10 Jul 2024 | Professional golf |

How to follow this week's seniors major

by Patrick Taylor

The finish at Firestone Country Club's South Course. (Photo by Raj Mehta/Getty Images)

The seniors major season continues this week with 10 Australasians teeing it up at the Kaulig Companies Championship at Firestone Country Club in Ohio.

While the tournament name changed last year, this remains known to most as the Senior Players Championship, which has a long history as one of the five majors on the senior circuit.

While Americans Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly have been fighting over the trophy the last four years, a couple of Australasians have triumphed here. Fijian Vijay Singh took home the trophy in 2018, and Australian Stewart Ginn was victorious back in 2002.


PRIZEMONEY: US$3.5 million

LIVE SCORES: www.pgatour.com/pgatour-champions

TV COVERAGE: The Kaulig Companies Championship is live on Fox Sports, available on Foxtel and Kayo.

*All times AEST.

Round One: Friday 4am–6:30am (Fox Sports 503/Kayo)

Round Two: Saturday 4am–6:30am (Fox Sports 503/Kayo)

Round Three: Sunday 9am–11am (Fox Sports 503/Kayo)

Final Round: Monday 2am–6am (Fox Sports 505/Kayo)



Age: 52

The lowdown: With eight PGA TOUR Champions victories, including this year's Mitsubishi Electric Championship, Alker will be a favourite coming into this week.

The New Zealander sits second on the season long Charles Schwab Cup thanks to five top-five finishes, with his worst results for 2024 astonishingly being a pair of T15 finishes.

Alker was a notable absentee at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, but was in contention at the US Senior Open, eventually finishing T12.


Age: 50

The lowdown: The 2002 Australian Open winner, Allan has made a positive start to his PGA TOUR Champions career after earning his card at qualifying school in December.

Allan has had two top-10 finishes in 12 start this season, his best finish a solo fifth at the Invited Celebrity Classic.

He did not play in the US Senior Open, and missed the cut at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, so will be looking to turn things around this time around.


Age: 56

The lowdown: A nine-time PGA TOUR winner, Appleby made his living with an incredibly high standard of ball striking and a putter that could catch fire at any moment.

Appelby has had a mixed season so far, but a T14 finish at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, and a T38 at the US Senior Open have shown that he is thereabouts.


Age: 50

The lowdown: In the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, Chalmers showed he can still produce the form that earned him a pair each of Australian Opens and Australian PGA Championships.

Sharing the lead at various points, Chalmers eventually finished in solo third after four rounds in the 60s.

After struggling to go low at the US Senior Open with rounds of 72-70-70-70, the rookie senior hoping the Firestone layout will fit his eye slightly better.


Age: 53

The lowdown: One of the players to truly thrive post turning 50, Green is a regular presence on the PGA TOUR Champions, although the Victorian is still chasing a first victory on the biggest stage for over-50 golfers.

Green finished runner-up at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, and third at the US Senior Open, Green has been agonisingly close in this year's majors.

Despite not having a win, Green sits fifth on the season-long Charles Schwab Cup.


Age: 52

The lowdown: Providing one of the highlights of 2023 when he claimed the Invited Celebrity Classic after his rollercoaster career, Hensby has yet again been a consistent performer so far in 2024.

Hensby had a disappointing finish to the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship after a lacklustre weekend, but bounced back with two top-10s.

It was a rollercoaster week for Hensby at the US Senior Open, with scores of 75-63-74-68, the New South Welshman hoping for more consistency at Firestone.


Age: 54

The lowdown: A two-time winner on the PGA TOUR Champions, including last year’s SAS Championship, Pampling has long held a reputation as a high quality ball striker with a capability to go very low.

Pampling bounced back quickly from his missed cut at the KitchenAid Senior PGA with a top-five finish at the Principal Charity Classic, but also missed the cut at the US Senior Open.

The 2024 majors have been disappointing for Pampling, so he will be looking to turn that trend around this week.


Age: 50

The lowdown: Percy made his senior debut at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship after winning Q-school at 49 but having to wait until his 50th birthday to compete.

Having played four events now, including a third-place finish at the American Family Insurance Championship, Percy is quickly establishing himself on the over-50s tour.

A T12 finish at the US Senior Open was an encouraging sign that Percy has the game for major golf in his seniors career.


Age: 53

The lowdown: Another past Australian Open winner, Senden has had a somewhat disappointing year on the PGA TOUR Champions.

The sole highlight coming at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic, where he finished T6.

Senden recently revealed he is battling Parkinson's disease, but says while he is still able to get out and play, he is still enjoying it.


Age: 61

The lowdown: Despite being more than 10 years into his senior golf career, the World Golf Hall of Fame member continues to outwork the vast majority of professionals of any age.

A five-time winner on the PGA TOUR Champions, Singh has had two T6 finishes this year, however had an average finish after making the cut at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.

The Fijian major winner shook off that result to finish in solo seventh at the US Senior Open, a closing 66 the highlight.


Firestone Country Club took over as host in 2019, with the famed South Course providing a strong test for the seniors over the last five years.

Having hosted three PGA Championships, and multiple World Golf Championship events, Firestone is no stranger to world-class golf, with Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus noth notching important wins at the venue.

Originally designed by Bert Way and opened in 1929, the South Course at Firestone underwent a redesign by Robert Trent Jones in 1960, and now plays as a 7400-yard par-70 course.

Playing long, the South Course advantages the bigger hitters, the 'younger' players on tour the ones to look out for this week.

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