Gene Craig Sauers (born August 22, 1962) is an American professional golfer, currently playing on the PGA Tour Champions. He had three wins on the PGA Tour and overcame a deadly skin condition that kept him off the golf course for five years. He won the U.S. Senior Open in 2016, a senior major championship .

Gene Sauers
Personal information
Full nameGene Craig Sauers
Born (1962-08-22) August 22, 1962 (age 57)
Savannah, Georgia
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight150 lb (68 kg; 11 st)
Nationality United States
Career
CollegeGeorgia Southern
Turned professional1984
Current tour(s)PGA Tour Champions
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Web.com Tour
Professional wins9
Highest ranking36 (October 4, 1992)[1]
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour3
Korn Ferry Tour1
PGA Tour Champions1
European Senior Tour1
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT33: 1987
PGA ChampionshipT2: 1992
U.S. OpenT58: 1985, 1987
The Open ChampionshipT52: 1989
Achievements and awards
PGA Tour Comeback
Player of the Year
2002
PGA Tour Courage Award2017

Born in Savannah, Georgia, Sauers started him playing golf at the age of nine with his father. He attended Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, turned pro, and joined the PGA Tour in 1984.

Sauers has four dozen top-10 finishes in PGA Tour events including three official wins. His first win was in 1986 at the Bank of Boston Classic;[2] his second came at the 1989 Hawaiian Open; his third, which came after a 13-year hiatus, was in 2002 at the final edition of the Air Canada Championship in British Columbia.[3] He also won the Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic in Mississippi in 1990, opposite the Masters in April, before it was an official money event.

He finished two other tournaments in a tie for first place at the end of regulation: the 1992 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, which he lost on the fourth extra hole of a playoff to John Cook, and the St. Jude Classic in 1994, which he and Hal Sutton lost to Tour rookie Dicky Pride. After his win in Canada, Sauers received the PGA Comeback Player of the Year award in 2002. His best finish in a major was a tie for second at the PGA Championship in 1992.[4]

Sauers lost his tour card in 1995 and had to play primarily on the Nike Tour until his PGA Tour victory in 2002 with its two-year exemption. He recorded one victory on the Nike Tour at the 1998 Nike South Carolina Classic, and about a dozen top-10 finishes.[5]

Sauers competed on the PGA Tour until 2005. From 2006 to 2010, he did not compete professionally after an initial misdiagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis turned out to be Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and he was given only a 25-percent chance of survival. Over several months, during which he received multiple skin grafts that left visible scarring, he gradually recovered.[6][7]

Sauers finally overcame the disease and played a limited Nationwide Tour schedule in 2011 and 2012 before making his Champions Tour debut at the Boeing Classic near Seattle in 2012. He earned two top-10 finishes in 2012 and was also inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.[8] Playing a full season in 2013, Sauers was twice a runner-up, including a playoff loss to Esteban Toledo at the Insperity Invitational. He finished nineteenth on the Champions Tour money list.[6]

In the first six months of 2014, Sauers played in eleven events, with six top-25 finishes and a best of T-15 at the Allianz Championship in early February.[9] At the U.S. Senior Open in Oklahoma in July, he was tied with Colin Montgomerie after 72 holes but lost in a three-hole playoff.[10]

Two years later in 2016, Sauers earned his first win as a senior at the U.S. Senior Open in Ohio.

Professional wins (9)Edit

PGA Tour wins (3)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runner-up
1 Sep 14, 1986 Bank of Boston Classic 70-71-64-69=274 −10 Playoff   Blaine McCallister
2 Feb 12, 1989 Hawaiian Open 65-67-65=197 −19 1 stroke   David Ogrin
3 Sep 1, 2002 Air Canada Championship 69-65-66-69=269 −15 1 stroke   Steve Lowery

PGA Tour playoff record (1–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1986 Bank of Boston Classic   Blaine McCallister Won with birdie on third extra hole
2 1991 KMart Greater Greensboro Open   Mark Brooks Lost to par on third extra hole
3 1992 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic   John Cook,   Rick Fehr,
  Tom Kite,   Mark O'Meara
Cook won with eagle on fourth extra hole
Fehr eliminated with birdie on second hole
Kite and O'Meara eliminated with birdie on first hole
4 1994 Federal Express St. Jude Classic   Dicky Pride,   Hal Sutton Pride won with birdie on first extra hole

Nike Tour wins (1)Edit

Other wins (4)Edit

PGA Tour Champions wins (1)Edit

Legend
Senior major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour Champions (0)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runners-up
4 Aug 15, 2016 U.S. Senior Open1 68-69-71-69=277 −3 1 stroke   Miguel Ángel Jiménez,   Billy Mayfair

1Co-sanctioned with the European Seniors Tour

PGA Champions Tour playoff record (0–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2014 U.S. Senior Open   Colin Montgomerie Lost three-hole aggregate playoff: (Montgomerie 5-3-4=12, Sauers 5-4-X)
2 2017 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic   Miguel Angel Jimenez Lost to birdie on first extra hole
3 2017 3M Championship   Paul Goydos Lost to birdie on first extra hole

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament T33 CUT
U.S. Open CUT T58 T58
The Open Championship T52
PGA Championship T30 T24 CUT T58
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament T34
U.S. Open
The Open Championship T88
PGA Championship CUT T63 T2 T22 T44
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship CUT
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open CUT
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied

Results in The Players ChampionshipEdit

Tournament 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
The Players Championship CUT CUT T32 T16 T55 T29 T9 CUT CUT T51 T3 T53 CUT CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Senior major championshipsEdit

Wins (1)Edit

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runners-up
2016 U.S. Senior Open 1 shot deficit −3 (68-69-71-69=277) 1 stroke   Miguel Ángel Jiménez,   Billy Mayfair

Senior results timelineEdit

Results are not in chronological order before 2017.

Tournament 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
The Tradition T15 T25 T3 T12 T10 T2 52
Senior PGA Championship T25 T25 CUT T14 CUT T10
U.S. Senior Open T35 2 T47 1 CUT T21 CUT
Senior Players Championship T47 T39 T12 T9 T54 29
Senior British Open Championship 10 T18 T23 T24
  Win
  Top 10

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Week 40 1992 Ending 4 Oct 1992" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  2. ^ Sauers' Sweet Putt
  3. ^ "Golf: PGA Tour at Surrey, British Columbia". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). September 2, 2002. p. 6E.
  4. ^ "Gene Sauers". Golf Major Championships. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  5. ^ "Gene Sauers – Profile". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Fields, Bill (July 12, 2014). "U.S. Senior Open leader Gene Sauers and the disease that threatened his career and his life". Golf Digest.
  7. ^ Graff, Chad (July 31, 2013). "3M golf: Gene Sauers thriving after torturous battle with skin disease". TwinCities.com.
  8. ^ Georgia Golf Hall of Fame profile of Sauers
  9. ^ "Gene Sauers – Season". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "Colin Montgomerie wins in playoff". ESPN. Associated Press. July 13, 2014.

External linksEdit