PGA.com news services
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (PGA.com) -- Golf's legendary "Big Three" of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player -- who have won a combined 34 major championships -- will lead a group of 24 major champions in a world-class field, May 27-30, in the 65th Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
The 65th Senior PGA Championship, the oldest and most prestigious event in senior golf, features its largest-ever field of 156, which include defending champion John Jacobs and 11 past Senior PGA Champions. Overall, the 24 major champions in the field have combined to win 75 major titles.
Palmer, 74, winner of seven major titles, is making his 23rd Senior PGA Championship appearance. He won the Senior PGA Championship in 1980 and 1984. Nicklaus, 64, a Senior PGA Champion in 1991 and making his 14th appearance, owns a record 18 major championships spanning three decades. Player, 68, has won nine major championships and returns for his 19th Senior PGA Championship, having won titles in 1986, '88, '90.
Among the returning Senior PGA Champions is Jack Fleck, 82, who captured the 1979 Senior PGA Championship and who is best remembered for stunning the sports world with his 1955 U.S. Open playoff victory over Ben Hogan. A resident of Fort Smith, Ark., Fleck is making his 18th Senior PGA Championship start.
The Senior PGA Champions in the field are: Allen Doyle (1999), Fleck, Raymond Floyd (1995), Hale Irwin (1996, '97, '98), Jacobs, Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Doug Tewell (2000), Tom Wargo (1993), Tom Watson (2001) and Fuzzy Zoeller (2002).
Rounding out the remaining major champions in the field and their total major titles are: Watson (8), Raymond Floyd (4), Hale Irwin (3), Larry Nelson (3), Ben Crenshaw (2), Al Geiberger (1), David Graham (2), Hubert Green (2), Andy North (2), Dave Stockton (2), Zoeller (2), Tommy Aaron (1), Bob Charles (1), Tom Kite (1), John Mahaffey (1), Bobby Nichols (1), Jerry Pate (1), Bill Rogers (1), Craig Stadler (1) and Charles Coody (1).
Pate, winner of the 1976 U.S. Open, is making his Senior PGA Championship debut after spending much of 2003 rehabilitating from shoulder surgery.
The Senior PGA Championship was begun in 1937 at Augusta National Golf Club at the invitation of legendary Bobby Jones, and has since featured the game's legendary stars that have reached the age of 50.
Tickets to the 65th Senior PGA Championship are available by calling 1-800-PGA-TCKT (742-8258), or by visiting www.seniorPGA2004.com
The PGA of America, founded in 1916, is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf while continuing to enhance the standards of the profession. The Association is comprised of more than 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals who are dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.
Copyright 2004 by PGA.com. All rights reserved.