Updated May 27th, 2024 at 21:49 IST

Atwal Tied-17 for best finish in a Senior Major; debutant Bland wins title

Atwal, who scored 69-75 on the first two days, had a great weekend as he finished with 68-67 for a total of 5-under.

Arjun Atwal | Image:Olympics
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Benton Harbor, May 27 (PTI) Indian golfer Arjun Atwal produced a solid four-under 67 on a weather-hit final day to sign off tied 17th at the Senior PGA Championship, his best finish in a Senior major.

Richard Bland, 51, playing his first Senior event on Champions Tour, shot 8-under 63 on his debut for a three-shot victory at Harbor Shores Resort. Bland, who finished at 17-under 267, is now exempt for the U.S. Senior Open on June 27-30 at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island.

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Atwal, who scored 69-75 on the first two days, had a great weekend as he finished with 68-67 for a total of 5-under.

In the final round, Atwal had an eventful front nine with five birdies and two bogeys. Four of the five birdies came in the run from the second to the sixth hole and on the back nine he birdied 10th and the 15th and dropped a shot on 13th for a round of 67, his best for the week.

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Last year Atwal played three Senior Majors and made the cut at the Senior PGA (T-49) and was T-38 at Kaulig Co Championships and missed the cut at the Senior Open. The Senior PGA this year was his first in 2024 and the remaining ones are US Senior Open, the Kaulig Co Open and the Senior Open at Carnoustie.

Jeev Milkha Singh, however, missed the cut this week.

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As the final round was delayed by about an hour because of storms, Bland’s winning shot may well have been his approach on par-5 15th. He hit it to six feet for eagle. That took him from one shot behind Greg Chalmers to a one-shot lead and Chalmers could only manage a par.

Bland won by three shots over Richard Green, who shot 65 and took second place alone without ever having a serious of chance of winning.

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Bland got emotional during the presentation thinking about his brother, Heath, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer just over a year ago and learned last week he had cancer in the lungs.

Left-handed Chalmers led with four holes to play. But he could only make that par on the 15th and then bogeyed last three holes. He shot 68 and ended three behind in third place.

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Scott Hend (66) and Jason Caron (66) were tied fourth, while Ernie Els (70) and Chris Di Marco (69) were tied fifth. Defending champion Steve Stricker shot 68 and finished seven shots behind in eighth place. 

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Published May 27th, 2024 at 21:49 IST