Jay Haas survived a wild final round at a stingy Oak Hill to hang on and win his second Senior PGA Championship in three years. Haas endured a five-bogey, one-birdie round of 74 to finish the tournament at 7-over 287 and claim the title.
Haas calmly converted a 2-foot par put on No. 18 for his 11th victory on the Champions Tour and second Senior PGA Championship after wining in 2006 at Oak Tree. He also becomes the 13th player to win at least two Senior PGA titles. Haas relied on a full arsenal of FootJoy products this week, including Classic Tour golf shoes, a SciFlex glove and FootJoy Performance Outerwear.
You would be accurate in saying the players "survived" Oak Hill this week. Haas’ 7-over was the highest winning score in relation to par in the 69-year history of Senior PGA, shattering the previous high of 2-over set by Sam Snead in 1970 at PGA National at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. It also marked the second-highest winning score in Champions Tour history, two short of Arnold Palmer’s 9-over at the 1981 Senior Open at Oakland Hills.
Our Tour reps are at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas this week for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. The tournament has been held at this course every year since 1946 and it's interesting to note that only one tournament has been held at the same venue longer...the Masters. So you know the players must love this place. And they do. According to Tour Rep Mike Chisum, several players he spoke with consider this the easiest course to walk on Tour, with tees and greens in close proximity and not too many steep slopes.
In addition to some "inside" photos, we spoke with Ian Poulter on behalf of reader Steve Harrow. Steve had asked in a previous post how Ian decides what to wear each week and you may be surprised with the answer...check out the slideshow for more.
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Check out the latest news and notes from our European Tour reps who are at Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship...
Busy week at Wentworth with every man and his dog out to enjoy the sunshine on the build-up to the tournament. With the standard sunny British weather (!) the course is in fantastic condition, running firm and fast with the usual slippery Wentworth putting surfaces.
Alex Noren came onto the Tour Van this week to show off his new shield tip Classics Dry Premiere. He had ordered a pair of style #50819 in Black Pebble with Black Patent, which looked fantastic. These shoes are sharp...perhaps we should include them in the 2009 line of FootJoy products...
The week of the PGA sees the annual Tour Dinner. Frenchman Gregory Havret, who won at Loch Lomond last year, came to Wentworth straight from Ireland the previous week, and had not packed any dress shoes for the Gala Dinner. The only suitable pair in Gregory's size belonged to Tour Rep Jonathan Loosemore who kindly lent him his Spikeless Classics (style #51464) for the evening!
Martin Kaymer (right, top) also paid us a visit to confirm his new shoe size. He has dropped a width in his Classics for a slightly snugger fit, which is providing him with more support and stability.
Plenty of players stocking up on socks. Almost exclusively opting to go with the ProDry Extreme. Players love the comfort and cushioning the socks provide.
The Tour Reps are continuing to work very closely with one of our FootJoy shoe wearers to find the correct shoe style, and size to accomodate the player who wears orthotics. Ross McGowan (Team DryJoys) also underwent an extensive shoe fit this week, to discover the best fitting last for him.
The following players are sporting the FJ logo on their collar this week: Andrew McLardy, Ross McGowan, Soren Kjeldsen and defending champion - Anders Hansen (right, bottom).
Two tournaments without a win was enough for Lorena Ochoa.
Ochoa closed with a final round 1-under 71 Sunday to win her third consecutive Sybase Classic and her sixth victory of the season. Ochoa is quickly approaching her win total from last year (8) when she ascended to the #1 world ranking and was named Player of the Year. The victory is Ochoa's 22nd since April 2006 and the first place check made her the fastest player on the LPGA to reach $12 million in career earnings.
Ochoa was pursued all day by a group of players but managed to maintain her lead despite cool, wet conditions that shortened the tournament to 54 holes. With her lead cut to one on the 18th tee, Ochoa reached the par five in three shots. When her closest pursuer missed her putt to tie, Lorena calmly two-putted to victory.
Ochoa once again relied on her customary white custom Classics golf shoes as well as the FootJoy Performance Light Jacket during her victory.
FootJoy player Ryuji Imada claimed his first PGA TOUR victory Sunday, winning the AT&T Classic with a par on the first playoff hole after his opponent hit his approach in the pond fronting the 18th green. It was a complete turnaround from last year at the same tournament when Imada got into a playoff with Zach Johnson at the TPC Sugarloaf, only to lose when he knocked his second shot into the same pond (43 balls found the pond this week). Imada has been a runner-up three times on the PGA TOUR, including earlier this season at the Buick Invitational and the PODS Championship.
Imada, who wore a pair of black Classics Dry Premiere during the final round, needed a birdie on the 72nd hole in regulation just to get in the playoff. Trailing by a stroke, he was right of the green on his second shot with a 3-wood, but chipped up to 4 feet and made the putt for a 5-under 67. Imada averaged 27.25 putts per round this week, the best among all the players.
A native of Japan, Imada had plenty of fans cheering him on at TPC Sugarloaf; he attended the nearby University of Georgia. As he walked off the green after his winning putt, a few fans woofed it up. He's certain to receive another warm welcome when he returns to the area about a year from now...not only to defend his first Tour victory but when he walks to the first tee at Augusta National for the first time.
"I know I get invited to the Masters now," he said, breaking into a big smile. "I always dreamed of playing there since I was a kid. I can't wait to see what it's like."
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