Most Mondays on the PGA Tour Champions, some 30-50 players gather at a course and compete in a Monday qualifier. The 18-hole tournament is a simple shootout. The four lowest scores get into that week's PGA Tour Champions event with the four players given a chance to change their lives and professional careers with three spectacular days, guaranteed a paycheck.
However, the odds of a PGA Tour Champions Monday qualifier making the cut are not good. Dating back to the Tour's formation in 1980, there have only been 12 Monday qualifiers to get into a tournament through the 18-hole four-spot on Monday and then win the tournament on Sunday.
The most recent Monday qualifier to win on the PGA Tour Champions is Willie Wood. He played his way into the 2012 Dick's Sporting Goods Open at En-joie Golf Club in Endicott, NY. Wood was T-2 in open qualifying, shooting 67 to get a spot in the field. He won the event in a sudden-death playoff over Michael Allen after both players finished at 13-under total.
Wood's schedule changed dramatically, going from playing in an open qualifier in Seattle the next Tuesday to no longer needing to qualify for most PGA Tour Champions events.
"There's quite a few tournaments that I have been wanting to play in, tried hard to get sponsor exemptions this year and they just didn't work out, and now I can play in them," said Wood in 2012, who went 16 years, 29 days since winning on the PGA Tour at the Deposit Guaranty Classic in Mississippi.
The last player to win a PGA Tour Champions major is Pete Oakley, who won the 2004 Senior British Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland by a shot over Tom Kite and Eduardo Romero after finishing on 4-under 284.
Open qualifiers to win on PGA Tour Champions since 2002
- James Mason, 2002 NFL Golf Classic
- Don Pooley, 2002 US Senior Open
- Pete Oakley, 2004 Senior Open Championship
- Rod Spittle, 2010 AT&T Championship
- Willie Wood, 2012 Dick's Sporting Goods Open