16 Major Champions among Early Entries to Senior PGA Championship

Defending champion Tom Lehman leads a group of 16 major champions who own a combined 31 titles among the early entries for the 72nd Senior PGA Championship, May 24-29, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

Lehman, 52, will be making his third appearance in the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf, having captured the 2010 Championship in a playoff over Fred Couples and David Frost, also among the entrants. The Senior PGA Championship is making its second visit to Valhalla and first since 2004, with 156 players competing on the 7,297-yard Jack Nicklaus-designed course.

The 1996 Open Champion and captain of the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup Team, Lehman is joined in the field by the following major champions: Mark Calcavecchia (1989 Open Championship); Couples (1992 Masters); Hale Irwin (1974, '79, '90 U.S. Open); Tom Kite (1992 U.S. Open); Bernhard Langer (1985, '93 Masters); Andy North (1978, '85 U.S. Open); Mark O'Meara (1998 Masters, '98 Open Championship); Jerry Pate (1976 U.S. Open); Nick Price (1992, '94 PGA Championship, '94 Open Championship); Scott Simpson (1987 U.S. Open); Jeff Sluman (1988 PGA Championship); Craig Stadler (1981 Masters); Hal Sutton (1983 PGA Championship); Tom Watson (1975, '77, '80, '82, '83 Open Championship, '77, '81 Masters, '82 U.S. Open); and Fuzzy Zoeller (1979 Masters, '84 U.S. Open).

Lehman is one of six Senior PGA champions among the early entrants, and joined by Jay Haas (2006, '08); Irwin (1996, '97, '98, 2004); Mike Reid (2005); Watson (2001) and Zoeller (2002).

The Senior PGA Championship will bring together the strongest field in senior golf. Begun in 1937, the Championship attracts the legends of the game and the newest members of senior professional golf to new audiences throughout the United States.

For nearly 25 years, Valhalla Golf Club has hosted premier events - from the 1996 and 2000 PGA Championships; the 2002 PGA Professional National Championship and 2004 Senior PGA Championship; to the 2008 Ryder Cup.

All day and week-long ticket packages can be purchased at www.2011SeniorPGA.com, or by calling the PGA Ticketing Center toll-free at 800/742-4653.

The above report is courtesy of the PGA of America.