CHAMPIONS TOUR UPDATE – Week of August 20
The Champions Tour heads to Snoqualmie, WA (Seattle) for the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. The purse is $2 million and the winner will receive $300,000 and 300 Charles Schwab Cup points. Last year, Mark Calcavecchia birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Russ Cochran for his first win on the Champions Tour.
Willie Wood, a Monday qualifier, won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, defeating Michael Allen in a playoff after the two tied at 13-under. The win earned him an immediate exemption on the Champions Tour for one year and also earned him a two-year exemption into the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
Willie Wood ended a victory drought of 16 years, 29 days since his lone triumph on the PGA TOUR at the 1996 Deposit Guaranty Classic in Mississippi. Prior to his Dick’s Sporting Goods Open victory, he had gone 189 PGA TOUR events, 105 Web.com Tour events and 15 Champions Tour events since last winning.
Willie Wood’s victory at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open makes him the first open qualifier to win on the Champions Tour since Rod Spittle at the 2010 AT&T Championship. It’s also the 12th time it’s happened in Champions Tour history.
Bernhard Langer’s T7 finish at this year’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open was his 13th top-10 finish in 15 starts on the Champions Tour this year. Langer’s career high for top-10 finishes in a year on the Champions Tour is 15 in both 2009 and 2010.
Nick Price withdrew during the second round of last week’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open with a sore left elbow. Price was out for three months with ligament damage in his left elbow and returned at the recent 3M Championship.
Hale Irwin made his 394th appearance on the Champions Tour at last week’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and now has 1,053 combined-career (PGA TOUR/Champions Tour) starts, moving him into a tie for fourth place with Arnold Palmer on the all-time list. Miller Barber is the all-time leader among players with more than 1,000 combined-career starts, totaling 1,292 tournaments.
Champions Tour professional Tom Pernice, Jr. finished T66 at the PGA TOUR’s Wyndham Championship last week.
On his last day as a 49-year-old, Duffy Waldorf finished T11 at the Midwest Classic on the Web.com Tour last week.
A new Champions Tour event, the Encompass Championship, will be held at the North Shore Country Club inGlenview,IL, June 17-23, 2013. Encompass Insurance Company sponsored the Tampa Bay Pro-Am atTPCTampaBayin April of this year. The company promised to bring the unique celebrity Pro-Am format to its headquarters in theMidwestwhere it will be held through 2015. North Shore Country hosted the 1933 U.S. Open Championship as well as the 1939 and 1983 U.S. Amateur Championships.
Anders Forsbrand claimed an historic wire-to-wire victory in the Scottish Senior Open, becoming the first Swede to win on the European Senior Tour. His closing round of 67 gave him a winning total of 17 under par 199, one shot clear of Phil Golding, who finished runner up in just his second Senior Tour event. It was Forsbrand’s first victory in 17 years, having claimed the last of his six European Tour titles in the 1995 German Masters.
The cast for the next season of Golf Channel’s Big Break reality competition series was revealed last week and one of the 12 contestants is Rick Cochran, nephew of Champions Tour professional Russ Cochran. Rick is looking to follow in his famous uncle’s footsteps – both on and off the course – to become a successful golfer and a role model for up-and-coming golfers. Break Greenbrier premieres Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET.
A pair of former multiple-event winners on the PGA TOUR will make their debuts in the Boeing Classic. Duffy Waldorf, a four-time winner on TOUR, turns 50 on August 20, while Gene Sauers, a three-time champion, turns 50 on August 22.
The TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, home to the Boeing Classic, is one of six venues that were designed by Jack Nicklaus and are currently in use on the 2012 Champions Tour schedule. The other venues are the Hualalai GC (Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai), Twin Eagles/Talon Course (The ACE Group Classic), The Golf Club at Harbor Shores (Senior PGA Championship), Shoal Creek (The Tradition) and Desert Mountain/Cochise Course (Charles Schwab Cup Championship).
Although it measures 431 yards, the 14th hole at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge features a 70-foot drop from the tee over Bear Canyon and is a drivable, dogleg par-4. Since the Champions Tour started playing at the site in 2005, the course’s signature hole has given up 17 eagles during that time, including two each by R.W. Eaks, Hajime Meshiai and Ben Crenshaw. Fourteen different players have made 2s at the hole. The highest score recorded on this hole was an eight by Bill Longmuir in the second round in 2006.
On Tuesday of Boeing Classic tournament week, Champions Tour professionals Bobby Clampett and Olin Browne will attend a Seattle Seahawks practice and at the conclusion of practice, they’ll participate in a chipping contest against two members of the Seahawks — wide receiver Golden Tate and quarterback Matt Flynn.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
Tom Lehman earned 99 Charles Schwab Cup points for his T3 at last week’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and increased his total number of points on the year to 2,043. Lehman, the current Schwab Cup leader, now enjoys a 150-point advantage over Bernhard Langer who earned 53 points last week for his T7 and has 1,893 points on the year. Roger Chapman is third with 1,756 points and Fred Couples is fourth with 1,530 points. Michael Allen remains fifth with 1,424 points after earning 158 points for his runner-up finish to Willie Wood last week. Wood appears at No. 28 in the standings with the 270 points he earned with the win.
Before last week’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, there were nine players within 1,000 points of Charles Schwab Cup leader Tom Lehman. After last week’s tournament, there are now six players within 1,000 points of Lehman, who remains in the lead.
7 – The number of playoff participants at the 2007 Boeing Classic, the largest ever in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned tournament. The all-time record on the PGA TOUR is six players—at the 1994 GTE Byron Nelson Classic and the 2001 Nissan Open. The high on the Web.com Tour is four players.
DID YOU KNOW?
Seattlenative Fred Couples finished T16 at the Boeing Classic a year ago and third in 2010. He was also runner-up in the 2010 U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee. In Champions Tour history, it’s been rare when a player has won an official tournament in either the place he was born or lived at the time. Here is a list of players who have won in their hometown.
Player Event Place of Birth/Residence
Bernhard Langer, 2010 Allianz Championship, Boca Raton
Bruce Lietzke, 2002 TD Waterhouse Championship, Kansas City
Hale Irwin, 1997, 1999 Boone Valley Classic, St. Louis
Jay Sigel, 1998 Bell Atlantic Classic, Philadelphia
Jim Colbert, 1995, 1996 Las Vegas Senior Classic, Las Vegas
Lee Trevino, 1992, 1994 PGA Seniors Championship, Palm Beach, FL
Jack Nicklaus, 1991 PGA Seniors Championship, Palm Beach, FL
Homero Blancas, 1989 Doug Sanders Kingwood Celebrity Classic, Houston
Larry Mowry, 1988 Pepsi Senior Challenge, Atlanta
Don January, 1986 Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am, Dallas
ON THIS DATE
8/23/98 – Just two months shy of his 63rd birthday, Gary Player became the second-oldest winner on the Champions Tour at the Northville Long Island Classic.
8/26/90 – Tom Lehman makes just two bogeys over 54 holes and wins the Reflection Ridge Open inWichita for his first Web.com Tour (then Hogan Tour) title.
QUOTES TO NOTE
“I’ve had some ups and downs but this is a big up for me.” – Willie Wood shares his thoughts immediately after winning his first Champions Tour event at last week’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
“I’ve played a lot of good golf over my career hitting the ball sideways.” – Brad Faxon sums up his career during last week’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, where he finished T3, missing a playoff by a single stroke.
“I hadn’t thought of being at a PGA or a U.S. Open, which I’ll be in next year, so the only one missing is the Masters. I wonder if there’s an invitation. Not.” – Roger Chapman thought the 2002 British Open was the last major he would play until he qualified for the recent PGA Championship, and next year’s U.S. Open, by winning the over-50 editions of those events this year.
“You never saw Jack Nicklaus get frustrated. I’m sure there were times he did, but you almost never saw it. I told Rory to smile more. I want him to look like he’s having a good time out there.” – Two-time PGA Championship winner Dave Stockton’s advice to Rory McIlroy before he won the recent PGA Championship.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
Jim Gallagher Jr. @GallagherJr ATL is the worst airport to connect thru especially when your flight is already an hour delayed. Just cruise around runways until gate opens
Golf World @GolfWorld1 Lee Westwood has hired Tony Johnstone as his new short game coach. Nick Price says ‘he’s the most under-rated short game player ever’