EDITORIAL NOTE: Jay Don Blake is related to the writer of this article; he is also a pro-golfer with ties to our local community. This story is offered as an exception to our policy against related-party reporting, given Jay Don’s unique role in the story and his interest to the St. George News readership.
COMMENTARY – The second major of the year is already here on the Champion Tour. The Tour is on a stretch of five majors in eight weeks. Yes, all five of the season’s major championships will be played in the next few weeks.
Two weeks ago the tour had the Senior PGA Championship and this week is the Region’s Tradition at Shoal Creek Golf Course in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Tradition is the Champions Tour version of the Masters Tournament. Caddies used to have to wear the white jumpsuits just like the Masters, but this week, because of the heat and humidity in Birmingham, Ala., the caddies will not be in the jumpsuits.
The Tradition started in 1989 in Arizona and was played there until 2002. In 2003, the tournament moved to Oregon and stayed there until last year when the Tradition moved to Alabama.
Past winners of the Tradition are four-time winner Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Raymond Floyd, Lee Trevino, and last year’s Tom Lehman.
The golf course the Regions is being played on also held the 1984 PGA Championship, the 1986 U.S. Amateur, and the 1990 PGA Championship.
Last year’s winner finished at -13. Lehman won last year in a playoff over Peter Senior on the second playoff hole.
Jay Don Blake has played very well in Birmingham, Ala. In his rookie season Blake took fourth place. The next year he finished in a tie for seventh. Last year was the first time the tournament in Birmingham, Ala., became a major and changed the golf course over to Shoal Creek. Blake was tied for seventh going into the last day, but could not get things going and finished in a tie for 18th.
Blake will tee it up with Larry Nelson and Rod Spittle in the first two rounds. The group’s tee time for the first round is 9:20 a.m. MST. In the second round the group goes off at 6:57 a.m. MST.
You can watch the golf coverage on The Golf Channel starting 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and starting at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. All coverage will be tape-delayed.
Former major champions Fred Couples (Masters), Mark Calcavecchia (British Open), Hale Irwin (U.S Open), Bernhard Langer (Masters), Fuzzy Zoeller (Masters), Corey Pavin (U.S. Open), and many more are also in the field this week.
Sports Commentator Patrick Blake is host of the Blake’s Take show, airing weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio Southern Utah Sports Network – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – with live stream online at http://www.KZNUsports.com. And on facebook.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.