By Bob Denney, The PGA of America
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- With his victory, Tom Watson becomes the second-oldest winner of the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. Watson will turn 62 on Sept. 4. Jock Hutchison was 62 when he won the Championship in 1947.
SECOND STRAIGHT PLAYOFF: This is the second straight playoff in the Senior PGA Championship. Last year, Tom Lehman defeated Fred Couples and David Frost on the first hole of sudden death at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo.
ON TO HARBOR SHORES: The 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid will be held May 24-27, 2012, at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich.
The Golf Club at Harbor Shores, which will also host the 2014 Senior PGA Championship, is an 18-hole public Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course that is located in the backyard of KitchenAid, the presenting sponsor of the Senior PGA Championship.
The Golf Club at Harbor Shores opened in August 2010 and is the cornerstone of a major revitalization project in Benton Harbor.
The 2013 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid will be held at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis. Bellerive will also host the 2018 PGA Championship.
MAKING HIS MARK: Keith Reese, PGA head professional at Valhalla Golf Club, got to see different parts of the club Sunday morning than he otherwise had expected before the start of the Championship. With twosomes going off in the final round, and 79 players having made the cut, The PGA of America asked PGA Club Professional Tim Parun if he would agree to have a playing marker to accompany him for the first tee time, at 7:35 a.m.
Enter Reese, Valhalla's head man since 1997. Understandably, Reese was nervous at the start, but he did rally on the back nine to shoot an unofficial 2-under-par 34.
"What a great experience," said Reese, 46. "Once my heart rate slowed down and my arms got feeling back in them, I hit a couple of decent shots. To be able to play in this type of arena with the stands, and the [Valhalla Golf Club] members were unbelievable. Tim could not have been more of a gentleman and accepting of us out there, having fun. It was an amazing day."
PERRY FALLS SHORT: The will certainly was there for Kentucky native and resident Kenny Perry to win his first Senior PGA Championship before the home crowd. But Perry lost his way by failing to shoot in the 60s over the final three rounds. Perry's closing score of 1-over-par 73 on Sunday included five bogeys and 34 putts.
'96 PGA CHAMPION BROOKS CLOSES WITH 72: Mark Brooks, who won the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla, shot even-par 72 on Sunday to finish at 10 over par and in a tie for 57th place. Brooks' undoing came in the third round, when he made eight bogeys and a double bogey to shoot 81.
FAST START FOR NELSON: Two-time PGA Champion Larry Nelson birdied three of his first four holes on Sunday but struggled on the back nine and shot 74. Nelson will be honored during the PGA Championship in August with the PGA Distinguished Service Award, the Association's highest annual honor.
Previous recipients of the PGA Distinguished Service Award include Bob Hope, U.S. Presidents Gerald R. Ford and George H.W. Bush, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
THREE OTHER SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONS: In addition to Tom Watson and Hale Irwin, three other Senior PGA Champions completed 72 holes on Sunday.
--Michael Allen, the 2009 Champion, closed with 1-under par 71 and finished at 4 under par and in 11th place.
--Defending Champion Tom Lehman struggled to 77 on Sunday, and tied for 22nd at even par.
--Jay Haas, Senior PGA Champion in 2006 and '08, shot 72 on Sunday after three consecutive 73s. He tied for 34th.
FINAL ROUND BY THE NUMBERS:
2: Number of Senior PGA Championship titles now won by Tom Watson
10: Number of years since Watson's first Senior PGA Championship title, tying him with Jock Hutchison for the longest span between victories in Championship history
T16: David Eger's previous best finish in the Senior PGA Championship, in 2008
18: Number of players who finished under par in the 2004 Senior PGA Championship played at Valhalla
21: Number of players who finished under par this week
67: Best score of the final round, posted by runner-up David Eger
277: 72-hole scores posted by David Eger and Tom Watson (Hale Irwin won with 276 in 2004 at Valhalla)