It the middle of three consecutive majors played on the 50-and-over set. Two weeks ago, Bruce Lietzke captured the U.S. Senior Open. Two weeks from now, the tour hops across the Atlantic for the Senior British Open.
There are no events the weeks before or after the Ford.
With the addition of the British as a bonafide major, the tour now has five such tournaments on its annual schedule.
Just three weeks before the Senior Open, John Jacobs won the Senior PGA Championship (that makes four majors played in eight weeks, if youre counting). The JELD-WEN Tradition will take place at the end of August ' a full five weeks after the Senior British.
Australian Stewart Ginn made the 2002 Ford Senior Players his first tour victory. His final-round 6-under 66 at the Tournament Players Club of Michigan gave him a one-stroke triumph over Jim Thorpe, Hubert Green and Mike McCullough.
Its been rough sledding since for the Steven Spielberg look-a-like. He has only five top-10 finishes ' and no top-3s ' in his 26 tournaments since collecting career win No. 1.
Ginn is one of six consecutive maiden major champions, from Thorpe's 2002 Tradition victory to Lietzke's Open triumph.
The Ford, however, has been kind to those with a winning track record in the majors. Six of the last nine players to win in Dearborn previously had a major on their resume. J.C. Snead (1995), Larry Gilbert (1997) and Ginn are the exceptions.
Arnold Palmer, in 1984 and 85, is the only player to successfully defend his title. Dave Stockton (1992, 94) and Raymond Floyd (1996, 2000) are the only other players to win twice.
There have also been only two playoffs in the 20-year history of this event. Snead defeated Jack Nicklaus in 95, and Allen Doyle bettered Doug Tewell in 2000.