(Editor’s note: Rocky Mountain Section PGA release)
LAUREL – Laurel head golf pro Tom Anderson won the Rocky Mountain Section Senior PGA Professional Championship on his home course Wednesday. It’s the fifth time he’s won it.
Anderson will lead four Section PGA Professionals to compete Oct. 3-6 in the 31st Senior PGA Professional Championship at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas.
Anderson turned in a winning total of even-par 144 to capture the cup. John Graham of Idaho Falls finished five strokes back at 149. They’ll be joined at the championship by Ron Rawls and Jim Empey, both of Boise, Idaho.
The Senior PGA Professional Championship brings together a field of 264 contestants representing the PGA of America’s 41 nationwide Sections, and features a total purse of $300,000. The first two rounds will be conducted on the Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Courses. The first cut will be made after 36 holes to the low 90 scorers and ties. The second cut will be made after 54 holes to the low 70 scorers and ties. The final two rounds will be played on the Foothills Course designed by Tom Fazio. It was recently ranked one of the top courses in Texas by Golf Magazine. The course is protected by cliffs, waterfalls and creeks, making for a beautiful, scenic round, but also emphasizes the importance of accuracy. Drives from the elevated tee boxes must be precise to hit the fairways, and even more so when approaching the small greens. Previously, the Foothills Course was home to the PGA Tour Champions Legends of Golf tournament from 1990-1994.
Since 1989 the Senior PGA Professional Championship has been modeled after the PGA Professional Championship, with a field of 50-and-older senior PGA Professionals who advance through 41 Section Championships between June and August. The top 35 finishers in the national championship earn a berth in the 81st KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship next May at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The top five finishers there earn an exemption into the final stage of the 2020 PGA Tour Champions National Finals in November 2019.
Since its debut, many participants in the Senior PGA Professional Championship have used their success in the event as a springboard to a PGA Tour Champions career.