Senior PGA Championship

The scoreboard at Harbor Shores announced Wednesday's big news.

Wednesday Notebook: KitchenAid extends Senior PGA Championship sponsorship

By The PGA of America

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – KitchenAid, a premium brand of Whirlpool Corporation, today announced an expanded partnership with the PGA of America to become the title sponsor of the Senior PGA Championship, the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf. This eight-year title sponsorship extends through 2024, and will bring the relationship between KitchenAid and the PGA of America – which began as a presenting sponsorship in 2011 – to 14 years. 

With the KitchenAid title sponsorship, which begins in 2017, the Championship becomes the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and cements return visits to Benton Harbor, Michigan, in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2024. Harbor Shores, in turn, becomes the home course of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. This agreement will yield an enhanced purse in years to come that reflects the proud tradition of the Championship and the outstanding field it attracts.

PRIME TIME FOR A SENIOR CAREER SLAM: Germany’s Bernhard Langer, winner of last week’s Regions Tradition, now targets the 77th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid in an attempt to become golf’s first player to complete a “Senior Career Slam.” Since 2010, Langer has won four of the PGA Tour Champions’ five major championships, and six overall in 31 attempts. Jack Nicklaus, who competed once in the 2003 Senior British Open (T-14) before retiring from senior major competition by 2004, joins Langer as the only players to win four different senior major championships. 

Nicklaus leads with eight career senior major titles, followed by Hale Irwin (7). Langer, Gary Player and Tom Watson are tied for third with six each. Sam Snead won six Senior PGA Championships from 1964-73. The PGA Tour Champions originated in 1980.

Langer's senior major titles include the 2016 Tradition, which he won on Sunday), along with the Senior Players Championship in 2014 and 2015, the Senior Open Championship in 2010 and 2014, and the U.S. Senior Open in 2010.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE ROOKIE: John Daly, 50, entering his first Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid,  feels that he has been given a second lease on his career. “This is the only sport in the history of sports that you can say you're a rookie again at the age of 50. So that's pretty nice,” said Daly.

TRIBUTE TO A PGA FRIEND: Steve Schneiter of Sandy, Utah,  competing in his third straight Senior PGA Championship, and 17th overall major (PGA Tour and PGA Champions Tour), is paying tribute to his late friend, PGA Teaching Professional Mike Borich, who passed away suddenly on May 3, while giving a group lesson at Schneiter’s Pebblebrook Links in Sandy, Utah. 

Borich competed in several majors, including a Senior PGA Championship and the 2000 U.S. Open. “Mike left us doing what he loved,” said Schneiter. “I’m trying to give a little more attention to how many people he touched in his life, and pay tribute at this Championship.”

PREPARING FOR MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: Before the first tee shot Thursday, May 26, and Sunday, May 29, spectators can join the Military Rites Team as they present our nation’s colors and join together in the pledge of allegiance followed by a TAPS/21 Gun Salute.

Hole No. 17 Marshals through Whirlpool Veterans Association – The entire group of volunteers on No. 17 will be military Veterans, who will wear special PGA HOPE caps honoring their service and also promoting the PGA REACH-sanctioned initiative. 

NO SHIRTTAIL COUSIN TO INDUSTRY GREATNESS: Tsuyoshi Yoneyama, 51, is one of four Japanese players competing this week. He is making his debut in the Championship and is an ardent supporter of Yonex equipment, a company celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and founded in 1946 by Minoru Yoneyama. However, Tsuyoshi is no relation to the family that continues to be a worldwide supplier in golf, tennis and badminton.   

MARQUEE PAIRINGS: The marquee group of the first two rounds is two-time defending champion Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, Kenny Perry of Franklin, Kentucky, and Rocco Mediate of Jacksonville, Florida.

MAJOR WINNERS ONLY APPLY: Two threesomes Thursday and Friday are filled exclusively with major champions. They are: Larry Mize, Sandy Lyle and Scott Simpson begin play Thursday at 8:40 a.m. on the No. 10 Tee; while John Daly, Mark Calcavecchia and Bernhard Langer start at 1:40 p.m. on the No. 10 tee. 

BORN IN THE USA: Thanks to the stellar play of Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie (2014, 2015), Japan’s Kohki Idoki (2013) and England’s Roger Chapman (2012), the last U.S.-born player to win the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid was Tom Watson in 2011. Before Chapman’s breakthrough victory here at Harbor Shores in 2012, an American had won 20 of the previous 21 Championships dating to 1991. There are 116 Americans among the 156-player field for this week’s 77th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.

KITCHENAID FAIRWAY CLUB: The KitchenAid Fairway club is once again the hub of activity for the presenting sponsor of the Senior PGA Championship, and has been completely rebuilt. Fans and attendees can interact with a variety of KitchenAid appliances, ranging from the iconic KitchenAid Stand Mixer to newer, modern products including the Artisan Mini Stand Mixer, Pro Line Blenders and a suite of black stainless major appliances. There will also be an interactive photo booth. 

The Celebrity Chef Series returns Thursday at 1 p.m. with Geoffrey Zakarian, winner of The Next iron Chef: Super Chefs on Food Network. At 2:30 p.m., Luke Caenepeel of Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan, will be featured.

THROWBACK THURSDAY WITH THE O'JAYS: Thursday evening, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members and R&B Legends The O’Jays will headline a free community concert at Dwight P. Mitchell City Center Park in downtown Benton Harbor. Local saxophonist Tim Cunningham and the Andrew Fisher Quartet will open for the O’Jays. Local food trucks will be on-site at the concert serving favorite dishes.