News and Notes from The JELD-WEN Tradition

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ALOHA, Ore. (AP) -- PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem is pleased with the progress the Champions Tour is making in its first season with a new name.
 
The former Senior Tour was renamed as part of an overall four-year plan to more closely align the three PGA tours and give older players a higher profile.
 
'We're real pleased with where we are - but we know we're going to be stronger still,' he said.
 
That's because popular PGA Tour players Peter Jacobsen and Jay Haas are 49, becoming eligible for the Champions Tour next year. And a number of PGA winners this year are in their 40s, which Finchem sees as bridging the competition gap between the tours.
 
Craig Stadler, 50, won the Senior Players Championship one week and the PGA Tour's B.C. Open the next.
 
Finchem was in Oregon at the JELD-WEN Tradition, the final major this season on the Champions Tour. After 14 years in Arizona, the Tradition moved this year to the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in the suburbs west of Portland.
 
The Tradition is one of five majors on the tour for the first time this season. Traditionally, there have been four. Why five?
 
'Quite simple, said Finchem. 'We wanted to add the senior British Open and we didn't want to fire anyone.'
 
As a result, Tom Watson has become the first player to compete in nine majors in a single season.
 
Watson was the leader at the Reserve after the first two rounds with a 14-under 130, the Tradition's lowest-ever two-day score.
 
TOO EASY?
 
Low scores at the Jeld-Wen Tradition, especially after the first two days, had some on the Champions Tour suggesting the course might be too easy for a major.
 
The par-72, 6,994-yard course features wide fairways. Tom Watson won the event by one stroke Sunday with a biride putt on the final hole. He finished with a 15-under 273.
 
'The fairways are pretty wide and there isn't a premium on driving here as much as there is in the U.S. Open or the PGA. The par 5s are reachable,' said third-round leader Jim Ahern. 'If the fairways were a lot narrower and there was deeper rough, we'd be laying up more. So that's really the big difference.'
 
But some said the course got more difficult over the weekend, and gusty winds Sunday made some shots especially tricky.
 
PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem said the tour look at the issue.
 
'We are talking to the club about brining the fairways in,' he said.
 
It was the first time the Tradition was played at the Reserve, after 14 years in Arizona.
 
The course hosted Peter Jabobsen's popular Fred Meyer Challenge charity tournament for the past five years. The event ended last year when its sponsor decided not to renew.
 
It was first time the Champions Tour was in Oregon since the 1982 U.S. Senior Open at Portland Golf Club.
 
DIVOTS
 
Jim Ahern, the leader by a stroke after the third round, is known for his long drives. He's still working on his putts. He missed a 6-footer on Sunday to finish a stroke back of winner Tom Watson. 'I watch Hale Irwin, he does the same thing all the time. He looks so comfortable,' Ahern said. 'I haven't felt that yet.' ... Tom Jenkins hit a hole-in-one on Saturday on the par-3 No. 7 hole. ... Chi Chi Rodriguez finished in last place, with a 17-over 305 after 72 holes. ... Isao Aoki celebrated his 61st birthday on Sunday.
 

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