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2022 senior major championships preview: Venues, players to watch and more

3 Min Read

Tour Insider

    Written by Bob McClellan @ChampionsTour

    It’s major season on PGA TOUR Champions, and when it hits, it hits hard and fast.

    All five majors will be contested between this week and July 24. The Regions Tradition and KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship are back-to-back, followed by non-majors Principal Charity Classic and American Family Insurance Championship, then the other three majors in succession – U.S. Senior Open, Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship and The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex.

    It’s both marathon and sprint. We’ll see who’s ready to run.

    Regions Tradition

    Dates: May 12-15

    Venue: Greystone Golf and Country Club; Birmingham, Alabama

    Defending champ: Alex Cejka

    Who to watch: No one on PGA TOUR Champions knew who Steven Alker was during major season in 2021. He wasn’t eligible to join PGA TOUR Champions until August. But everyone knows him now. In only 17 events since, he has three wins (two this year) and 14 top-10s. The New Zealand native figures to be a factor in all of the majors. … Miguel Angel Jimenez is the only other player besides Alker with two wins this season. He also has a Regions Tradition on his resume. … Cejka won the first two majors last year, joining Arnold Palmer as the only players to win their first two PGA TOUR Champions major starts. Cejka hasn’t won since, but he does have two top-five finishes in his past four starts.

    KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

    Dates: May 26-29

    Venue: Harbor Shores Resort; Benton Harbor, Michigan

    Defending champ: Alex Cejka

    Who to watch: Harbor Shores has played host to the Senior PGA in every other year since 2012, but the pandemic forced it to be canceled in 2020. Paul Broadhurst won it going away in 2018; the Englishman has three top-10s this year and they’ve all come in his past four events. … Tim Petrovic was runner-up to Broadhurst in 2018; he’s off to a great start in 2022, sitting eighth in the Schwab Cup standings.

    U.S. Senior Open Championship

    Dates: June 23-26

    Venue: Saucon Valley Country Club; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

    Defending champ: Jim Furyk

    Who to watch: Normally one would think Furyk, but his game has not been up to its usual standard in 2022. He’s 47th in driving accuracy (21st during the 2020-21 combined season) and 66th in putting average (third in 2020-21). … Steve Stricker’s comeback from the mystery illness that cost him the start to the season should be in full swing by late June; he’s accurate off the tee and even better with his wedges.

    Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship

    Dates: July 7-10

    Venue: Firestone Country Club; Akron, Ohio

    Defending champ: Jerry Kelly

    Who to watch: Kelly picked up his first senior major here last year, and he’s a threat to win any of them. He’s leading PGA TOUR Champions in driving accuracy and is second in greens in regulation, but he ranks just 46th in putting average. … Furyk, Stricker, David Toms and Padraig Harrington are players with top-10s on PGA TOUR Champions this year who had multiple top-10s at Firestone during their PGA TOUR careers.

    The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex

    Dates: July 21-24

    Venue: Gleneagles Hotel (Kings Course); Auchterader, Scotland

    Defending champ: Stephen Dodd

    Who to watch: Bernhard Langer has 10 top-five finishes in this event in 13 starts, including four victories. Plus I’m contractually obligated to include his name in a preview of senior majors. … Darren Clarke doesn’t have a top-10 this year, but he has two in two starts at The Senior Open Championship. He’s one to whom winning this title would mean the most.

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