Colin Montgomerie navigated through what he described as “a test and a half” to earn a four-stroke win over runner-up Esteban Toledo as many of the game’s greats convened at The Pete Dye Course at French Lick.
Montgomerie crowned his victory with a final-round tally of 69 on a breezy Sunday. His 8-under finish of 280 made him one of only five players under par – the fewest since 2009 at Canterbury in Cleveland when just three players cleared par.
Montgomerie, the Scotsman who collected the 2013 Senior PGA title at Harbor Shores in Michigan, also became the first player to defend his Senior PGA crown since Hale Irwin won three straight from 1996-98.
Americans Woody Austin (3-under), Scott Verplank and Brian Henninger (both 1-under) completed the Top 5 at the 76th Senior PGA Championship, which attracted upward of 40,000 spectators to French Lick and featured street fests and other activities throughout town in conjunction with the senior major. And after Montgomerie’s triumph at The Pete Dye Course, the former European Ryder Cup captain issued a promise about it, with these words etched into a plaque outside the course:
The Pete Dye Course at French Lick will become one of the iconic courses in America. It will be a course that many people from around the world, never mind America, will come and play. … Most courses are built on 150, 170, acres of land. The course covers 400, so the scale of this course is dramatic for one, the terrain is dramatic. The holes are dramatic. Every hole is on its own unique set of challenges. It’s a terrific layout.