Creighton Farms played host to the prestigious Senior National Championship last month, as the award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course welcomed a 264-player field composed of Senior PGA Professionals representing the 41 PGA Sections. The event, played October 6-9, featured a purse of $285,000. This marks the Senior PGA Professional National Championship’s first year of title sponsorship by Southworth Development, developers of Creighton Farms.
Kirk Hanefeld, a PGA Life member from Acton, Mass., won the tournament for the second time in four years, birdieing the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Ken Martin of Wellington, Fla. The 55-year-old Hanefeld shot a 3-over 75—the highest closing round by a winner in the showcase event for senior PGA pros—at Creighton Farms to finish at 6-under 282. Martin had a two-stroke lead after 16 holes, but bogeyed the final two holes for a 74.
A principal in Southworth Development, Joe Deitch addressed the PGA Professionals before the tournament began by reminiscing about the recent visit by golf legend and Creighton Farms golf course designer, Jack Nicklaus, saying: “Jack carefully surveyed the course, making notes and careful adjustments and at one point even used a special iPhone application to determine that the slope on one of the greens might benefit from a one-inch adjustment. I thought to myself, ‘What Apple would give to get a shot of the world’s greatest golfer using an iPhone app to measure the plane on a golf hole.’ “
The top 35 finishers in the Senior PNC Championship earned berths in the 73rd Senior PGA Championship, which will be conducted May 24-27, 2012, at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich. The top five finishers earned an exemption into the final stage of the 2011 Champions Tour National Finals. Since its debut, many participants in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship have used their success in the event as a springboard to a Champions Tour career.