Patience key as Broadhurst prepares for Senior PGA Championship defence

The Englishman will be drawing from his previous victories on the over-50s circuit this week.

Paul Broadhurst believes that remaining level-headed at Oak Hill Country Club is key as he prepares to defend the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship he won in stunning fashion 12 months ago.

Patience key as Broadhurst prepares for KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship defence, © PGA of America
Paul Broadhurst ,© PGA of America

The 1991 Ryder Cup player recovered from a one over par first round at Harbor Shores, playing his next three rounds in 20 under par to sign for a 19 under par total, winning by four strokes.

“You want to get off to a fast start. But a four-round tournament gives you that opportunity to come through the pack. In three round events, you always feel you need to get a off to a flier because it’s difficult to play catch-up over two rounds.

“I seem to be making a habit of starting slowly in the Majors, and then having a good Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If I don’t start too quickly tomorrow, I won’t be beating myself up. I just have to stay patient, especially around a course like this. It’s set up really tough – patience is going to be important.”

“I think every player would take level par round here. I was chatting last night saying that maybe four rounds of 72 would be a good score. There’s not too many birdie chances out there. The greens are firm and you’re struggling to get it really close to the pin. Level par would be an incredible score.”

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An eight-time winner on both sides of the Atlantic since turning 50 in 2015, and a two-time winner of the John Jacobs Trophy for topping the Staysure Tour Order of Merit, the Englishman will be drawing from his previous victories on the over-50s circuit this week.

Broadhurst leads the charge of 38 Staysure Tour members taking on the formidable par-70 East Course in Rochester, New York, a number which includes former champions Roger Chapman (2012), Bernhard Langer (2017) and Colin Montgomerie (2014 and 15).

Chapman and Langer missed last year’s edition of the Championship. Chapman underwent surgery on a shoulder injury, while Langer attended his son Jason’s high school graduation.

Langer made his first Senior PGA Championship appearance at Oak Hill in 2008, finishing one stroke behind winner Jay Haas, who carded a seven over par total – the second highest winning score in the Championship’s history.

“The golf course is very difficult even if you have good weather,” said Langer. “I played several holes today and it’s difficult with beautiful weather. There isn’t one hole out there where I would say I need to birdie it otherwise I’d lose against the field. There’s only two par fives and I can’t reach either – most of the guys can’t. The scores are going to be high no matter what.

“I think (in 2008) that was some of the highest scoring and most difficult conditions I’ve ever experienced anywhere for four days in a row. That’s just the way the golf course is set up with the high rough, fairly narrow fairways and small greens.

“Every aspect of your game has to be in order if you want to do well around here.”

Both Langer and Montgomerie have enjoyed previous success at Oak Hill as members of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup side in 1995 – the second time Europe won the Ryder Cup on American soil.

“It’s amazing coming back to these venues,” said Montgomerie. “The memories flood out, even driving into the car park here at Oak Hill brought back memories of our celebrations there with Prince Andrew. I remember the celebrations on the 18th green and Seve (Ballesteros) talking to Bernard Gallacher and (Nick) Faldo behind the green and I was sitting behind them.

“It was the first time I’d won a Ryder Cup as a team member. It was the first time I’d been on a winning team, and it was a much better feeling than it was on a losing one.

“I played Ben Crenshaw in the singles. He was the Masters champion at the time and managed to finish with a few birdies. I birdied 14, 16 and 17 to get my point and help the cause. It brings back huge memories of what a great golf course this is. You forget how demanding a golf course it is. Everyone is saying you’d take level par right now, being a par of 70, you’d take that right now and run.”

There are 11 Staysure Tour members making their Championship debuts this week: Major Champions Michael Campbell, Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, Paul Lawrie and Shaun Micheel, and Markus Brier, Rafael Gomez, Thomas Levet, Mauricio Molina, David Shacklady and Paul Streeter.

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