Champions Tour Update – February 1, 2017
PGA TOUR GENERATES RECORD AMOUNT FOR CHARITY
The PGA TOUR and its tournaments donated more than $166 million to charitable causes in 2016. This record-breaking total includes donations made by tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada, PGA TOUR China and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. The announcement brings the all-time total generated for charity by the PGA TOUR to $2.46 billion since the first-ever charitable contribution of $10,000 was made by the 1938 Palm Beach Invitational.
On the PGA Champions Tour, the Shaw Charity Classic donated the most to charity in 2016, totaling more than $4 million. Since the tournament began in 2013, the Shaw Charity Classic has donated nearly $10.6 million to Alberta-based charities. In all, eight PGA Champions Tour events donated more than $1 million to charity last year.
- 3M Championship (Blaine, Minnesota)
- American Family Insurance Championship (Madison, Wisconsin)
- Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge (Ridgedale, Missouri)
- Insperity Invitational (The Woodlands, Texas)
- Principal Charity Classic (Des Moines, Iowa)
- Regions Tradition (Birmingham, Alabama)
- Shaw Charity Classic (Calgary, Alberta)
- Toshiba Classic (Newport Beach, California)
ELITE FIELD ON TAP AT ALLIANZ CHAMPIONSHIP
The Allianz Championship (Feb. 6-12) is the first full-field event of the season, and the Boca Raton community will be treated to one of the strongest fields in PGA Champions Tour history. The list of competitors includes the top 36 players in last year’s final Charles Schwab Cup standings, eight players in the World Golf Hall of Fame, and two of the sport’s most popular players in John Daly and Fred Couples. Not to be overlooked, Paul McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabal will make their Champions Tour debuts, while David Toms will play in his second event.
Bernhard Langer remains the headliner among the large group of A-list players, as he won for the 30th time on the Champions Tour at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. Winner of the last three Charles Schwab Cups, Langer has six top-10s in nine starts at the Allianz Championship, including a victory in 2010.
For Couples, this will be his first start at the Allianz Championship, and the first official PGA TOUR event he’s played in southeast Florida since the 2006 Honda Classic. He missed most of the 2016 season with a back injury, and his runner-up finish at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai came in just his second start in 11 months.
In addition to Langer and Couples, six other members of the World Golf Hall of Fame are scheduled to compete: Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara, Tom Kite, Hale Irwin, Sandy Lyle and Olazabal. Additionally, the field includes Ian Woosnam, who will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in September.
FIELD REPRESENTS OVER 100 RYDER CUP APPEARANCES
A number of European Ryder Cup stalwarts are in the field at the Allianz Championship, led by Bernhard Langer and his 10 appearances. He’s joined by four victorious captains: Ian Woosnam (8 appearances, 2006 captain), Colin Montgomerie (8 appearances, 2010 captain), Jose Maria Olazabal (8 appearances, 2012 captain) and Paul McGinley (3 appearances, 2014 captain).
The contingent of American players is led by Tom Kite, who played in seven Ryder Cups, followed by Hale Irwin and Fred Couples, who each played in five. Kite (1997) and Tom Lehman (2006) each served as U.S. Team captains during their careers. In all, there are 29 former Ryder Cup players in the field – nine Europeans and 20 Americans – that have a combined 104 appearances.
OLAZABAL TO COMPETE IN OMEGA DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC
Before making his PGA Champions Tour debut at the Allianz Championship, Jose Maria Olazabal will play in this weekend’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic. It will be his second professional start of 2017, as he shot 75-77 and missed the cut at the Qatar Masters.
STRICKER STARTS SEASON AT WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN
Before joining the PGA Champions Tour, Steve Stricker will open his season at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He turns 50 on February 23, and the first Champions Tour tournament he’ll be eligible to compete in is the Tucson Conquistadores Classic (March 17-19). He is also the tournament host of the American Family Insurance Championship, which will be held June 23-25 in Madison, Wisconsin.
$193,512 – The amount of money it took to finish the regular season No. 72 on the points list and qualify for the 2016 Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs.
5 – All five players who gained fully-exempt status at Q-School will compete in the Allianz Championship. In December, Scott Parel and Phillip Price shared medalist honors, Bobby Gage finished third, while Skip Kendall and Fran Quinn survived a 3-for-2 playoff for the final two fully-exempt cards.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“Most of the first 17 I won I expected to win if I worked hard and put myself in that position. I felt like I was the best player on the golf course and that’s what I was there for. I’m sure Roger in his first 17 felt much the same way. Then you get to a point in your career where you know that you may be beyond your peak but you get yourself to a position where you get a chance to do it again and your body and your mind remember how to do it. That’s what happened to me in ’86. I don’t think Roger had any expectations going into this event, having six months off. And all of a sudden he got to the semi-finals and finals and he said, ‘Hey, I remember how to play this game and I’m going to play it’.” – Jack Nicklaus, in a Q&A with the ATP after Roger Federer’s 18th Grand Slam victory.
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