Ken Tanigawa shot an even-par 70 on Sunday at Oak Hill Country Club to secure his first major title at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
Playing in the penultimate group with former UCLA teammate Scott McCarron, Tanigawa entered the round with a three-shot deficit to defending champion Paul Broadhurst – which is how it remained through 13 holes in upstate New York.
It all changed, however, during a three-hole (Nos. 14-16) stretch where Tanigawa went birdie-birdie-bogey (-1) to Broadhurst’s par-par-double-bogey (+2). With the three-shot swing, the unheralded Tanigawa suddenly held a one-shot lead on both Broadhurst and McCarron.
A wayward tee shot on 18 by Tanigawa found a fairway bunker, which forced a lay up to 123 yards out. But the Japanese American played a beautiful wedge to 10 feet of the pin, and then made the clutch par putt to finish 3-under par, one stroke better than McCarron, who missed a birdie from 20 feet to force a playoff.
“I wasn’t as calm as I looked. You know, it helps when they’re kind of cheering for you a little bit and you smile and it kind of helps to put you at ease a little bit, which I was doing everything I could to try to do that,” said Tanigawa.
“So, you know, I was somewhat calm but not calm, if that makes sense. And then you’ve just got to refocus and reset and really pay attention to what you have to do and just try to hit a solid putt.
“I was just assuming I had to make it regardless for the win or the tie. Because I just thought, I was under the thought, my process was Scott was going to make it.”
Broadhurst (75) made bogey on the the final hole to drop to third-place on 1-under par, one ahead of Retief Goosen who produced a Sunday 74 en route to even-par 280.
Jerry Kelly rounded out the top-5 finishers at 1-over par following a final-day 69.
2019 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
Final Top 5 at Colonial
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Ken Tanigawa -3 (E)
2. Scott McCarron -2 (E)
3. Paul Broadhurst -1 (+5)
4. Retief Goosen E (-1)
5. Jerry Kelly +1 (-1)
The best shots and highlights from the final round of the 2019 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, where Ken Tanigawa pulled off an upset win at Oak Hill Country Club.
Tanigawa’s Winning Numbers
Cumulative: Through 72 Holes
Driving: 265.3 yards
Fairways: 33/56, 58.93%
Greens: 50/72, 69.44%
Putts Per GIR: 1.760
Par-3: +2 (3 Birdies, 8 Pars, 5 Bogeys)
Par-4: -4 (9 Birdies, 34 Pars, 5 Bogeys)
Par-5: -1 (2 Birdies, 5 Pars, 1 Bogey)
Total: -3 (14 Birdies, 47 Pars, 11 Bogeys)
“There’s no doubt about it. Really hasn’t sunk in yet I don’t think, what just happened. But it’s unbelievable. It’s hard to really describe into words.
“To say it’s a dream come true may be an understatement to a big level. And to win at Oak Hill on such a storied venue just makes it that much more special, because you know all the great players have hit that tee shot off of 1, and then to just be able to play here and compete and to pull off a victory of this magnitude is unbelievable. It’s unreal.”
– Ken Tanigawa