Four Takeaways from Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA
We’ve reached the halfway point of the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, and there’s already been plenty of history made in PGA Frisco’s first major championship.
Opening tee shots. Course records. Cooking demonstrations. The KitchenAid Senior PGA at Fields Ranch East in Frisco, Texas, has had it all — and there’s still two rounds to go.
Here’s four things from today’s action, as well as some things to look forward to tomorrow.
Harrington Still Sizzling
After a record-breaking 64 in Round 1, Harrington continued to fire on all cylinders Friday, shooting a 4-under 68 to hold a three shot lead at 12-under over Japan’s Katsumasa Miyamoto. Stewart Cink, playing in his first senior major, road back-to-back 68s to be in solo third while Steve Stricker, who won the most recent senior major at the Region Tradition, is in fourth.
Twelve birdies and zero bogeys made life easy for Harrington at Fields Ranch East but perhaps the key to his stellar play so far lies in some stats: the 2008 PGA champion has hit 15 and 16 greens in regulation, respectively, in each of his first two rounds. With plenty of trouble lurking on the Gil Hanse-designed course, that recipe is pretty failsafe — both for playing well and winning major championships.
“When good things are happening for you,” Harrington said, “you got to keep it going.”
Major Champions in the Mix, PGA Members Make the Weekend
While Harrington is in the lead, there’s plenty of major champions in the mix this weekend at Fields Ranch. Aside from the Irishman — who’s won one PGA Championship and two Open Championships — there’s 10 players who’ve won a senior major or major title inside the top 15:
Stephen Alker (2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA), Alex Cejka (2021 Regions Tradition, ‘21 KitchenAid Senior PGA), Stewart Cink (2009 Open Championship), Darren Clarke (2011 Open, ‘22 Senior Open), Marco Dawson (2015 Senior Open), Retief Goosen (2001, ‘04 U.S. Open, ‘19 Bridgestone Senior Players), Miguel Angel Jiménez (2018 Regions Tradition, ‘18 Senior Open), Steve Stricker (2019 Regions Tradition, ‘19 U.S. Senior Open, ‘21 Bridgestone Senior Players, ‘22 Regions Tradition, '23 Regions Tradition), David Toms (2001 PGA, ‘18 U.S. Senior Open) and YE Yang (2009 PGA).
With the way Fields Ranch East has been playing over the first two rounds, yielding 792 birdies and 96 rounds of par or better, there’s certainly room for these past champions to make a move on moving day.
Meanwhile, the Corebridge PGA Financial Team competing in the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship also will have some representation on Saturday and Sunday. A handful of PGA Professionals made the cut, including:
- Cameron Doan, PGA (+1, T-39) - Dallas, Texas, Preston Trail Golf Club, Northern Texas Section
- Dave McNabb, PGA (+1, T-39) - Malvern, Pa., Applebrook Golf Club, Philadelphia Section
- Tracy Phillips, PGA (+2, T-56) - Tulsa, Okla., Cedar Ridge Country Club, South Central Section
- Mike Genovese, PGA (+2, T-56) - Loxley, Ala., Steelwood Country Club, Alabama-NW Florida Section
- Tim Weinhart, PGA (+2, T-56) - Canton, Ga., Heritage Golf Links, Georgia Section
- Bob Sowards, PGA (+2, T-56) - Dublin, Ohio, Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club, Southern Ohio Section
- Jeffrey Schmid, PGA (+3, T-70) - Iowa City, Iowa, Brown Deer Golf Club, Iowa Section
- Jeff Brehaut, PGA (+3, T-70) - Park City, Utah, PGA Life Member, Utah Section
- Tim Fleming, PGA (+3, T-70) - Oklahoma City, Okla., Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, South Central Section
- Mark Brown, PGA (+3, T-70) - Hobe Sound, Fla., Tam O'Shanter Golf Club, Metropolitan Section
- Chad Proehl, PGA (+3, T-70) - Urbandale, Iowa, Sugar Creek Golf Course, Iowa Section
Busy afternoon at the KitchenAid Fairway Club
One of the busiest spots on the grounds of PGA Frisco on Friday was the KitchenAid Fairway Club. Located in the Championship Courtyard behind the ninth green, the KitchenAid Fairway Club is open to the public all weekend, and serves as the main experience center for fans to embrace their love for making food.
Yesterday, celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern gave a cooking demonstration, and today it was Scott Conant’s turn on the mic, allowing fans attending Round 2 to ask questions and learn from the experts. Also doing insightful demonstrations were local favorites Leo Kekoa, owner and executive chef of Kinzo in Frisco, and Nikki Phinyawatana of Asian Mint.
Tomorrow, HGTV personality and design expert Jasmine Roth — host of Hidden Potential and HELP! I Wrecked My House — will lead a kitchen design Q&A and cooking demonstration at 1 p.m. CT in the Fairway Club. Local chef Earnest B. Morgan of Earnest B’s BBQ & Catering Company will follow at 2 p.m., showcasing a few cooking tips specific to his BBQ speciality.
Ready, Set, Go for a Fun PGA Jr. League Day
While the action at PGA Frisco has wrapped up for today, tomorrow will be a great day for local youngsters.
Nearly 150 PGA Jr. League players from across Texas will be participating in PGA Jr. League Day tomorrow from 7:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m. The boys and girls will receive a souvenir ticket to the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, take a tour of the practice facility at PGA Frisco, plus a spin around the media center, The Ronny Golf Park at Northern Texas PGA headquarters, the short game practice area and, finally, have the opportunity to take a photo with the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy.
The National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship will be conducted at Fields Ranch West at PGA Frisco in October. PGA Jr. League brings friends, families, and communities together through golf. To learn more, visit here.