Past Major Champions Take Aim at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
After 50, the body, physically, may slow down. But mentally, the golfers at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship are just as keen to win a Championship as when they were in the early part of their careers.
That’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise to see a major champion contending this week at Harbor Shores.
In all, there are 21 major champions teeing it up this week, led by four-time major winner Ernie Els.
There are seven PGA Championship winners in the field on the shores of Lake Michigan, including Rich Beem, John Daly, Padraig Harrington, Jeff Sluman, Shaun Micheel, David Toms, and Y.E. Yang.
Yang, who won the Wanamaker Trophy in 2009 in an epic duel over Tiger Woods, is making his KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship debut. Yang was just two shots shy of making the cut last week at Southern Hills Country Club.
Plenty of major champions have also triumphed at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, the most recent being Bernhard Langer in 2017. He won by one over Vijay Singh.
Funny enough, a Wanamaker Trophy winner hasn’t won the KitchenAid Senior PGA since Raymond Floyd in 1995.
One golfer who has major championship pedigree – and is just getting started on the over-50 circuit – is Harrington.
The affable Irishman won The Open Championship twice and captured the PGA Championship in 2008.
He turned 50 on Aug. 31 last year and in his PGA Tour Champions major debut — the Regions Tradition earlier in May — he finished runner up. Harrington has finished T2 or second in three of his last four starts on PGA Tour Champions and leads the Tour in Driving Distance. He’s also seventh in Putting Average — which could lead to a lethal combination for success at Harbor Shores given the course’s difficulty. Harrington is also just one year removed from finishing T4 at the PGA Championship behind Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson is not teeing it up this week at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, although the six-time major winner is eligible.
The other major winners playing at Harbor Shores include Claret Jug winners Mark Calcavecchia, Darren Clarke, David Duval, Todd Hamilton, and Tom Lehman, U.S. Open winners Michael Campbell, Retief Goosen, Lee Janzen, Steve Jones, and Corey Pavin, along with Masters champions Bernard Langer, Jose Maria Olazabal, and Mike Weir.
Harbor Shores has hosted the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship every other year since 2012 save for 2020, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.