The first official practice round for next month’s Senior PGA Championship took place on Wednesday at a windy and chilly Oak Hill Country Club.
The man walking the grounds knows the course well.
In 2003, Shaun Micheel wrote his name in the history books at Oak Hill. On the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship, Micheel hit an approach from 175 yards that landed two inches from the cup, sealing his one and only major championship win.
In 2019, Micheel is back at Oak Hill and ready to play in his first Senior PGA Championship with the thrill of 2003 still fresh in his memory.
“Every hole I’ve gone through and told my guys that this is where I was on Sunday,” said Micheel in the midst of his practice round. “I remember every single shot on Sunday, but I’m not hitting it where I was on Sunday so today is a little bit more difficult today, but it’s been a great experience. I’m having a great time.”
Now at 50 years old, Micheel is eligible to play on the Champions Tour. He’s says it is fitting that his first major at the Senior level is at the course that changed his life.
“Father time as they always say is undefeated so there is a lot of little things that I battle,” said Micheel. “I think the rejuvenation, the excitement that I have of really playing golf again with my contemproraries and being able to be back and maybe show them some of the great things that I did around here.”
While walking the grounds at Oak Hill Country Club on Wednesday, Micheel was reminded of the moment before his final putt in 2003. He told his caddy ‘Hey, I’m about to win my first PGA Tour event.’
His caddy remarked, ‘This is much bigger than a PGA Tour event.’
16 years later, that still rings true.