Tom Watson was crowned the winner of the 72nd annual Senior PGA championship at Valhalla Sunday afternoon to a huge crowd.
This marks Watson’s second Senior PGA title, and despite his amazing PGA career, Watson seems more comfortable now in the senior league. Watson himself explained in a press-conference after his victory, “I learned to swing the golf club properly at age 46 and it’s been a great ride ever since. ” This a surprising observation to golf fans across the country, so surprising that it prompted the asking of a follow up question, “Well, what have you been doing all those other years. ”
In the final round of play at Valhalla, 79 golfers remained; representing twelve countries and states across the U.S. but in the end it came down really to a race amongst four.
Hale Irwin, always seems to be in the hunt in whatever tour he’s playing with, be it his younger days with the PGA or now with the Senior league, Irwin missed out on a chance for the trophy after missing a crucial putt. This is after Irwin won the senior PGA event held at Valhalla in 2004.
A similar fate was faced by Kiyoshi Murata, who led throughout much of the tournament, but was forced to leave the course with third place, finishing only one stroke behind the winner.
Then the stress inducing competition of David Eger and Watson, all though, Eger would point out later his shock that it came down to him at all, “I was surprised that players were not playing better than they were…I was surprised when” (I was in the lead at the turn.)
After the regulation 18 holes Watson and Eger were both even after a heartbreaking putt from Waston that could have ended it, so a playoff commenced amongst the two.
It was on the 18th, when Watson and Eger putted in a playoff as it came down to each golfer’s short games, the day and the trophy going to Watson.
And, if he has any control on it, Watson hinted that he’d like to convince the Senior PGA to have more events in Louisville, Watson explained, “Valhalla is a course I feel comfortable on.”
So, here’s hoping that the champ has a lot of pull with the Senior PGA!
Partial Listing of Leader Board
Tom Watson- Champion
David Eger- Second
Kiyoshi Murata- Third
Hale Irwin- Fourth
Eduardo Romero- Fifth (Romero really came on strong on Sunday, living on his short game)
Peter Senior- Sixth (An underdog Senior really had a lot of people turning their heads)
Nick Price- Seventh (One of the seeded favorites prior to this weekend’s tournament)
Kenny Perry- Twenty-Second-Tied (Kentucky’s Perry struggled some in the fairway but still delivered a solid round with one over)
Tom Lehman- Twenty-Second-Tied (The 2010 champ and number one seed prior to the tournament faced many of the same struggles as Perry, battling with inclement weather in the early rounds of the tournament)
Fuzzy Zoeller- Southern Indiana’s Zoeller had trouble with inclement weather and had to be cut at 8 over in the tourney.
Image: D. Rose