Miguel Angel Jimenez, “The Mechanic,” won the first senior major of the year, the 2018 Regions Tradition, in style today by carding a two under par 70 to win by three over a trio of players. The tournament was closer than the final margin indicated, as Jimenez bogeyed the par five 15th to fall back into a three-way tie. Jimenez rallied to make birdies at the par four 16th and the par five 18th to clinch the win. After beginning the day with a 3 shot lead over Steve Stricker, Jimenez made a bogey on 10 to fall back to even par on his round, tying him at 17 under with the charging Joe Durant, who was playing in the group ahead. Durant remained at 17 under until the 16th, where he made bogey, later finishing at 16 under par.
A Packed Leaderboard
While Jimenez may have pulled away at the end, the tournament provided an exciting final round, as 9 players finished within two strokes of 2nd place. Stricker, Durant and Gene Sauers finished in a tie for 2nd at 16 under par. Sauers and Durant both shot three under par 69, while Stricker matched Jimenez on the day with a 70. Tied for 5th at 15 under was Jeff Maggert, Duffy Waldorf, and Scott McCarron. Maggert fired an eight under 64 for the best round of the day, moving himself up ten spots. Waldorf played a fine 6 under par round of 66, while McCarron also played well, shooting a five under 67. Bob Estes, Jerry Kelly, and Rocco Mediate finished tied for 8th at 14 under par. Estes had a 66 while Kelly and Mediate both shot four under par 68.
The New Champion
Migeul Angel Jimenez is a recognizable figure on the PGA Tour Champions scene. His long curly locks, typically tied up in a fashionable ponytail, set him apart from most of his playing competitors. He is rarely seen without his customary cigar, and makes no apologies for his life in the fun lane approach. Fans also delight in watching him perform his quirky pre-round warm up. So now, the most interesting man in golf has now won his first major of any kind. At 54 years of age, Jimenez is the first man from Spain to win a senior major. The popular Spaniard has been close before, holding or sharing the 54 hole lead in both the 2016 U.S. Senior Open, where he finished tied for 2nd, and the 2016 Senior Open, where he managed a tie for 3rd.
About the Course
The Founders Course at Greystone Golf & Country Club, in Birmingham, Alabama, played host to the event for the third consecutive year. Originally designed by Bob Cupp in 1991, the course underwent significant changes in 2015. Founders is 7,277 yards long and plays to a par of 72.
Other Tour News
On the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise won the A.T. & T. Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest by three shots over Marc Leishman. Wise, only 21 years of age, carded a bogey free 65, to finish at 23 under par.
On the European Tour, Adrian Otaegui defeated Benjamin Hebert by two shots in the final of the mixed format Belgian Knockout to claim his second European Tour title at Rinkven International Golf Club.
On the LPGA Tour, Ariya Jutanugarn won the Kingsmill Championship on the second playoff hole over Nasa Hataoka and In Gee Chun.
On the Web.com Tour, Michael Arnaud won the BMW Charity Pro-Am by 5 shots over Kyoung-Hoon Lee and Robby Shelton.
Next week the big tournament of the week will once again be played on the PGA Tour Champions as the PGA of America will hold the 79th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan. On the European Tour, another big event for this week is the BMW PGA Championship, played at the Wentworth Club, in Virginia Water, Surrey, England. The PGA Tour will be at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth Texas for the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational and the LPGA Tour will hold the LPGA Volvik Championship, at Travis Pointe Country Club, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Web.com Tour will be playing the Nashville Golf Open Benefiting The Snedeker Foundation, at the Nashville Golf and Athletic Club, in Nashville, Tennessee.