Former CIF Individual Champion and Loyola alum Ken Tanigawa ’85 won his first-ever major tournament title, claiming the 2019 KitchenAid Senior PGA Tour Championship on May 26, 2019 in Rochester, NY.
Tanigawa, 51, rallied back from a 3-shot deficit to win the 80th annual event by one stroke at the famed Oak Hill Country Club East Course, shooting a combined 3-under 277 (67-74-66-70). This year was just Tanigawa’s second on the senior tour.
“To say it’s a dream come true may be an understatement. And to win at Oak Hill on such a storied venue makes it that much more special because you know all the great players have hit that tee shot off of No. 1, and then to just be able to play here and compete and to pull off a victory of this magnitude is unbelievable.”
As a senior, Tanigawa won the 1985 CIF Southern Section Individual Golf Championship at Desert Falls Country Club in Palm Desert and was coached by Loyola legend, Bill Sanchez. (Recap of the May 7, 1985 win from the LA Times.)
He would later go on to play collegiate golf at UCLA before turning pro and graduating in 1990 with a degree in history. After appearing on tours in Australia and Asia, he gave up playing professionally in 2003 but returned last year to great results, winning the 2018 PGA Tour Champions Rookie of the Year award.