On Location at the Senior PGA – Monday

What’s going down Monday at the Senior PGA Championship at Laurel Valley Golf Club? Our on-course reporter checks in with a few pictures.

I’m on location at the Laurel Valley Golf Club, 15 minutes from the home of Rolling Rock, Arnold Palmer, and my sister and her husband – my home base for the week. Aside from a wedding (my own) on Friday, I’ll be reporting each day from the LVGC and the Senior PGA Championship.

The story this year on the PGA Tour has been the weather, and unfortunately it was no different today. Though players got out several different times, there was never more than ten minutes without rain until 5pm or so, when the sun finally came out and most players had given up.

Weather Warning

“Insert the Name of Your Company Here” Golf Tournament

Is being a title sponsor really worth it? I think there are better ways to get your company’s name associated with one of the Tour’s.

Golf Sign SponsorIt’s always been a mystery to me how a company can determine that they can get the value out of a $3 million sponsorship deal of a golf tournament (just making numbers up). I mean, I’m positive they don’t get a percentage of revenue. In fact, they’re pretty much covering prize money.

I understand it’s a ton of exposure to millions of fans, and if Tiger’s at the tournament it’s even more of a captive audience, but is it worth $3 million to sponsor the Western Open? Just looking at $3 million for a name recognition seemed weird to me, but an article in Business Week’s Branding the Course piece offered some interesting information.

Volume Ten

Jim Nantz wants to be more than just friends, Amateur shoots 60 to qualify for US Open and who are golf’s next ‘it’ boys.

I’d like to take a moment to throw out the propers to the standard-issued plaid jacket at the Colonial and Paula Creamer’s first LPGA victory. Cheerio. Both standout for different reasons. The jacket looks as though it’s inside-out and Paula’s victory is impressive as she’s only 18.

The links are dedicated to you two this week. It’s my version of a golf clap.

Perry Wins Colonial in Record-Tying Fashion

Kenny Perry tied his own 72-hole record en route to winning for the second time at Colonial.

Kenny Perry at ColonialKenny Perry shot a modest round of 69 on Sunday to claim his second victory at the Bank of America Colonial. He won it two years ago and set the tournament record by posting a winning score of -19. This time around, Perry also finished at -19 to tie his own record. He was well on his way to setting a new tournament record, but a double bogey at the 17th hole derailed that. He also holds the 36-hole and 54-hole scoring records at Colonial. The win was Perry’s second of 2005. He won the Bay Hill Invitational back in March.

Teenager Paula Creamer Wins Sybase by One Stroke

Paula Creamer birdies the 18th hole for a one-stroke victory at the Sybase Classic.

paula_creamer_sybase.jpgPaula Creamer pulled her driver out from under her Pink Panther headcover at the range this morning with confidence. That spunk carried the 18-year old through a soggy day to win her first tournament on the LPGA Tour. Creamer also takes home $187,500 from a total purse of $1.25 million and now moves to fourth place on the offical money list. The winner’s check is $20,000 more than the young superstar made in her eight starts this season. Don’t expect to see the rookie win back-to-back next week at the Corning Classic as she’s heading home to Florida for her high school graduation. “It’s going to be fun going home for graduation, that’s for sure,” she said. “I can’t even speak let alone think right now. It’s awesome. I have so much energy right now.”

Kenny Perry Seeing Clearly at 2005 Colonial

Kenny Perry’s record setting second and third rounds build a considerable cushion going into Sunday’s final round.

Kenny PerryKenny Perry is putting on a golf clinic this week at the Bank of America Colonial. Thursday at 5-under, Friday at 7-under, and Saturday at 6-under all add up to a new third round scoring record at the Colonial. Perry didn’t think the 36-hole record was enough and proceeded to break his own 54-hold record at 18-under 192 today. The Colonial tournament is firmly in Perry’s control as he leads second-place Billy Mayfair and Steve Stricker by seven strokes.

Perhaps the Colonial course is perfect for Perry’s game as he is ranked 8th in driving distance, 37th in fairways hit, and 1st in greens in regulation on the Tour in 2005. The Colonial Country Club requires both accuracy and distance and Perry has both and his stats reflect. If he holds on to this comfortable lead a win here be his second at the Colonial, his first coming in 2003, a year in which he posted 3 wins.

Christina Kim Alone at the Top in Third Round of Sybase

Christina Kim snaches the lead from rookie Paula Creamer in third round action of Sybase Classic.

christina_kim_fistpump.jpgIt would be great if all golfers could play as happily as Christina Kim has done for the past three rounds of the Sybase Classic. Kim led in round one. She then tied for second place in second round action remaining just one stroke off of Creamer’s lead. With eleven straight pars two birdies and a solo bogey Kim finished her round with a 1-under 70, a score good enough to topple second round leader Paula Creamer by one stroke. Gloria Park and Joo Mi Kim are challenging with Creamer, but it’s Kim who has been looking the most comfortable this week making pars even when she’s in trouble. If Kim can hang on and win the final round tomorrow she will grab her second trophy on the LPGA tour. When asked what score she had in mind for her final round Kim laughed, “Fifty-four. I’m pretty sure I’d walk off with that.”

Perry Sets 36-Hole Scoring Record at Colonial

Kenny Perry shot a blistering 63 in the second round to take the lead by three shots going into the weekend.

Kenny Perry at ColonialIn the Bank of America Colonial preview, I said the low rounds were hard to find. I couldn’t have been more wrong with that statement. Kenny Perry followed up a superb opening-round 65 with a flawless round of 63 to take the lead at the halfway point in Fort Worth. He put together seven birdies and zero bogeys in his round Friday, and he has only had one bogey overall in the first two rounds. Perry’s score of 128 after two rounds is the tournament record. He set the tournament record for the entire tournament when he won in 2003, and he will be looking to inch ever so close to that this weekend.

Player says New Equipment is Ruining the Game

Gary Player wants to take away the metal clubs used by pros and put wooden clubs in their hands. My reaction? Nice knowing you, Gary. Have fun in La La Land.

Gary Player SwingingI’ve got all the respect in the world for Gary Player. His record is spotless. Oh, well, except for that cheating thing. But really, Gary Player, a brilliant guy and a great player with a good head on his shoulders. Oh, well, except for those stupid comments he made last week.

Gary Player is asking governing bodies to impose “drastic” restrictions to the equipment used on the professional tours. Says Player, a short hitter even in his prime, “There’s not even a debate. There must be a premium on driving.” New equipment is “ruining the game of golf.”

Player elaborated, saying “I play on the Champions Tour now, and there are guys on it who are shooting scores that they could never shoot when they were young men. It just doesn’t make sense, and it’s ruining golf.”