Preview: Golfweek Senior Tour Championship
A look at the Golfweek Senior Tour Championship:
When: December 2-4, 2013
Where: PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. - Fazio course
Yancey Ford Award: The 2013 Yancey Ford Award will be presented to John W. Harrigan at the luncheon on Dec. 4, 2013, following the final round of play. Harrigan, the retiring Executive Secretary of the Society of Seniors, will be recognized for his outstanding contributions to senior amateur golf.
Defending champions: Robert Parmar (Senior); Pete McDade (Super Senior)
Of note: Palm Beach Gardens, home of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic and the permanent headquarters of the PGA of America will soon be a temporary home to many of the top senior amateur golfers in the world.
The final Golfweek tournament of the year kicks off Dec 2. The 54-hole ranking event will be played on the new Fazio course at PGA National. With its $65 million revitalization completed in 2012 it continues to be one of the top resort destinations in the world.
What the Senior rankings say: Heading into December, the Golfweek Senior Amateur Rankings read like a who’s-who of senior amateur golf. The question is, who will end up on Dec. 31 as the senior amateur player-of-the-year?
With 3,000 ranking points up for grabs in December, it’s still anybody’s game. The top four in the Golfweek Senior Amateur rankings continue to have a chance to walk away with the player-of-the-year honor. The top four are;
1. Bill Zylstra: He’s spent the entire year in the No. 1 spot due to his great play early in 2013. Zylstra won three of his first four tournaments with a second-place finish at the Kingsway Invitational, his only loss.
2. Chip Lutz: What can you say about Lutz that hasn’t already been said? He is as consistent as they come and also a great putter. He will probably go down in history as one of the greatest senior amateurs to ever play the game. With his win at the Moot Thomas and his strong showing in the 2013 senior majors, Lutz has a great chance to take the Player of the Year honors for 2013. He trails Zylstra by only 1,755 points.
3. Paul Schlacter: He beat Zylstra in a playoff at the Kingsway Invitational in January making it the only tournament in January that Zylstra lost. Known for his consistent play, Schlacter added a win at the Dave King Invitational to make it his second victory in what’s turning out to be a great year.
4. Paul Simson: Another golfing legend. With wins against some of the best fields in senior golf, including the Senior Hall of Fame, the Coleman and the Lupton Memorial, the man from Raleigh, N.C., has won three of the six events he’s entered. It’s scary to think what he would do if he played a full schedule.
What the Super Senior Rankings say: Not much of a race here although exciting to watch. Ted Smith is sitting at the top of the rankings with 11,535 points. With his full playing schedule for 2013 and victories at Old Corkscrew, The SOS Spring Classic, the Golfweek Senior Amateur, the John Kline, the U.S. Senior Challenge, the Hessler, the Dave King Invitational, the Porter and the Sunnehanna, he is by far the best Super Senior golfer in the U.S. and maybe the world.
Tournament of note in 2014: The Golfweek Senior National Championship will be contested at Saddlebrook Resort from Jan. 16-18.