The Senior PGA Championship starts Thursday on the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind. Here are the day’s notes from the PGA of America.
FRENCH LICK IN SPOTLIGHT THURSDAY
The 76th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid begins Thursday with a field featuring 17 major champions and seven World Golf Hall of Fame members.
JESPER, IT’S THE PETE DYE COURSE
“It’s a beautiful golf course. Probably never seeing anything like it. It’s almost like Whistling Straits on steroids. It’s just beautiful. It’s right in front of you. I don’t think I ever played anything like it, but it’s beautiful and it’s quite a walk. I thought we were going to have buggies like they have on the Champions Tour.” – Jesper Parnevik
PETE DYE ON THE PETE DYE COURSE
“I’ve made so many visits here, I lost count,” said the 89-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer. “The nice thing is that I was allowed to make changes when I saw they had to be made. We moved around a lot of earth here, but I think it all worked out pretty good.”
MONTY, THE DEFENDING CHAMPION
Defending Champion Colin Montgomerie believes that he has a skillset to be competitive on The Pete Dye Course. “My strength is driving the ball, and I’ve put the ball in the fairway during practice. That’s a must around here. A must. You will not find people missing fairways winning here. It’s a complete and utter must to hit the fairways.”
SIR NICK IN THE HOUSE
Sir Nick Faldo, who serves both CBS and Golf Channel as a golf analyst, is making his first and only appearance in the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. Faldo announced earlier this year that this will be his last season in competitive golf.
Faldo on Pete Dye, designer of The Pete Dye Course: “Golf is not a fair game, so why should the golf course be fair?” So I said, thanks, Pete. Christmas here. I just crossed you off my Christmas card list.”
Faldo on transitioning from a TV booth to competitive golf”: “[It’s] damn difficult. If not impossible,” said Faldo. “I can relate more with the average golfer only that only plays four or five times a week. Then I sit on my butt for six hours now and so I noticed about three or four years ago my clubhead speed, I had lost five miles an hour with my driver. So I thought that was a little embarrassing. So I’ve been trying to do something about that, get it back.”
ESPOSITO’S LIFE-CHANGING JOURNEY
Last November, in a matter 10 days, PGA Club Professional Frank Esposito Jr. went from a Champions Tour hopeful to a card-carrying Tour member. He won the Senior PGA Professional National Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and three days later was medalist at the Champions Tour Qualifying School. He finished 27-under-par for those two events. “It feels like the way I’ve been playing this year like such a long time ago,” said Esposito. “But it was a magical two weeks for me. It was actually life changing.”
THEY KNOW THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Eighteen of the 41 PGA Club Professionals competing in the 76th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid competed on The Pete Dye Course in the 2010 PGA Professional National Championship. Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Georgia, was runner-up in 2010, and is returning this week.
Experience KitchenAid on the Golf Course
KitchenAid is out in full force this week with many opportunities for fans to interact with its innovative products. Here’s a snapshot of visual opportunities for you to capture on the golf course:
• KitchenAid Experience – situated at the highest point on the golf course, in a building that can’t be missed, stands the KitchenAid Experience. Come by to witness an entirely new collection of major appliances; a reimagined kitchen professionally inspired and designed for creative cooks.
• Stand Mixer Stadium – as you enter the Championship, you are met with a dramatic 17-foot tall structure featuring more than 54 colorful stand mixers with a selection of attachments – an excellent visual for still and broadcast imagery
• Stand Mixer Pedestals – watch fans engage with a dozen colorful stand mixers lining the entrance walkway
• Introducing Swash – a clothing care system that dewrinkles, refreshes, restores and preserves clothes in just 10 minutes – stop by the Championship entrance to take a look at one of Whirlpool Corporation’s latest inventions.