Tim Petrovic had a goal of getting better each day at Southern Hills, and he pulled it off when he closed with 3-under 67 on Sunday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to catch Alex Cejka, whose own 67 cemented a four-shot victory. 

For Petrovic, 54, a power player who led the field in driving distance, finishing second marked one more close call at a senior major championship. Since the start of 2018, he now has five top-3 finishes at majors without landing a trophy. It was his second runner-up finish at the KitchenAid Senior PGA. He also finished second in 2018. 

“I think I got the Grand Slam of seconds,” he said jokingly. “I think the only one I don't have second place is The Tradition. Actually I was third in the British a couple years ago, but I've been second in this twice, second in the U.S. (Senior) Open.”

His showing at Southern Hills continued a run of good play for Petrovic, who once delivered pizzas in Florida to make enough to keep playing mini-tours. In five 2021 starts, Petrovic has finished T-6 or better four times. 

Why the good play?

“Maybe doing work on the farm in Texas (he moved to Austin), and staying busy just trying to get my body strong,” he said. “I practiced when I could, but I didn't over do it when I was home. I did putt a lot. I spent a lot of time at home during those off weeks, I was putting probably two, three hours a day maybe on the putting green. Just kind of like when I was a kid I would just go to the putting green, brought the dog and I would just putt around in circles for about three hours plus. Five, six days in a row. I think I started going my putting back, and I think that was a big part of it.”

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