Gene Sauers

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Gene Sauers
Personal information
Full name Gene Craig Sauers
Born (1962-08-22) August 22, 1962 (age 55)
Savannah, Georgia
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight 150 lb (68 kg; 11 st)
Nationality  United States
College Georgia Southern
Turned professional 1984
Current tour(s) PGA Tour Champions
Former tour(s) PGA Tour Tour
Professional wins 9
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 3 Tour 1
PGA Tour Champions 1
European Senior Tour 1
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T33: 1987
U.S. Open T58: 1985, 1987
The Open Championship T52: 1989
PGA Championship T2: 1992
Achievements and awards
PGA Tour Comeback
Player of the Year

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 .

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;[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

Sauers competed on the PGA Tour until 2005. From 2006 to 2010, he did not compete professionally after a misdiagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis turned out to be a rare, painful skin condition Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and he was given only a 25-percent chance of survival.[5] His condition had worsened when blood vessels in his arms and legs clogged, causing his skin to burn from the inside out. Although he eventually recovered after many debilitating months, his forearms show the scars of numerous skin grafts.[6]

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.[7] 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.[5]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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
1 Sep 14, 1986 Bank of Boston Classic 70-71-64-69=274 −10 Playoff United States Blaine McCallister
2 Feb 12, 1989 Hawaiian Open 65-67-65=197 −19 1 stroke United States David Ogrin
3 Sep 1, 2002 Air Canada Championship 69-65-66-69=269 −15 1 stroke United States Steve Lowery

PGA Tour playoff record (1–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1986 Bank of Boston Classic United States Blaine McCallister Won with birdie on third extra hole
2 1991 KMart Greater Greensboro Open United States Mark Brooks Lost to par on third extra hole
3 1992 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic United States John Cook, United States Rick Fehr,
United States Tom Kite, United States 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 United States Dicky Pride, United States 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]

Senior major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour Champions (0)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
4 Aug 15, 2016 U.S. Senior Open1 68-69-71-69=277 −3 1 stroke Spain Miguel Ángel Jiménez, United States 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 Scotland Colin Montgomerie Lost three-hole aggregate playoff: (Montgomerie 5-3-4=12, Sauers 5-4-X)
2 2017 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Spain Miguel Angel Jimenez Lost to birdie on first extra hole
3 2017 3M Championship United States Paul Goydos Lost to birdie on first extra hole

Results in major championships[edit]

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

Senior major championships[edit]

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 Spain Miguel Ángel Jiménez, United States Billy Mayfair


  1. ^ Sauers' Sweet Putt
  2. ^ "Golf: PGA Tour at Surrey, British Columbia". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). September 2, 2002. p. 6E. 
  3. ^ "Gene Sauers". Golf Major Championships. Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Gene Sauers – Profile". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Graff, Chad (July 31, 2013). "3M golf: Gene Sauers thriving after torturous battle with skin disease". 
  7. ^ Georgia Golf Hall of Fame profile of Sauers
  8. ^ "Gene Sauers – Season". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Colin Montgomerie wins in playoff". ESPN. Associated Press. July 13, 2014. 

External links[edit]