Local Pro Bill Harvey, PGA Tour Vet Kent Jones Likely to Miss Cut
Both Had Previous US Senior Open Experience
Two Albuquerque golfers in the field of the US Senior Open struggled in the first two days of play at The Broadmoor Resort near Colorado Springs.
Bill Harvey and Kent Jones qualified at a US Senior Open qualifier at The Club at Las Campanas near Santa Fe last month.
Harvey, 57, a PGA professional, is the concessionaire and director of golf at Albuquerque’s Ladera Golf Course.
Jones, 51, is in his first year on the PGA Champions Tour. This was the first year Jones was eligible to play in a senior event, which is open to players 50 years old or older.
It was Harvey’s second US Senior Open. He qualified in 2014 and played at Oak Tree National in Edmund, Okla., but missed the cut, shooting 75-86.
Harvey shot 82-74, which put him at T132 Friday afternoon. Jones shot 75-74, which put him at T89, 14 shots behind the Friday afternoon leader, Jerry Kelly who was at 5-under midway through Day 2. Both Albuquerque players were likely to miss the cut going into the weekend.
Two Different Paths to US Senior Open
Harvey, who was a teaching professional at Arroyo del Oso Golf Course before taking the reins at Ladera, said last week he’s looking forward to The Broadmoor.
“I’m changing my approach this time,” he said. “I played too much going into Oak Tree and practiced too much. This time, I want to enjoy the experience.”
“I’ll play what’s in front of me and not get ahead of myself and do silly things,” Harvey said. He has played about ten rounds with Jones and said he learned a lot about on-course discipline by watching him, he said.
In Oak Tree in 2014, Harvey said he wasn’t playing well and he never loosened up. On Day 2, knowing where the cut line was, he started firing at pins and carded a disastrous triple-bogey 8. “I have to be patient,” he said.
This time, playing in the same region of the country will be more comforting, he said. “The thing is dealing with the nerves and letting the belief system kick in, to say, ‘I can do this.'”
Jones, a graduate of the University of New Mexico, played in six US Opens and made the cut four times. His best finish was a T48 in 2006. He believes if he stays healthy, he can play on the Champions Tour for eight to 10 years.
Jones played 19 years on the PGA Tour. He won $5.3 million and had 11 Top 10 finishes. So far on the Champions Tour, he has made $320,073, with two Top 10 finishes, including a T9 at the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Wis.
Jones calls himself a straight hitter whose putting is improving.
“I feel comfortable in playing in Colorado Springs. It’s the same climate and altitude.” And like Albuquerque’s Canyon Club at Four Hills, The Broadmoor’s greens are heavily influenced by an adjacent mountain, something with which he has experience, he said.
Two other players with New Mexico ties – Tom Byrum and Tommy Armour III – joined Jones in the Top 10 in the Madison event. The winner was Fred Couples. Armour qualified for the US Senior Open but withdrew.
(This story was updated to reflect Friday’s scores.)