Notes: Two top-fives for Roberts, 21 years apart

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May 09, 2011
Champions Tour staff

The Champions Tour is idle for two weeks before heading to Louisville, Ky., for the Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. The purse is $2 million and the winner will receive $360,000 and 720 Charles Schwab Cup points. Last year, Tom Lehman made par on the first playoff hole to defeat Fred Couples and David Frost to capture his first senior major title.

LAST WEEK

Tom Lehman won the 2011 Regions Tradition when Peter Senior lipped out a five-foot par putt on the second playoff hole. It marked Lehman's third victory of the 2011 season in just his seventh event this year. Lehman now has claimed five career titles on the Champions Tour in 29 starts. He won five titles on the PGA TOUR, including the 1996 British Open Championship, in 266 career appearances.

Tom Lehman earned 660 Charles Schwab Cup points with his Regions Tradition win and now has 1,432 total points on the season. Nick Price is now in second place in the Schwab Cup standings with 698 points and Michael Allen is third with 580 points. At the end of the official season, the player earning the most Schwab Cup points will receive a $1 million payout.

• Australian Peter Senior matched his career-best finish on the Champions Tour with a runner-up performance at the Regions Tradition. Senior's previous-best effort in a Champions Tour event came in Birmingham last year when he was T2 at the old Regions Charity Classic at Ross Bridge.

Loren Roberts' final-round 65 elevated him 10 spots into third place and became the only player to finish among the top five in the last two professional events at Shoal Creek. Roberts was T5 in the 1990 PGA Championship.

• Each of the last two major championships on the Champions Tour has had a 1-2-3-4 finish and Michael Allen and Loren Roberts were involved in both of them. This week at the Regions Tradition, Roberts finished third and Allen fourth. At last year's Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, Mark O'Meara won the event followed by Allen. Roberts finished third and Jeff Sluman was solo fourth.

• There were 14 eagles made at Shoal Creek during the week but only one came on a par-4 (Jeff Sluman/No. 7 in the final round). Gil Morgan, the 1997 and 1998 Tradition champion, was the only player to make a pair of eagles this week.

Jay Haas and his son, Bill, were hoping to become the first father-son duo to win on the same day since March 28, 1999, when David Duval won The Players Championship and his father, Bob, won the Emerald Coast Classic on the Champions Tour. Jay finished T5 at the Regions Tradition, while Bill was 4th at the Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA TOUR.

• In memory of Seve Ballesteros, who passed away last Saturday after a fight with brain cancer, the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour all suspended play on Sunday for one minute for a moment of silence at 3:08 p.m. Eastern Time.

• Two-time major winner Doug Ford will be inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine on May 9. Ford never won on the Champions Tour in 332 starts. He lost a playoff to Don January at the 1981 Michelob Senior Classic.

Steve Pate, Jim Carter andJoel Edwards -- three players who will become eligible for the Champions Tour when they turn 50 this year -- all made the cut at the Stadion Classic at UGA, last week's Nationwide Tour event.

• Former PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman will be honored with the Byron Nelson Prize on May 24 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. The award embodies the philanthropic spirit for which the late Nelson was known.

COMING UP

Steve Pate will make his Champions Tour debut at the Senior PGA Championship. Pate turns 50 on Thursday, May 26, the opening round of the championship.

• Sixteen countries from outside the United States are expected to be represented at Valhalla GC for the Senior PGA Championship. England tops that list with eight players.

NUMBERS

3 -- The current streak of consecutive playoffs on the Champions Tour (John Cook def. Jay Don Blake, 2011 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am; Mark McNulty/David Eger def. ScottHoch/Kenny Perry, 2011 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf; Tom Lehman def. Peter Senior, 2011 Regions Tradition). The record is four, set in 2005.

4 -- The number of players who have appeared in the final group on the final day more than once in 2011 (Tom Lehman, Peter Senior, Mark Calacavecchia, Russ Cochran).

DID YOU KNOW??

• On the first tee of last week's Regions Tradition Pro-Am at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Alabama, basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley broke his driver on his opening tee shot. The club-head traveled further than his ball. Fuzzy Zoeller, the Champions Tour professional playing with Barkley, suggested he autograph the club-head and auction it for charity. The autographed, broken club is currently available for auction on eBay until Friday and proceeds will be donated to the Tornado Disaster Relief efforts and the Children's Hospital of Alabama. The link to the auction is here.

ON THIS DATE

5/9/2004-- Joey Sindelar wins the last of his seven PGA TOUR titles when he prevails in a two-hole playoff with Arron Oberholser at the Wachovia Championship in Charlotte, a span of 370 events since his last title. Sindelar collects a check for $1,008,000, putting him over the $1 million mark in season earnings for the first time ever.

5/9/99-- Hale Irwin holes a wedge from 74 yards on the final hole for an eagle and a two-stroke victory over Bob Murphy at the Nationwide Championship near Atlanta.

QUOTES TO NOTE

"This is a ball-striker's golf course if I've ever seen one and it really suited my game."-- Tom Lehman comments on Shoal Creek, where he won the Regions Tradition.

"He comes up with some of the weirdest things. He'll say, Jeez, Dad, did you see how good I raked that bunker back there? You know, just completely random. We'd be walking around, I'd be muttering to myself. He'll say, Gee, how many of these girls are looking at me today, Dad? It's just been great to have him on the bag."-- Peter Senior on his son Mitchell who is also his caddie.

"My wife pointed out to me I made six birdies and this is our sixth anniversary, so I guess that was the good news. I pointed out to her, six years ago in Italy I shot 78 and then we got married."-- Mark Calcavecchia describes his first-round 68 at last week's Regions Tradition, which began with a double bogey.

"Hey Charles, are you playing a black Nike?" -- Fuzzy Zoeller to Charles Barkley, while holding a broken driver head, during the Regions Tradition pro-am. Barkley's driver broke when he hit his first tee shot and the clubhead flew down the fairway, further than the ball.

"It just seems when it's a Jack Nicklaus golf course, I look forward to coming and playing."-- Kenny Perry comments on Shoal Creek, the host venue for last week's Regions Tradition.

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