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Notebook: Sindelar wins the battle of the local heroes
Of all the local guys in the field, it was Sindelar who captured the unofficial "New York locals" flight when he tied for third at the Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. His final-round 72 placed him at 9 over par for the week and two strokes ahead of Rochester native Jeff Sluman.
"It was such a hard course," Sindelar said. "As soon as the first couple of guys started to go sideways, we got a little giggly in my group. We were bleeding to death and then we looked up at the leaderboard and saw that they were almost chasing us."
At one point during the round, Sindelar thought he had an outside shot at earning a major win just a few hours away from his hometown in Horseheads, N.Y. But Jay Haas wound up making par on the final hole and ended with a two-stroke advantage over Sindelar.
"I hit great tee shots and stinky wedges today," Sindelar said of his final-round performance where he hit the fairway five times in 14 attempts and landed on the green in regulation 13 of 18 times.
As a New Yorker, he was proud of his finish but wanted to brag more about the city of Rochester.
"It's awesome stuff to all of us who grew up here or live here now," Sindelar said. "Rochester represented themselves so well this week. It makes a central New York guy very proud."
FANDEMONIUM: Prior to this week, Greg Norman had only played two events ever on the Champions Tour. So he was pleased to find that so many fans came out to watch the 50-and-over champions tee it up.
"Norman said to me as we were going up No. 15, 'This is the real deal. This was a great turnout,'" Joey Sindelar said.
While official numbers have not been released, Champions Tour veteran Jim Thorpe gave his own assessment of the tens of thousands who showed up.
"This is the biggest crowd I've seen I think since I've been on the Champions Tour," Thorpe said. "And I started in 1999. We got a major crowd here."
FIGURING IT OUT: At the start of the season, Gene Jones was not exempt into any tournaments on the Champions Tour.
He shared medalist honors with Rick Rhoden at the Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament in 2007 but that only got him into weekly qualifiers. That meant that, each Monday or Tuesday, Jones had to play his way into the upcoming event.
Well, he's had quite a run. Jones qualified for several tournaments and has already earned over $200,000 this season. He has three top-10 finishes this year, including a tie for ninth at the Senior PGA Championship.
Jones shot 69 in the final round, one of only three players with sub-par scores on Sunday.
"I never played here before and I really didn't know what to expect. I was just happy to play in the tournament," Jones said. "So I got here and I was sort of confused a little early with the high rough. I haven't played much of that. But I just kept working at it real hard."
His scores got progressively better as he figured out Oak Hill Country Club. Jones went around the course in 76 strokes on Thursday, 74 strokes on Friday and 72 on Saturday.
"I started playing better every day. I did. I started driving the ball a little better. I started thinking about just keeping it more in play rather than -- or I just got more used to the course as I went along. But it got tougher every day," Jones said.
After beginning his final round with two bogeys in three holes, he settled down and fired off four birdies in the next 12 holes.
"I knew on the range tonight and today that I was going to play better today. And that's sort of the way I looked at it. And I got it going a little bit. You just have to be real, real patient," Jones said.
A HELPING HAND: Ever wonder what they do with all of the leftover food at major golf events?
On Tuesday, long after the players and spectators have left the grounds of Oak Hill Country Club, the 69th Senior PGA Championship will give one more thing back to the Rochester community. A large amount of food that was not used at the event will be donated to the Open Door Mission, a not-for-profit ministry that gives emergency food and shelter to people in need.
"As with The PGA of America's Community Relations Program, which supports a wide variety of local charities, we are always very mindful of giving back to the community that supports us," said PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb. "We hope the Open Door Mission will be able to make good use of the food and applaud them for the outstanding work they do every day."
Representatives from the Open Door Mission will pick up the food at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning at the Media Center.
"Wherever we go we seek an outstanding charity to work with that can make sure any excess food goes to people in need," said Chris Barnes, Regional Manager of Operations for Levy Restaurants, which provides catering and food service for PGA of America events. "We are pleased that we can do some good for people in need in the community by making this donation."
The PGA of America will return to Oak Hill, one of the toughest but fairest courses in the nation, for the 2013 PGA Championship.
BOURNE IDENTITY: Bobby Jones never played in the Senior PGA Championship but he helped get the now-71-year-old tournament off the ground.
Only 31 players competed for the Alfred S. Bourne trophy in the inaugural Senior PGA Championship. The tournament, held at Augusta National Golf Club in 1937 by Jones' suggestion, was won by Jock Hutchinson of Scotland.
Hutchinson's prize for winning the oldest event in senior golf was the silver Bourne Trophy, which weighs 30 pounds.
The trophy is named for Alfred Severin Bourne of Washington, Conn., and Augusta, Ga. He was one of the first members of Augusta National Golf Club and a longtime supporter of PGA Club Professionals. He donated $1,500 for the creation of the trophy, which has since been placed in the hands of such legends as Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Gary Player and Jay Haas (for the second time).