Saturday, May 23
Canterbury Tales: Old Pros Vie for Senior PGA Title
Jeff Sluman is contending.
JAY DON BLAKE. NOW THERE’S a name I haven’t heard in a while. The seniors are playing the 70th Senior PGA Championship at Canterbury Golf Club outside of Cleveland, a Golf Digest top 100 course that has hosted its share of major championships, including the 1973 PGA Championship won by Jack Nicklaus.
Blake is hovering near par, which puts him in contention after three rounds. Only a few leaders are in red numbers: Michael Allen, Jeff Sluman Tom Kite, Larry Mize, Gil Morgan and Tim Simpson. The ever-dangerous Bernhard Langer is also within striking distance at plus one.
“Canterbury Golf Club opened its doors to premier championships in 1932,” reads a course history, “hosting the Western Open won by Ralph Guldahl in a playoff over Horton Smith. It followed by hosting the 1940 and 1946 U.S. Open Championships, won respectively by Lawson Little and Lloyd Mangrum.”
Canterbury may be old − it opened in 1921, a Herbert Strong design − but it holds its own in the modern era of souped-up golf equipment and golf balls. Long and furry around the edges with slick, sloping putting surfaces, Canterbury is a worthy test for the old pros.
That beep-beep sound is the players backing up as bogeys pile up on their scorecards. The winner may be the player who can manage to finish in red numbers on Sunday evening.
−The Armchair Golfer