CHAMPIONS - Senior PGA Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, May 21st through Sunday, May 24th
SITE: Pete Dye Course at French Lick, French Lick, Indiana
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,147
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 386 yds10 - Par 4 390 yds
2 - Par 4 429 yds11 - Par 4 410 yds
3 - Par 4 454 yds12 - Par 5 571 yds
4 - Par 3 196 yds13 - Par 3 208 yds
5 - Par 5 529 yds14 - Par 4 387 yds
6 - Par 4 379 yds15 - Par 4 454 yds
7 - Par 3 180 yds16 - Par 5 549 yds
8 - Par 4 460 yds17 - Par 3 168 yds
9 - Par 5 566 yds18 - Par 4 431 yds
36 3,579 yds36 3,568 yds
Annual:  76th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 1-4 p.m. (et),
  NBC - Saturday -- 1:30-4:30 p.m. (et),
  Golf Channel - Sunday -- 2:30-3:30 p.m. (et),
  NBC - Sunday -- 3:30-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Colin Montgomerie
Runner-Up:  Tom Watson
Tournament Record:  268 (Sam Snead, 1973)
54-Hole Record:  199 (Sam Snead, 1973; Roger Chapman, 2012)
36-Hole Record:  132 (Sam Snead, 1973; Arnold Palmer, 1984;
  Jack Nicklaus, 1991)
18-Hole Record:  62 (Kenny Perry, 2012 - The Golf Club at Harbor Shores)
Total Purse:  $2,000,000
Shares:  1st Place - $300,000; 2nd Place - $176,000; 3rd Place - $144,000
2014 Finish
Colin Montgomerie271Bart Bryant278
Tom Watson275Joe Durant278
Jay Haas277David Frost278
Bernhard Langer277Three players at279
Mark Brooks278
Past Senior PGA Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2014Colin Montgomerie (271) -- Tom Watson
2013Kohki Idoki (273) -- Jay Haas, Kenny Perry
2012Roger Chapman (271) -- John Cook
2011*Tom Watson (278) -- David Eger
2010*Tom Lehman (281) -- Fred Couples, David Frost
2009Michael Allen (274) -- Larry Mize
2008Jay Haas (287) -- Bernhard Langer
2007Denis Watson (279) -- Eduardo Romero
2006*Jay Haas (279) -- Brad Bryant
2005*Mike Reid (280) -- Jerry Pate, Dana Quigley
2004Hale Irwin (276) -- Jay Haas
2003John Jacobs (276) -- Bobby Wadkins
2002Fuzzy Zoeller (278) -- Hale Irwin, Bobby Wadkins
2001Tom Watson (274) -- Jim Thorpe
2000#Doug Tewell (201) -- Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Dana Quigley, Larry Nelson
1999Allen Doyle (274) -- Vicente Fernandez
1998Hale Irwin (275) -- Larry Nelson
1997Hale Irwin (274) -- Dale Douglass, Jack Nicklaus
1996Hale Irwin (280) -- Isao Aoki
1995Raymond Floyd (277) -- Lee Trevino, John Paul Cain, Larry Gilbert
1994Lee Trevino (279) -- Jim Colbert
1993*Tom Wargo (275) -- Bruce Crampton
1992Lee Trevino (278) -- Mike Hill
1991Jack Nicklaus (271) -- Bruce Crampton
1990Gary Player (281) -- Chi Chi Rodriguez
1989Larry Mowry (281) -- Miller Barber, Al Geiberger
1988Gary Player (284) -- Chi Chi Rodriguez
1987Chi Chi Rodriguez (282) -- Dale Douglass
1986Gary Player (281) -- Lee Elder
1985Not Held
1984Peter Thomson (286) -- Don January
1984Arnold Palmer (282) -- Don January
1983Not Held
1982Don January (288) -- Julius Boros
1981Miller Barber (281) -- Arnold Palmer
1980*Arnold Palmer (289) -- Paul Harney
1979Don January (270) -- George Bayer
1979*Jack Fleck (289) -- Bob Erickson, Bill Johnston
1978Joe Jimenez (286) -- Joe Cheves, Manuel de la Torre
1977Julius Boros (283) -- Fred Haas Jr
1976Pete Cooper (283) -- Fred Wampler
1975Charlie Sifford (280) -- Fred Wampler
1974Roberto De Vicenzo (273) -- Julius Boros, Art Wall
1973Sam Snead (268) -- Julius Boros
1972Sam Snead (286) -- Tommy Bolt, Julius Boros
1971Julius Boros (285) -- Tommy Bolt
1970Sam Snead (290) -- Fred Haas Jr
1969Tommy Bolt (278) -- Pete Fleming
1968Chandler Harper (279) -- Sam Snead
1967Sam Snead (279) -- Bob Hamilton
1966Fred Haas, Jr. (286) -- John Barnum, Dutch Harrison
1965Sam Snead (278) -- Joe Lopez Sr
1964Sam Snead (279) -- John Barnum
1963Herman Barron (272) -- John Barnum
1962Paul Runyan (278) -- Errie Ball, Dutch Harrison, Joe Brown
1961Paul Runyan (278) -- Jimmy Demaret
1960Dick Metz (284) -- Tony Longo, Paul Runyan
1959Willie Goggin (284) -- Leland Gibson, Paul Runyan, Denny Shute
1958Gene Sarazen (288) -- Charles Sheppard
1957*Al Watrous (210) -- Bob Stupple
1956Pete Burke (215) -- Ock Willoweit
1955Mortie Dutra (213) -- Mike Murra, Gene Sarazen, Denny Shute
1954Gene Sarazen (214) -- Perry Del Vecchio, Al Watrous
1953Harry Schwab (142) -- Charles McKenna, Gene Sarazen
1952Ernie Newnham (146) -- Al Watrous
1951*Al Watrous (142) -- Jock Hutchison
1950Al Watrous (142) -- Bill Jelliffe
1949Marshall Crichton (145) -- Louis Chiapetta, Jock Hutchison, George Smith
1948Charles McKenna (141) -- Ben Richter
1947Jock Hutchison (145) -- Ben Richter
1946Eddie Williams (146) -- Jock Hutchison
1945Eddie Williams (148) -- Jock Hutchison
1944Not Held due to World War II
1943Not Held due to World War II
1942Eddie Williams (138) -- Jock Hutchison
1941Jack Burke Sr (142) -- Eddie Williams
1940Otto Hackbarth (146) -- Jock Hutchison
1939Not Held
1938*Fred McLeod (154) -- Otto Hackbarth
1937Jock Hutchison (223) -- George Gordon

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain shortened

Note:Formerly called PGA Seniors' Championship (1937-2000).

Top Contenders in the Field
Colin Montgomerie---------------------------Won
Jay HaasmcWonT-9WonT-9T-23T-34T-29T-2T-3
Bernhard Langer---------2ndT-17T-23---T-4T-13T-3
Joe Durant---------------------------T-5
Kiyoshi Murota---T-14T-33T-24T-28---3rdT-295thT-9
Jeff Maggert---------------------------T-9
Russ Cochran------------T-33T-23---T-29T-612th
Steve Pate------------------T-810thT-13T-13
Peter Senior---------------T-11T-5T-4T-11T-15
Jeff Sluman---------T-9T-5T-21T-18T-44T-47T-15
Mike Goodes------T-33T-34T-37T-15T-60mcT-69T-15
Mark Calcavecchia------------------T-13T-12mcT-15
Duffy Waldorf------------------------T-6T-25
Gene Sauers------------------------T-25T-25
Kohki Idoki------------------------WonT-33
Mark McNultyT-6T-19------T-17---T-34T-38T-28T-48
Tom Lehman------------T-22WonT-22T-29---T-48
Roger Chapman------------T-59T-69T-27WonT-64T-55
Michael Allen------------WonT-11T-1111thT-20T-59
Hale IrwinT-46T-23T-42mcT-59T-654th3rdT-56T-67
Ian Woosnam---------T-16T-37---------T-59mc
Mike ReidWonT-23mcT-67T-44T-34mcmcmcmc
Olin Browne---------------T-15T-13mc------
Kevin Sutherland------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Bernhard Langer
Darkhorse - Gene Sauers
Last Week's Pick to Win (Tom Lehman) - Finished tied for 5th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Michael Allen) - Finished tied for 5th
The 76th edition of the Senior PGA Championship -- the oldest event on the Champions Tour -- takes place this week. This is the second of five majors on the Champions Tour for 2015. Jeff Maggert won the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek Club in Birmingham, Alabama last week.

The top 16 players on the money list are in the field. Maggert currently leads the money list by $3,311 over Olin Browne. No player has won twice so far this season on the Champions Tour. Bart Bryant and Colin Montgomerie have recorded the most top-10 finishes with five each. However, neither of those players has captured a title.

Hale Irwin has nine top-5 finishes in 19 appearances at this event, winning four times (1996-98, 2004). He is the all-time money leader with $1,760,858 in earnings and has recorded the most rounds in the 60s with 24.

This year's event is being held at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick in Indiana for the first time. Dye designed the course, which opened in 2009. This tournament was held at Augusta National Golf Club for the first two years of its existence and had been held at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens from 1982-2000. This is the oldest major championship in senior golf, beginning in 1937 at the suggestion of Bobby Jones.

Last year, Colin Montgomerie did something which he failed to accomplish on the PGA Tour. Montgomerie closed with a 6-under 65 in the final round and cruised to a 4-stroke win. He ended at 13-under-par 271. The win was Montgomerie's first in a major championship, and it was also his first official victory on United States soil. He became the first Scotsman since Jock Hutchinson in 1947 to win this championship. Montgomerie also became the third consecutive international winner, which marks the first time in event history that that happened.

In 2013, Kohki Idoki came from relative obscurity, and five shots back, to win by two strokes over Jay Haas and Kenny Perry. Idoki, making just his second career Champions Tour start, fired a 6-under 65 in the final round at Bellerive Country Club and secured his first-ever major championship victory. The 51-year-old Japan native, who went ahead for good with a lengthy birdie putt on the 17th, ended at 11-under-par 273. Idoki became the first player from Asia to win a major title on the Champions Tour. He also became the ninth first-time winner at this event.

In 2012, Roger Chapman held at least a share of the lead after every round on his way to winning by two strokes over John Cook. The Englishman finished at 13-under 271 at the Golf Club at Harbor Shores and was the first European to win this title since Scotland's Hutchison in 1947. It was just Chapman's 17th Champions Tour start.

In 2011, Tom Watson birdied the first playoff hole to defeat David Eger. Watson fired rounds of 70-70-68-70 and finished with Eger at 10-under-par 278. It was the second time Watson won this championship, having previously captured the title in 2001. It was Watson's 14th victory on the senior circuit and his sixth major championship title on the Champions Tour. The 61-year-old Watson became the second-oldest winner of this championship. Hutchinson was the oldest winner at 62 years old in 1947.

In 2010, Tom Lehman won with a routine par on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff over Fred Couples and David Frost. Couples and Frost both made double bogey on the hole, an anti-climactic end to what was a close final round at Colorado Golf Club. The trio finished the tournament at 7-under-par 281. The win marked Lehman's first individual stroke-play victory in the United States since the 2000 Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour.

Michael Allen won his Champions Tour debut in 2009 by shooting a 3-under 67 in the final round at Canterbury Golf Club. Allen was tied for 73rd following the first round after opening with a 4-over 74. He finished with rounds of 66-67-67 for his first win in 11 years. Allen had made 267 professional starts since winning the 1998 Greater Austin Open on the Tour. Allen had never won in 334 PGA Tour events prior to his win here. He became the 14th player to win his Champions Tour debut.

Haas survived four brutal days at Oak Hill Country Club in 2008, closing with a 4-over 74 in the final round to hold off Bernhard Langer by a shot. It was the second time in three years that Haas won this major championship. There were just 12 rounds in the 60s posted through four days, and only one of them by the winner, as Haas opened with a 69 in the first round. Haas' 7-over-par 287 total was the highest winning score in tournament history, five shots more than Sam Snead's plus-2 number in 1970. It was the second-highest winning score in any 72-hole Champions Tour event. Arnold Palmer won the 1981 U.S. Senior Open at Oakland Hills in a playoff after he, Bob Stone, and Billy Casper finished 72 holes at 9-over-par 289.

In 2007, Zimbabwe's Denis Watson rallied to win by overtaking Eduardo Romero on the back nine of the final round at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course to claim his first victory of any kind in 23 years. It was his first win since 1984, when he claimed his only three titles on the PGA Tour. Watson finished at 9-under 279 for a 2-shot win over Romero. He became the first player born outside the United States to win this event since South Africa's Gary Player in 1990 -- snapping the longest such active streak among major championships on the Champions, PGA and LPGA Tours.

Mike Reid eagled the 72nd hole in 2005 to get into a playoff, then birdied the first extra hole to beat Dana Quigley and Jerry Pate. Reid shot four straight rounds of 70 in winning his first Champions Tour event. He was the only player in the field to break par in all four rounds and was the first player since Miller Barber (1982 Suntree Classic, 66-66-66-66) to win after shooting the same score each day over 72 holes. Reid ended a victory drought of 16 years, nine months and two days.

At the 1997 PGA Seniors, Irwin set a Champions Tour record for the largest winning margin (12) in a 72-hole event, breaking the record of 11 strokes shared by Palmer and Orville Moody. Snead holds the record for the largest winning margin of 15 when he won this tournament in 1973, when it was not a Champions Tour event.

Irwin, Snead, Paul Runyan, Al Waltrous and Eddie Williams are the only players to successfully defend their titles. Irwin was the last player to accomplish this feat (1996-98). Snead was a 6-time winner here and Irwin four. Player, Waltrous and Williams are 3-time winners. Snead had 17 top-25, 15 top-10, 11 top-5 and nine top-3 finishes in his career at this event.

Chi Chi Rodriguez owns the record for the biggest come-from-behind victory in tournament history, when he came from six strokes down to win in 1987. There have been 14 playoffs. Eight of the last 13 winners have come from behind on the final day to win.

Next year's Senior PGA Championship will return to the Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The Champions Tour moves to Iowa in two weeks for the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, where Tom Pernice Jr. captured the 2014 title.

05/19 16:17:22 ET

As of May 19, 2015, at 04:18 PM ET
The Sports Network, a STATS Company. All Rights Reserved.  home | terms of use | privacy policy | comments |