YOU’D have to be a real night owl or very early riser to watch much of the Australian pay television coverage but the 71st US Senior PGA Championship gets underway early Friday morning.
It is the first major championship of the 2010 Champions Tour and will pit many of the cream off the world’s over 50 year old golfers against the longest course in the tour’s history.
The 7604 yard Colorado Golf Club course just outside of Denver was designed by Bill Coore and one of the tournament’s competitors – Ben Crenshaw.
Crenshaw might be aided by lots of local knowledge but along with the others in the star studded field will have to contend not only with the record length, but with the potential buffeting winds, high altitude, four inch rough, punishing terrain and narrow fairways.
In a field bristling with major champions and golfing legends it will be interesting to see if tough course or golfing guile wins the day.
“There’s enough for players to have their hands full,” Crenshaw said this week in the lead up to the event.
“But they’re pretty skilled at breaking down a golf course and seeing how it plays.”
Were he to win, Crenshaw would become the first player to claim the Senior PGA on a course he designed himself since Jack Nicklaus accomplished the feat more than 19 years ago at the PGA National Golf Club.
A probably more likely winner would be Champions Tour rookie and runaway 2010 prize money leader Fred Couples.
Then there’s fellow in form major winners including Bernhard Langer, Tom Watson – currently being discussed as a potential US Ryder Cup team member – and Nick Price. The defending champion Michael Allen will also be in the mix.
Australia’s top hope is Peter Senior who finished runner up at the recent Region Charity Classic in Alabama and has been performing creditably in his first season on the tour.
The other Australians in the field are David Merriman, Mike Harwood and Peter Fowler.
Scheduled Australian television coverage of the 2010 Senior PGA Championship begins at 3 am EST on Fox Sports on Friday morning.