The 2004 Senior PGA Championship
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White
Jim White, of Lincoln, Neb., earned $29,000 for his final-round charge. (PGA.com / Montana Pritchard)

Nebraska's White claims low PGA club professional honors

Jim White of Lincoln, Neb., made up for missing the cut in two previous Senior PGA Championships by closing with an eye-popping three consecutive birdies Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club to capture low PGA Professional honors.

By Bob Denney, PGA of America

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jim White of Lincoln, Neb., who had missed the cut in two previous Senior PGA Championship appearances, birdied his last three holes to grab low scoring honors among 37 fellow PGA Professionals with an even-par 71 Monday at Valhalla Golf Club.

The 65th Senior PGA Championship was the third in history to be played on a fifth day, the result of five consecutive days of bad weather and two nearby tornadoes on Sunday. There were 10 PGA club professionals making the 36-hole cut of 7-over-par 149.

White, a 54-year-old PGA Master Professional, made the most of his third appearance by finishing tied for 17th with a 72-hole total of 3-over-par 287. He earned $29,000.

Roy Vucinich of Moon Township, Pa., who was the low club professional finisher in 2001 and 2002, tied for 21st this year with a closing 75 and 289 total. Lonnie Nielsen of Orchard Park, N.Y., a full-time Champions Tour member since January after a remarkable 20-year club professional career, tied for 31st with Mike San Filippo of Hobe Sound, Fla., at 292.

"I think it's fantastic," said White, the director operations at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club and owner of North Forty Golf Course, both in Lincoln. "It was a long week, but it was a lot of fun. It was a tough golf course, it kind of suited my game.

"It helped that the fairways were soft. I could hit it out there pretty good. And I just putted well, for the most part, and hit a lot of good iron shots. It was great. It was a tough week and I ruined a lot of clothes, but other than that it was great."

White turned in a 69 in the third round for his lowest 18 holes in eight rounds in the Championship. He began play Monday on the back nine.

"I had 11 holes to go coming in and I blew a 7-iron right over the green on 17, made bogey. And, then hit it in three feet on 18 and missed it for birdie," said White. "So I'm going, 'Oh, man.' Then I hit a wonderful 6-iron to two feet on No. 2, the hardest hole out here today, probably, and made birdie. And that got me going. hen I knocked it on 7 in 2 and 2-putted. And hit it three feet on 8. And hit it 15 -- 12, 15 feet on 9. So it made a great finish. I mean birdie, birdie, birdie, who would have dreamt that one up?

"Finishing like I did was pretty satisfying. It was probably the best ball striking week I've had consistently for four rounds. So it was one of those magical weeks for me. Having my son on the bag made it even more special. So we had a great time."

A PGA Life Member, Vucinich finished fourth in 2002, but could not improve upon two middle rounds of 70.

"I was a little bit disappointed with today's finish," said Vucinich. "I ended up with 75 and I was looking for something a little bit stronger than that to be able to maybe get back into the PGA next year through this event. But it was really good. It was good playing, I was very happy the way I played.

"Today it was survival. No question about it. I mean, it was brutal out there. The first holes we played, we started on 9 and it played long and hard. And you just can't believe it. It's very difficult."

PGA Professional Performances in The 65th Senior PGA Championship

Pos. Player/Hometown Results Earnings
T17 Jim White, Lincoln, Neb. 75-72-69-71-287 $29,000
T21 Roy Vucinich, Moon Township, Pa. 74-70-70-75-289 $19,250
T31 Lonnie Nielsen, Orchard, N.Y. 74-70-72-76-292 $10,500
T31 Mike San Filippo, Hobe Sound, Fla. 76-70-73-73-292 $10,500
T47 Bob Ford, Oakmont, Pa. 74-73-76-73-296 $5,250
T51 Bob Ralston, Little Rock, Ark. 75-72-70-80-297 $4,412.50
T57 John Aubrey, Butler, Pa. 75-74-73-77-299 $4,050
T63      
T65 Jeff Thomsen, Boise, Idaho 71-75-74-82-302 $3,775
T68 Scott Bess, Columbia, Mo. 76-71-74-82-303 $3,775
Did Not Make 36-Hole Cut
T76 Darrell Kestner, Glen Cove, N.Y. 74-76-150  
T76 Bobby Heins, Purchase, N.Y. 76-74-150  
T86 Bob Bilbo, Olney, Md. 75-76-151  
T86 Tom Strueber, Dallas, Texas 70-81-151  
T91 Paul Parajeckas, Woburn, Mass. 81-71-152  
T91 Pete Oakley, Lincoln, Del. 73-79-152  
T91 Gary Baker, Naples, Fla. 79-73-152  
T91 Jerry Wisz, Covina, Calif. 74-78-152  
99 Mike Harrigan, Arlington Heights, Ill. 79-74-153  
109 Bill Schumaker, Columbia City, Ind. 75-79-154  
T117 Tom Herzan, Findlay, Ohio 78-77-155  
T117 Gary Sowinski, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. 78-77-155  
T117 Tom Joyce, Huntington, N.Y. 80-75-155  
T125 Don Brigham, Rumson, N.J. 79-77-156  
T125 Dick McClean, La Quinta, Calif. 77-79-156  
T125 Jim Fellner, Myrtle Beach, S.C. 78-78-156  
131 Roger Kennedy, Stuart, Fla. 78-79-157  
T133 Bob Giusti, Halifax, Mass. 75-83-158  
T133 Jon Fiedler, Camarillo, Calif. 80-78-158  
T135 Buddy Harston, Lexington, Ky. 81-78-159  
T135 Patrick O'Brien, Coral Gables, Fla. 79-80-159  
T135 George Newbeck, Maryville, Tenn. 80-79-159  
142 Jerry Tucker, Stuart, Fla. 78-86-164  
144 Roy Christensen, Spanish Fork, Utah 83-83-166  
  John Brott, Sanford, Fla. 87-WD  
  Will Frantz, North Port, Fla. WD  
  Ed Sabo, Tequesta, Fla. WD  

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