Senior PGA Championship tees off day one

NOW: Senior PGA Championship tees off day one

BENTON HARBOR, Mich -- 156 golfers, all 50 and over, took the course on Thursday morning to start day one of the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor.

Golfers traveled 6,734 yards, with fans trailing them, to complete the first round of 18 holes.

“I came a couple years ago and enjoyed it then and enjoyed it just as much today,” said vising fan Al Thompson.

“We started the day pretty early. We followed KJ Choi around, holes seven through nine. Just taking it all in,” echoed fan Justin Dey.

The course is par-71, designed by golf legend, Jack Nicklaus.

Of the 156 golfers, 21 are former major champions.

2021 Senior PGA champ Alex Cejka is competing at Harbor Shores for the first time.

“Every time you defend, it’s a special feeling and they announce you as defending champion,” Cejka said.

After visiting the Benton Harbor area months before the championship, Cejka is impressed with what has transpired now that the event has arrived.

“It was totally different, it was almost snow on the ground, so everything was shut down. Nobody was in town,” Cejka said.

Now that day one is over, the championship has gone back to its true meaning.

Keeping the fans involved and bringing excitement to Southwest Michigan.

“We’ll probably stop by again tomorrow and then might stop by Saturday as well,” said Dey.

Some fans even bringing their own competitiveness spirit to the green.

“We did talk a lot of smack on the green though saying, I could’ve made that shot, when in reality that’s not going to happen,” said fan Bill Mann.

Day two of the championship rounds begins Friday at 7:30 a.m.

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