Defending champion Arnold Palmer said his putting, his iron play, as well as two weeks rest, helped him achieve a record-setting 11-stroke victory in the Senior Tournament Players Championship. The wide margin was very rare for Major Championships contested at Canterbury, which usually produces exciting, dramatic finishes.
``The last two rounds, the big difference was my putting, and my iron play was very gratifying to me,” said Palmer, who claimed the $36,000 top prize on Sunday for shooting a 14-under-par 274 at the Canterbury Golf Club.
The 11-stroke margin eclipsed the previous Senior record set by Rod Funseth in the 1983 Hall of Fame Classic, when he won by nine shots. Palmer`s biggest victory margin ever was by 12 shots in the 1962 Phoenix Open.
The victory gave Palmer his ninth Senior Tour Championship besides 61 regular PGA events. He led after every round with scores of 67, 71, 68 and 68.
Former champion Miller Barber finished in a four-way tie for second place at 285, 3-under-par. Barber started the round in second at 5-under, five strokes behind Palmer.
Gene Littler mounted the only challenge to Palmer during the final round when he fired five consecutive birdies on holes 2 through 6, moving to 6 under par and four shots off the lead.
But Palmer, who made five birdies and one bogey during the round, immediately birdied the sixth and seventh holes to assume a commanding six- stroke lead, and ultimately the dominating 11 shot victory.