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Senior PGA Championship

By

Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer won the Senior PGA Championship twice, and shares the tournament 18-hole scoring record.

Photo by John Brown

About the Senior PGA Championship:

The Senior PGA Championship, run by the PGA of America, was the first truly "major" tournament specifically for "senior" golfers (golfers over age 50) in the U.S. The tournament was founded in 1937 at the urging of Bobby Jones, and has been played ever since (with a few exceptions). It now is considered one of the Champions Tour's majors, and rotates among golf courses ala the PGA Championship and USGA championships.

2014 Senior PGA Championship
Colin Montgomerie finally has a major championship victory to his credit. He had to wait until he reached the Champions Tour, but Montomerie won a senior major with his win here. It was also his first Champions Tour victory, and his first win ever in a pro tournament played in the United States. Monty closed in style, shooting a final-round 65 to finish at 13-under 271. He won by four strokes over Tom Watson.

2013 Tournament
Kohki Idoki, virtually unknown outside of Japan, was the surprise winner. Idoki, using straight driving (he led the Japan Tour in driving accuracy 10 times) and quality putting, closed with a 65 to finish at 11-under 273. That was two strokes better than runners-up Kenny Perry and Jay Haas.

Official Web site

Senior PGA Championship Records:

  • 72-hole scoring record: 268 - Sam Snead, 1973
  • 18-hole scoring record: 62 - Kenny Perry, 2012

Senior PGA Championship Golf Courses:

The Senior PGA Championship currently rotates among courses, just as the "regular" PGA Championship does. And so the tournament visits some of the great courses in the U.S. annually.

For many years, this event was permanently hosted at PGA National Golf Club in Florida, first played there in 1945. PGA National was the host course from 1945-1962, 1964, 1966-1973, 1982-2000.

List of Senior PGA Championship courses

Senior PGA Championship Trivia and Notes:

  • Bobby Jones was the driving force behind the inauguration of a Senior PGA Championship, organizing the first one in 1937 and hosting the first two at Augusta National Golf Club.

  • The first tournament was only three rounds in duration. From 1938 through 1953, the seniors played just two rounds. It was back to three rounds in 1954-57. The tournament extended to 72 holes in 1958 and has remained so since.

  • The Senior PGA Championship debuted in 1937. The first winner, Jock Hutchinson, won again 10 years later in 1947. Hutchinson was runner-up six other times.
  • Sam Snead holds the record with six victories in the Senior PGA Championship, winning in 1964-65, 1967, 1970, 1972-73. His win in 1973 was by 15 strokes.

  • Hale Irwin is the other golfer with more than three wins. Irwin's victories came in 1996-98 and 2004.

  • Irwin is the only golfer to win this tournament three straight years - although Eddie Williams won three straight tournaments. Williams won in 1942, the tournament was not played in 1943-44, then Williams won again in 1945-46.
  • Other three-time winners of the tournament are Al Watrous (1950-51, 1957) and Gary Player (1986, 1988, 1990).

  • In 1979 and 1984, the Senior PGA Championship was played twice. In 1979, it was played in February and then December; in 1984, it was played in January and then December (and was not played in 1985).

  • When Colin Montgomerie won the 2014 tournament, it wasn't just his first win on the Champions Tour. It was also the first professional win in the United States for Monty.

Senior PGA Championship Winners:

2014 - Colin Montgomerie
2013 - Kohki Idoki
2012 - Roger Chapman
2011 - Tom Watson
2010 - Tom Lehman
2009 - Michael Allen
2008 - Jay Haas
2007 - Denis Watson
Full List of Senior PGA Championship Winners

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