Lardon looks to stay hot as Senior PGA Pro tourney tees off - Albuquerque Journal

Lardon looks to stay hot as Senior PGA Pro tourney tees off

SANTA ANA PUEBLO – A robust field of 264 players from 46 states begins the 2022 Senior (ages 50-over) PGA Professional Championship Thursday at Twin Warriors and Santa Ana Golf Clubs.

Players are competing over four days and 72 holes of golf for a $318,000 purse including the winner’s share of $26,000.

But much more is at stake.

• Those who finish in the top eight, including ties, automatically qualify for next year’s championship in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Oct. 24-29, 2023.

• The top five finishers also receive an exemption into the final stage of the 2023 PGA Tour Champions Qualifying School – Final Stage 2022.

• The low 35 scorers earn a berth into the 2023 Senior PGA Championship at Fields Ranch East at PGA Frisco in Frisco, Texas, May 25-28 – the first major to be contested at the new Home of the PGA of America.

Each player will compete at the Twin Warriors and Santa Ana courses Thursday and Friday, to be followed by a cut to the low 90 scorers and ties. Following Saturday’s round, a second cut will be made to the low 70 scorers and ties. The third and final rounds will be played at Twin Warriors.

The top player from New Mexico figures to be Las Campanas pro Brad Lardon, who is having an outstanding season. He, Steve Manning, Carlton Blewett, and Kevin Amhaus represent the local Sun Country section. Each of the four is at Santa Ana on Thursday and Twin Warriors on Friday.

Lardon has won three Section Majors this season: the Sun Country PGA Senior Section Championship (at Twin Warriors), the Sun Country PGA Section Championship, and the Senior New Mexico Open.

“I’m very happy to have played solid in these events,” said Lardon, who has won five of the last six Senior Section titles. He then added, “I still think there is plenty of room for better play (this week).”

Also back this year is defending champion Paul Claxton of Claxton, Georgia. One of 12 past champions in the field, Claxton is the head pro at Richmond Hill (Ga.) Golf Club. He went on to make the cut and finish tied for 39th at this year’s Senior PGA Championship.

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