Senior PGA Championship Comes to Frisco

KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship | Image by KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, Facebook

FRISCO — The 83rd annual KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship is being played this weekend at Fields Ranch East at the new PGA of America headquarters in North Texas.

The event began at Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, in 1937. It quickly became a viable option for PGA members older than 50 to continue competing with their peers. Eventually, it gave rise to the Senior PGA Tour, now called the PGA Champions Tour.

This is the first year the championship has been held in Frisco after several stops throughout the United States.

“It’s unique in a lot of ways,” 2021 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Steve Stricker said of the course as he met the media Wednesday morning. “It’s pretty in an open area like this, but it’s rolling hills. The course is in great shape. Tee boxes are a little bit — I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the tee boxes around here. They’re a little bit different. Some pretty extreme, some kind of fit the hole. But all in all, it’s going to be a good test.”

The tournament field features notable names, including defending champions Steve Alker, who is playing for the second time in the event and is one of few who have already played at Fields Ranch.

“It’s just a solid golf course,” Alker told the media Wednesday. “I’m not sure what yardage it’s playing at, but it’s long enough. Depends on the wind; what it’s going to play. But it kind of feels like more of a second-shot golf course, and then around the greens, hitting it in the right place, or if you miss it, miss it in the right place. So that’s going to be key.”

Alker won last year’s championship at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan, with a 16-under-par score, beating Stephen Ames by three strokes thanks to an impressive 8-under final round. If he can win again this year, Alker will become the 16th player with multiple wins in the Senior PGA Championship.

This year’s field also includes many former PGA major champions like Ernie Els, John Daly, Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Retief Goosen, and Colin Montgomerie.

There are 20 different ways to qualify for the Senior PGA Championship, including previously winning the event, being a former major champion under the age of 66, and being a former Ryder Cup team member under 66.

The maximum capacity for the field is 156 players and 35 golf professionals from clubs across the country.

The 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship starts Thursday morning and consists of four rounds throughout the weekend, concluding Sunday afternoon.

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