GREAT SCOTT!! McCARRON LOVES THE KITCHENAID SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
Scott McCarron’s followed Thursday’s 66 with a solid 68 in Friday’s second round. His perch at the top of the leaderboard should be of little surprise, as he’s finished with a pair of top 10s in his two KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship’s to date: T-7 in 2016 at Harbor Shores and T-5 in 2017 at Trump National in Washington, D.C.
RELATED: With Jack watching, McCarron, Sutherland take second round lead
McCarron has quickly become a fan of Harbor Shores, “this golf course is one I really liked the first time I came to it. It's a golf course that you got to drive the ball well, I've got a little length so it's a little advantage on a couple of the par-5s … I'm able to take advantage on some of those short holes, which is key out here. But I like the golf course, it's a lot of fun to play, you got some great holes, 7 and 8, back there on the dunes, there's some really tough little holes there that you got to watch out for. And then it's got some par-5s that I can reach and make some birdies and be aggressive with. (And) you (have) a great finishing stretch, 16, 17, 18.”
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PGA OF AMERICA AND WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION ANNOUNCE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
On Friday, Whirlpool Corporation Chairman of the Board Jeff Fettig announced the creation of the Jack and Barbara Nicklaus KitchenAid Senior PGA Champions for Change Scholarship Program. An annual scholarship of $25,000 will be granted each year through 2024 to one member of the Benton Harbor community who has graduated with an Associate’s Degree from the Lake Michigan Community College “Start to Finish Program” and seeks to continue his/her college education. Recipients may use the new scholarship to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree or to further advance a technical degree.
Joining Fettig at the announcement were Harbor Shores Course Designer and 18-time Major Champion, Jack Nicklaus, inaugural recipient of the PGA First Lady of Golf, Barbara Nicklaus, and PGA of America President, Paul Levy.
“The Nicklaus family has made an incredible impact on the Benton Harbor area,” said Fettig. “We are thrilled to create this scholarship in Jack and Barbara Nicklaus’ name.”
For the full press release, click here.
MIELKE’S STEADY ROUND EARNS A BERTH IN THE WEEKEND
Mielke, a 55-year-old PGA Life Member from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, followed a 3-under-par 68 on Thursday by grinding out a hard-earned even-par 71 for a 139 total at Harbor Shores. He became the lone player among a 41-member PGA Club Professional contingent to make the 36-hole cut of 1-over-par 143.
Mielke shared the Low Club Professional honor in 2013 at the Senior PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis. He just needs to finish 36 holes this weekend to carry the crystal cup home alone.
MORE: We followed Nicklaus, McCarron and Jimenez Friday. Here's what we learned
SLUMAN’S BIG JUMP
Jeff Sluman, who opened with a 74 on Thursday, rebounded in a big way on Friday, posting a 65 that included a bogey on the par-4 18th hole. Sluman’s 65 is tied with Jerry Kelly (T3: 70-65-135) for the low round of the Championship to date and it helped him jump 80 spots on the leaderboard, as he is tied for 19th after two rounds.
SUB-30 NINE FOR DODD
Stephen Dodd began his second round on an absolute tear. Two strings of three consecutive birdies (holes 1 to 3 and 7 to 9), along with another birdie at No. 5, led to a PGA Tour Champions nine-hole season low score of 29. Dodd’s momentum vanished quickly, and he finished his round with a 1-over 72.
Seiji Ebihara holds the Championship nine-hole scoring record with an 8-under 27, which occurred during the final round of the 2002 Championship at Firestone Country Club (back nine).
SEEKING THEIR FIRST
Championship co-leader Scott McCarron claimed his first career senior major championship at the 2017 Constellation Senior Players Championship. He is the lone individual in the top ten with this achievement on his resume. The following players are in pursuit of their first career senior major victory: Kevin Sutherland (T1), Tim Petrovic (T3), Joe Durant (T3), Chris Williams (T3), Jerry Kelly (T3), Paul Goydos (T7), David Toms (T7), Ken Tanigawa (T7), Barry Lane (T10), Joey Sindelar (T10), Magnus Altevi (T10), Peter Lonard (T10), and Jerry Pate (T10). Pate (1976 U.S. Open) and Toms (2001 PGA Championship) both won major championships while competing on PGA Tour; both taking place at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Each of the three KitchenAid Senior PGA Champions at Harbor Shores (Roger Chapman, 2012; Colin Montgomerie, 2014; Rocco Mediate, 2016) were first-time senior major winners.
CELEBRITY CHEF SERIES CONTINUES
Big day at the Fairway Club tomorrow! The Culinary Director at Food & Wine, host of Mad Genius LIVE, James Beard Award nominee and author of two cookbooks, Justin Chapple, will be hosting a live cooking demonstration at 1 p.m. Following Justin, Tim Foley, Head Chef at Bread+Bar and Bit of Swiss, will take the stage at 2:30. Closing out a full afternoon of cooking will be Abra Berens of Granor Farm at 4 p.m.
THIS ENCORE ISN’T AN ACCIDENT!
Northern Michigan favorites, The Accidentals, who were named as one of the top breakout groups in 2015 by Billboard, will take over a newly constructed stage at the Championship entrance on Saturday night to perform for golf fans. Opening for The Accidentals is another local favorite, Slim Gypsy Baggage, a Southwest Michigan born blend of Soulful, Spirited, Roots Rock. All fans with a valid ticket to the Championship on Saturday will have access to attend this concert, which begins at 5:00 p.m. Championship gates and concession stands will remain open through 8:00 p.m. to accommodate this special musical guest.