the Senior PGA Championship this week as members of that same committee.
The PGA of America issued a special invitation to Jerry Tucker to compete in the Senior PGA Championship. Tucker, 62, was the head professional at Bellerive CC for a decade, 1987-97, before moving to Florida to prepare for the Champions Tour when he turned 50. He was an assistant at Bellerive from 1978-81. Although he never earned exempt status on the Champions Tour, it will be Tucker’s ninth Senior PGA. He’s also played twice each in the U.S. Senior Open, Senior British Open, PGA Championship and U.S. Open. Tucker’s brother, Mike, is the current PGA Head Professional at Bellerive.
Current Champions Tour stars Tom Lehman, David Frost and Corey Pavin will compete this week on the PGA TOUR at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial where the trio are past champions. Lehman won the title in 1995, Pavin in 1996 and Frost in 1997.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
Double points are available for all five of the major championships on the Champions Tour, beginning with this week’s Senior PGA Championship. Last year, Roger Chapman earned 756 Charles Schwab Cup points for his victory at the Senior PGA Championship. All 30 players in the field at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship also earn double Charles Schwab Cup points.
11 – The number of players who have won both the PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship in their careers. The group includes Raymond Floyd, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Don January, Julius Boros, Sam Snead, Chandler Harper, Paul Runyan, Gene Sarazen and Jock Hutchinson. Floyd, Trevino, Nicklaus, January and Player all did so as members of the Champions Tour.
ON THIS DATE
5/20/84 – Peter Jacobsen birdies the first extra hole to defeat good friend Payne Stewart to win the Colonial National Invitation.
5/22/94 – Tom Lehman posts four consecutive rounds of 67 to roll to a five-stroke victory over Greg Norman at the memorial Tournament near Columbus, OH. It was his first PGA Tour win.
DID YOU KNOW?
Bellerive CC hosts the Senior PGA Championship this week and was also slated to host the 2001 World Golf Championships-American Express Championship, but officials canceled the tournament because of the 9-11 attacks. Bellerive also hosted the inaugural U.S. Mid-Amateur, in 1981 (won by Jim Holtgrieve), and will serve as the site of the 100th PGA Championship in 2018.
QUOTES TO NOTE
“The greatest reward in life is to be remembered.” – Ken Venturi, who passed away less than two weeks after being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
“I suddenly thought, ‘He wants to play and couldn’t, and I could play and didn’t want to.’ I thought that was pretty selfish.” – Roger Chapman comments in a recent interview about the sad perspective he gained following the tragic death of Payne Stewart in an airplane accident.
TWEET OF THE WEEK