PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Defending Champion Tom Lehman leads a group of 25 major champions who own a combined 43 titles among the early entries for the 72nd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, May 24-29, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
Lehman, 52, will be making his third appearance in the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf, having captured the 2010 Championship in a playoff over Fred Couples and David Frost, also among the entrants. The Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid makes its second-ever visit to Valhalla Golf Club, and first since 2004, with 156 players competing on the 7,297-yard Jack Nicklaus-designed course.
The 1996 Open Champion and captain of the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup Team, Lehman is joined in the field by the following major champions: Paul Azinger (1993 PGA Championship), Mark Brooks (1996 PGA Championship); Mark Calcavecchia (1989 Open Championship); Couples (1992 Masters); Wayne Grady (1990 PGA Championship); Hale Irwin (1974, ’79, ’90 U.S. Open); Tom Kite (1992 U.S. Open); Bernhard Langer (1985, ’93 Masters); Sandy Lyle (1985 Open Championship, 1988 Masters); Larry Mize (1987 Masters); Larry Nelson (1981, ’87 PGA Championship, ’83 U.S. Open); Andy North (1978, ’85 U.S. Open); Mark O’Meara (1998 Masters, ’98 Open Championship); Jerry Pate (1976 U.S. Open); Corey Pavin (1995 U.S. Open); Nick Price (1992, ’94 PGA Championship, ’94 Open Championship); Scott Simpson (1987 U.S. Open); Jeff Sluman (1988 PGA Championship); Craig Stadler (1981 Masters); Hal Sutton (1983 PGA Championship); Bob Tway (1986 PGA Championship); Lanny Wadkins (1977 PGA Championship); Tom Watson (1975, ’77, ’80, ’82, ’83 Open Championship, ’77, ’81 Masters, ’82 U.S. Open); and Fuzzy Zoeller (1979 Masters, ’84 U.S. Open).
Lehman is one of eight Senior PGA Champions among the early entrants, and joined by Michael Allen (2009); Jay Haas (2006, ’08); Irwin (1996, ’97, ’98, 2004); Mike Reid (2005); Doug Tewell (2000), Tom Wargo (1993), Watson (2001) and Zoeller (2002).
Kenny Perry, who makes his Senior PGA Championship debut, leads Kentucky’s delegation. Perry, a resident of Franklin, Ky., was runner-up in the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla; and returned to the course in 2008 where helped guide a victorious U.S. Ryder Cup Team. He will be joined by Russ Cochran of Paducah, the 54-hole leader in the 1996 PGA Championship; and Ted Schulz of Louisville, who owns a 2010 Champions Tour title.
The Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid brings together the strongest field in senior golf. Begun in 1937, the Championship attracts the legends of the game and the newest members of senior professional golf to new audiences throughout the United States.
For nearly 25 years, Valhalla Golf Club has hosted premier events - from the 1996 and 2000 PGA Championships, the 2002 PGA Professional National Championship and 2004 Senior PGA Championship, to the 2008 Ryder Cup.
Any Day and Weeklong ticket packages and Onsite Parking may be purchased by visiting 2011SeniorPGA.com, or by calling the PGA Ticketing Center at (800) PGA-GOLF (742-4653). A limited number of hospitality packages are still available. Contact Matt Dumeyer at MDumeyer@pgahq.com or call (502) 245-2000.
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