The Champions Tour heads to the SAS Championship at Prestonwood CC in Cary, N.C. this week. The purse for this event is $2.1 million and the winner will receive $315,000 and 315 Charles Schwab Cup points. Last year, Kenny Perry, playing with a heavy heart after the death of his sister Kay on Saturday night, won his first event on the Champions Tour by one stroke over John Hustonand Jeff Sluman.
• Willie Wood, with a win at the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship, earned the Champions Tour Player of the Month for September. Wood also earned the award last month. He is the first player to win the award in consecutive months since Fred Couples in Feb/March of 2010.
• Greg Norman, host of the Franklin Templeton Shootout, last week announced 18 of the early commitments for the 24-player field. Kenny Perry joins the tournament host as the only Champions Tour representatives for the event at Tiburon Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples on December 5-9.
• Champions Tour professional Steve Jones will be inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame on November 15. Hale Irwin is already a member of the CU Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2002.
• Greg Hopkins, CEO of Cleveland Golf/Srixon, resigned his position last week. Hopkins is a member of the European Senior Tour and has played at least one Champions Tour event each of the last seven years.
• Vance Heafner, who played on the PGA TOUR and later was director of golf at Prestonwood CC, has died at the age of 58. Heafner turned 50 in August 2004 and played 18 Champions Tour events with a best finish of T34 in the 2006 SAS Championship.
• Russ Cochran, the 2010, SAS Championship winner, is expected to make his first start since July's U.S. Senior Open. Cochran, who was forced to withdraw after two rounds in Michigan due to back problems, is currently 27th on the money list, with $528,597.
• Although he is currently sixth on the 2012 money list, with $998,058, John Cook is still looking to extend his streak of seasons with at least one victory on the Champions Tour, to six. Bernhard Langer has the best current streak for consecutive years with at least one victory at six.
• Dick Mast's T6 finish at the recent Pacific Links Hawaii Championship earned him a spot in the SAS Championship this week.
• Neal Lancaster will make his Champions Tour debut in this week's SAS Championship. Lancaster, who turned 50 on September 13th, owns a win at the PGA TOUR's 1994 GTE Byron Nelson Classic and nearly $6.3 million in career earnings on the PGA TOUR.
• Willie Wood has 24 consecutive rounds of par-or-better. Should he extend that with three more at the SAS Championship, he'd move into a tie for 4th place on the all-time list with Lee Trevino(1992), Raymond Floyd (1995), Bruce Summerhays (1995) and Bruce Fleisher (2002).
• Andrew Magee has a string of 172 consecutive holes without a three-putt, the longest current streak on the Champions Tour.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
• Three full-field events remain for players to make the top-30 and earn a spot at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship. A year ago, the player in the No. 30 spot had earned $552,390 heading into the season finale. So far, through 20 events, 24 players have surpassed that figure. Below is a rundown on the players in positions 25-35.
5 -- The number of players who have posted their first victories on the Champions Tour in 2012, one shy of the 2011 total.
DID YOU KNOW??
The six most difficult holes at Prestonwood CC, home of the SAS Championship, in 2011 were on the front nine (1, 8, 5, 6, 4 and 3).
There has never been a playoff at the SAS Championship -- the only current event that has played the last 10 years without an overtime session.
ON THIS DATE
10/2/05 -- Two weeks after winning the Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, Hale Irwin wins the SAS Championship near Raleigh and becomes the first player to claim multiple titles in a season after turning 60.
10/7/01 -- Hale Irwin wins the second of what would be six straight Turtle Bay Championships in Hawaii.
QUOTES TO NOTE
"I haven't taken a step this year that I wasn't hurting." -- Hal Sutton alludes to the pain in his left hip, which he will have replaced on October 11 when he undergoes surgery in Naples, Fla. A 90-day rehabilitation period is expected if all goes well.
TWEET OF THE WEEK