The Senior PGA Championship
|Tournament Info for: 2005 Senior PGA Championship|
|Date:||May 26 - 29, 2005|
|Site:||Laurel Valley Golf Club|
|Par:||36 - 36 - 72 (7,107 yards)
36 - 36 - 72 (7,107 yards)
A day before he would step in the arena of a major Championship, Mike Reid paid a visit to the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa., a good 40-minute drive from Laurel Valley Golf Club.
Reid said the visit to the shrine honoring the legendary motion picture star was "inspiring."
Perhaps the Stewart charisma rubbed off, because Reid executed inspirational, steady golf, while others all around him were losing their cool, May 29, in the 66th Senior PGA Championship.
It's a wonderful life, right Mike?
"It's so strange how things can turn out in this game," said Reid, who first eagled the 72nd hole to land in a playoff with Jerry Pate and Dana Quigley, then completed his mission with a birdie on the first extra hole -- the 18th -- to earn his first major title. "To tell you [the truth], I'm in a state of shock.
"You will have to excuse me," Reid added, his eyes watering. "I even get emotional at dog food commercials."
This Senior PGA Championship will be remembered for Quigley holding a lead from the 17th hole of the third round through the 17th hole of the final day. But the "Iron Man" of golf, competing in his 259th consecutive event, withered down the stretch.
After Quigley faltered, with a bogey on the 71st hole and a scrambling par at the 72nd, it was suddenly Pate's chance to win. But, Reid, nicknamed "Radar" for his laser-like ability to find the fairway, slipped under the radar to win.
Reid, down by three shots with one hole to play, forced himself into a three-way playoff with Quigley and Pate with a long eagle putt on No. 18, then birdied the same hole during the only playoff hole for his first tournament win since 1990.
Pate, who has been absent from tournament golf for more than 20 years, missed an 8-footer for birdie that would have forced a second playoff hole, and Quigley was out of it after hitting his second shot into the water on the 515-yard, par-5 hole.
"I'm as shocked as anybody," said the 50-year-old Reid, who wasn't eligible for the Champions Tour until last year and was winless since the 1990 Casio World Open in Japan.
That Reid made the playoff was remarkable in its own right, as Quigley and Pate were locked in a two-man duel all day. Reid, who was down by six shots with eight to play -- and three shots with only the 18th left -- dropped a 30-footer for an eagle 3, while Pate bogeyed by three-putting from 18 feet.
Pate, with a one-shot lead going into the final hole of regulation, tried to play it safe by laying up his second shot on the 18th, rather than cutting over the water, as most of the field had done all week.
The strategy seemed to work, as he safely landed his 92-yard pitch shot on the left side of the green, but Pate's putting was costly. He lagged his first putt and left himself with a three-footer for par that skidded to the right of the hole.
"I should have made a couple more putts," said Pate. "But other than that, I played well. I hit the ball well. I missed a little old, short birdie putt. Well, heck, I had two three-putts and then missed the short birdie putt on 14 from about three feet. Then, the putt on 18 was really the second three-putt. And, I still shot 70. So, I'm not disappointed with that in a major Championship. I just got to get a little bit more confidence with my putter."
While Pate shot a final round 70, Quigley finished the round with a 72.
"Fate takes a hand," said Reid. "And I can't explain it. My putt went in. Jerry's missed, and I'm feeling like I stole something in the playoff. I don't deserve to be there."
Quigley's lead officially ended when he bogeyed the par-3 17th, when he hit into a bunker and then missed his par putt from six feet. Pate grabbed the lead by hitting his tee shot on the par-3 17th to within a foot of the hole, then tapping in for birdie.
Quigley birdied No. 18 in each of the first three rounds, but his iron shot found a tiny pot bunker just to the left of the green, and his bad-angle sand wedge traveled only about six feet. He managed to get up and down for par, but he feared that might not be enough.
"It's a hard golf course to protect a lead," said Quigley. "It's a hard golf course to catch up, because there's not really a lot of birdie holes. I played pretty well. I'm pretty happy with the way I played.
"So, it's a little deflating to get there and then not win it. But it's been a great week."
And, it was a much greater week, a greater hour for Reid, who happened to be the low amateur finisher in 1976, when someone named Jerry Pate surprised everyone and won the U.S. Open at Atlanta Athletic Club.
"It is a little ironic, isn't it?" asked Reid, when reminded of his performance in the 1976 Open. "You never know, do you?"
|Low Rounds||Round Leader||Mike Reid|
|Round 1:||75.67||21||11||121||68 Graham Marsh||68 Graham Marsh||70|
|Round 2:||75.91||21||7||124||66 Mark McNulty||138 Jerry Pate||140|
|Round 3:||74.14||13||9||49||66 Dana Quigley||208 Dana Quigley||210|
|Round 4:||74.58||12||10||49||68 Des Smyth||280 Dana Quigley, Jerry Pate, Mike Reid||280|