HARTFORD, Conn – Glastonbury native and University of Hartford grad Tim Petrovic narrowly missed winning his first PGA Tour Champions title on Sunday – and a major championship, no less.
Petrovic shot a 2-under-par 68 for a 72-hole total of 4-under 276 to tie Jay Haas and finish two strokes behind Retief Goosen, who birdied the final two holes for 68 and the win in the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio on Sunday July 14. It was the first PGA Tour Champions major title for the South African, a two-time U.S. Open winner inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in June.
Meanwhile, it was the fifth runner-up finish in three years on the PGA Tour Champions for Petrovic, with his previous best showing this year being a tie for 10th in the Oasis Championship.
Petrovic, 52, who now lives in Austin, Texas, earned $224,000 for his fifth Top-25 in 2019 that increased his year’s winnings to $399,626 and career total on the PGA Tour Champions and PGA Tour to nearly $13 million. His lone victory on the PGA Tour was the 2005 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Petrovic is a member of the University of Hartford Hall of Fame, where his teammates included Jerry Kelly and Patrick Sheehan. The trio represents one of only seven schools that had three future PGA Tour players on the same team at the same time. The others include such powerhouses as Ohio State, UCLA, Houston and Florida.
Petrovic, a devout fan of The Doors, once worked a pizza baker and delivery man in Florida while struggling to survive in the pro ranks. His heroes include Hall of Famers Ben Crenshaw and the late Seve Ballesteros and Jim Morrison, the lead singer of The Doors.
Petrovic and his wife, Julie, formed For Every Child, Inc. a charity with a mission to provide needy children with basic necessities lacking in their lives. Its website is www.hopetotes.org. He was inducted into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame in 2017.
In the final round, Kelly shot 73 for 286 and a tie for 24th place. He has $1.4 million this thanks mainly to a victory in the American Family Insurance Championship, a tie for second in the U.S. Senior Open Championship and Mitsubishi Electric Classic, third in the Principal Charity Classic, a tie for third in the Mitsubishi Electric Classic at Hualalai and a tie for seventh in the Insperity Invitational and Mastercard Japan Championship.
The two other former New England players, 1998 Greater Hartford Open champion Olin Browne and Billy Andrade, each shot 71 for 284 and a tie for 18th.
CONNECTICUT SENIOR OPEN STARTS MONDAY
Danbury native Ken Green, a former PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions Tour, will be among the 156 starters in the Connecticut Senior Open, which is Monday and Tuesday at Shennecossett Golf Course in Groton. Green also will play in the Connecticut Open that he won in 1985 and 1992 on July 19-21 at Torrington Country Club.
Green continues to compete despite having to have the lower part of his right leg amputated after a tragic recreational vehicle accident in 2009 that killed his brother, girlfriend and dog.
Green, winner of five PGA Tour titles and a member of the 1989 U.S. Ryder Cup Team, recently had his book, “Hunter of Hope: A Life Lived Inside, Outside and On the Ropes,” released, and it’s an open discussion of the highs and lows of a turbulent life that has includes the accident and bouts with depression that caused him to contemplate suicide. It’s dedicated to his son, Hunter, who committed suicide at 21 via a drug overdose on Jan. 22, 2010, while in his dorm room during his sophomore year at Southern Methodist University.
The low 72, plus ties, after the first round on Monday advance to the final 18 holes on Tuesday. If necessary, a sudden-death playoff to determine the overall champion will take place immediately after the completion of regulation play.