Twenty-one major champions and representatives from 16 countries will open play Thursday in the 78th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club-D.C., the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf.The 7,130-yard, par-72 Championship Course at Trump National, nestled some 25 miles northwest of downtown Washington, D.C., is a layout designed by Tom Fazio in 1991. In the summer of 2014, Donald J. Trump selected Tom Fazio II to lead a comprehensive renovation.
“The golf course is a perfect major championship course,” said defending champion Rocco Mediate. “They could have the young kids of the PGA (Tour) here in a second if they wanted to, because they got the length. But it’s great. It’s right in front of you, no craziness, just good.”
The KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship is the first major to be conducted on a Trump Organization property and the first played in the Middle Atlantic PGA Section, which has five PGA Club Professionals in the field.
The 156-member field, with the 21 major champions combining for 38 major championships, will compete for a total purse of $3 million.
Germany’s Bernhard Langer claimed his eighth career PGA Tour Champions’ major championship by winning last week at the Regions Tradition to match Jack Nicklaus’ mark for most career major victories in senior golf. Langer’s initial attempt to eclipse Nicklaus will occur this week on the Championship Course at Trump National Golf Club – Washington, D.C.
SEEKING THE SENIOR SLAM
Germany’s Bernhard Langer, winner of last week’s Regions Tradition (for a second straight year), now targets the 78th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in an attempt to become golf’s first player to complete a “Senior Career Slam.” Langer has posted five career top-10s in the Senior PGA Championship, and his best finish was a solo second in his 2008 debut at Oak Hill. Last year, Langer finished in a tie for third place.
LANGER’S MISSING MAJOR
Since 2010, Langer has won four of the PGA Tour Champions’ five major championships, and eight overall in 36 career attempts. Jack Nicklaus, who competed only once in the 2003 Senior British Open (T-14) before retiring from senior major competition by 2004, joins Langer as the only other player to win four different senior majors. MARQUEE PAIRING
The marquee group of the first two rounds includes Defending Champion Rocco Mediate, Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez and two-time major champion John Daly. They will tee off Thursday at 1:30 p.m. off No. 11
MAJOR WINNERS ONLY APPLY
A trio of threesomes Thursday and Friday are filled exclusively with major champions. They are: Colin Montgomerie, David Toms and Tom Lehman, who begin play Thursday at 7:50 a.m. on the No. 1 Tee; Tom Kite, Mark Brooks and Sandy Lyle start at 12:55 p.m. on the No. 1 tee; and Tom Watson, Ian Woosnam and Larry Mize at 1:00 p.m. on the No. 11 tee.
NOTABLE FIRST TIMERS AT THE KITCHENAID SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
The following notables are slated to make their debuts in the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship: Miguel Angel Jimenez (26 career wins worldwide), Jose Maria Olazabal (two-time Masters Champion, Ryder Cup Captain-Europe), Vijay Singh (two-time PGA Champion) and David Toms (2001 PGA Champion).
THE FIELD’S DNA
The field for the 78th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship features 21 Major Champions (eight Masters Champions, seven U.S. Open Champions, six PGA Champions, six Open Champions), who have combined on 38 Majors; 10 Senior PGA Champions; nine members of the World Golf Hall of Fame; and eight Ryder Cup Captains (four from each side). Sixteen international countries are represented this week’s field at Trump National Golf Club.
36 CLUB PROS IN THE FIELD
Thirty-Six PGA Club Professionals are in the 78th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship field, including 15 who are competing in the Championship for the first time (* - making Championship debut): Don Berry, Rogers, Minnesota; Bill Britton, Rumson, New Jersey; *Mark Brown, Oyster Bay, New York; Brian Cairns, Walled Lake, Michigan; Walt Chapman, Knoxville, Tennessee; Jeff Coston, Blaine, Washington; Jim Estes, Olney, Maryland; Gene Fieger, Naples, Florida; *Tim Fleming, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; George Forster, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania; *Rick Gomes, Tequesta, Florida; *Daniel Heaslip, Naples, Florida; *Stuart Hendley, Midland, Texas; Lee Houtteman, Glen Arbor, Michigan; Stephen Keppler, Marietta, Georgia; Brad Lardon, Santa Fe, New Mexico; *John Lee, Naples, Florida; *Timothy Lewis, Norfolk, Virginia; Todd McCorkle, Birmingham, Alabama; *Brendan McGrath, Centreville, Virginia; *David McNabb, Newark, Delaware; *Mike Northern, Colorado Springs, Colorado; *Charles Raulerson Jr., Fleming Island, Florida; Jeff Roth, Farmington, New Mexico; Steve Schneiter, Sandy, Utah; *Rea Schuessler, Gulf Shores, Alabama; Rick Schuller, Chester, Virginia; Gary Sowinski, San Diego, California; Craig Stevens, Dallas, Georgia; Stephen Stull, Richland, Washington; Craig Thomas, White Plains, New York; Robert Thompson, Huntsville, Texas; *Ricky Touma, Olney, Maryland; Jerry Tucker, Stuart, Florida; *Gus Ulrich, Whispering Pines, North Carolina; and *Rodney Wilson, Sunnyvale, California.