Canizares Hoping To Dethrone Inman


Jose Maria Canizares, fresh off his first Senior PGA Tour win in four years, heads up a long list of talented Senior golfers in Valencia, Calif. this week for the SBC Senior Classic.
Canizares successfully outlasted veteran Gil Morgan in a playoff at last week's Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach. The game was an excruciatingly long one, going a full nine holes before the Spaniard dropped in a 10-footer for birdie to end the drama.
Previously before last week, the 54-year-old had finished runner-up four times on the 50-and-older circuit. He had recorded nine third-place finishes.
While his story was certainly a big one entering this week's event at Valencia Country Club, he may be slightly overshadowed by the defending champion Joe Inman.
Inman beat out Larry Nelson in last year's edition of the SBC - which was played late in the season in October - complements of a final round 65. He birdied five of his last nine holes, and won the tournament by three strokes at 15-under-par.
What was remarkable about the performance, however, was that it marked the third consecutive year that he had won that particular event. He took it in 1998. He got it in 1999. And then he outlasted Nelson - at the time, the undisputed best on the Tour - for a third time in 2000. He joined a list of four other Senior Tour players to have won an event three times running (Chi Chi Rodriguez, Bob Charles, George Archer and Hale Irwin).
Interestingly enough, Inman has yet to win on the Tour outside of this event.
He will be competing this year for $210,000. Should he take the purse, he will be the first ever to win an event on the Senior Tour in four straight years.