Champions Tour releases schedule for 2009text sizeNovember 12, 2008
PGA TOUR staff
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The Champions Tour announced on Wednesday its 2009 tournament schedule, which features 26 official Charles Schwab Cup events and $51.4 million in official prize money, with the highest average tournament purse ever at $1.98 million.
The Champions Tour will play in 15 states plus the Dominican Republic and England.
"As the Champions Tour enters its 30th season we're fortunate to have such committed partners enabling us to provide compelling competition and engaging entertainment to legions of fans by some of the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game," said Champions Tour President Mike Stevens.
Mitsubishi Electric and Triton Financial were recently announced as new title sponsors on the Champions Tour, so for the 12th consecutive year, the Champions Tour's season begins in January on the Big Island of Hawaii with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai (Jan. 19-25). The Triton Financial Classic will be held June 1-7 in Austin, Texas. The season will come to a close in late October at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship (Oct. 26-Nov. 1) at Sonoma Golf Club.
Entering its ninth season, the Champions Tour's year-long competition, the Charles Schwab Cup, will offer $2.5 million in annuities to its five leading point-earners. Designed to identify the Tour's leading player, the Charles Schwab Cup will continue to be featured prominently in all cable and network telecasts next year.
The major championship schedule features a distinguished list of venues. The Senior PGA Championship will be played in May at Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland, Ohio, which annually ranks as one of Golfweek's Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in America and has hosted a number of significant U.S. men's championships since 1932. Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., will host the U.S. Senior Open on its Pete Dye course at the end of July. Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire, England will welcome the Senior British Open to its links July 20-26. Both the JELD-WEN Tradition (Crosswater Club at Sunriver Resort) and Constellation Energy Senior Players championship (Baltimore Country Club) will return to their respective host venues for a third straight year, in August and September respectively.
The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa in Savannah, Ga., will once again serve as host to the Champions Tour's longest running event, the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, which enters its 32nd year. After the success of last year's return to an all-team format, the Legends Division will remain a two-man better ball event counting for official prize money and as an official win for both each team members.
For the sixth straight year, junior golfers and Champions Tour players will compete side-by-side in one of the most popular and unique events in golf, the Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, held once again at the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course over Labor Day weekend.
All 26 events will be televised nationally in the United States, with 19 receiving complete coverage on the GOLF CHANNEL, the Tour's exclusive cable television partner that reaches some 80 million homes in the U.S. The five major championships will have network coverage on the weekend (NBC -- Senior PGA Championship, Senior U.S. Open, JELD-WEN Tradition and Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship; ABC -- Senior British Open). Additionally CBS will telecast weekend coverage of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, while NBC will offer weekend coverage of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. All of the Champions Tour telecasts are distributed to more than 110 million homes internationally.
Stevens also noted that despite the economic downturn, many of the title sponsors up for renewal in 2008 were extended. "We're pleased that our partners continue to recognize the value of the Champions Tour product and continue to incorporate it as an integral part of their business development strategies. This bodes well not only for our players and fans," Stevens said, "but allows our tournaments to be successful, thus generating charitable dollars for the communities we serve."