By Mark Williams, Champions Tour staff
News and notes from around the Champions Tour for the week of Feb. 11, 2013.
• Rocco Mediate won the Allianz Championship and became the 16th player in Champions Tour history, and first since Tom Pernice Jr. at the 2009 SAS Championship (3 years, 4 months, 14 days), to win in his debut on the Champions Tour.
• Pernice’s T2 finish at last week’s Allianz Championship was his best performance on the Champions Tour since he was second at the 2010 SAS Championship.
• Bart Bryant made his debut on the Champions Tour at the Allianz Championship and finished T33. Taiwan’s Chie-Hsaing Lin also made his Champions Tour debut in Boca Raton and finished T75.
• Defending champion Corey Pavin made 17 birdies at the Allianz Championship and finished T4. As a result, the Moabery Family Foundation contributed $17,000 to the nonprofit Boca Raton Champions Golf Charities ($1,000 per birdie). Tom Lehman, sponsored by Allianz, also made 17 birdies during the week. As a result of Lehman’s 17 birdies, $17,000 will go to the South Florida chapter of Junior Achievement and the Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
• David Frost’s streak of holes without a three putt ended at No. 6 on Sunday at the Allianz Championship, snapping a run of 295 straight holes dating back to last year’s SAS Championship (No. 16/Rd. 2).
• Brad Faxon started the final round with an eagle and four consecutive birdies, the best birdie-eagle streak on the Champions Tour this season.
It was recently announced former U.S. Open champion Steve Jones will be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame at a ceremony in April.
• Kenny Perry’s victory last year at the ACE Group Classic wasn’t his first win in Naples. In the 2012 season, Perry teamed with Sean O’Hair to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club. Perry also won the Franklin Templeton Shootout in 2005 with John Huston and the 2008 Merrill Lynch Shootout with Scott Hoch.
• Jay Haas is still trying to end a significant dry spell in the state of Florida. Haas has now gone 0-121 in the Sunshine State in his TOUR career (0-21 on the Champions Tour).
• Mark McNulty made consecutive eagles (Nos. 13/14) during the first round of last year’s ACE Group Classic. Later in the season, Gary Hallberg made consecutive eagles at the Boeing Classic. It marked the first time since 2003 that multiple players made back-to-back eagles during a year on the Champions Tour.
• Bernhard Langer eagled the par-5 17th hole all three days at last year’s ACE Group Classic, a first on the Champions Tour since Dave Rummells made eagle every day on the first hole at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge during the 2010 Boeing Classic.
• This year, The First Tee Champions Challenge will celebrate its fifth anniversary at The ACE Group Classic. Each year the Challenge pairs a two-person team from a First Tee chapter with a Champions Tour professional in a four-hole competition held on Tuesday of tournament week. In 2012, The First Tee of Naples/Collier (with Loren Roberts) won their third consecutive First Tee Challenge.
• The ACE Group Classic has a Family Putt for Dough Challenge, sponsored by Subway, during tournament week. It’s a free, 3-hole putting challenge that gives spectators a chance to test their skills and compete against their family, friends, and fellow fans for the opportunity to win $50,000.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
• Rocco Mediate earned 270 Charles Schwab Cup points for his win at the Allianz Championship and is third on the points list. John Cook remains in the lead with 354 points after adding a T9 finish to his win at the season-opening event in Hualalai. Bernhard Langer, who has also posted two top-10s in the first two events, is second with 277 points.
3 – The number of playoffs in the 25-year history of The ACE Group Classic.
ON THIS DATE
2/11/73 – Arnold Palmer wins the Bob Hope Classic for his last PGA TOUR victory.
2/13/00 – Lanny Wadkins defeats Tom Watson, Walter Hall and Jose Maria Canizares for the title at The ACE Group Classic. He becomes the ninth Champions Tour player to win his debut.
DID YOU KNOW?
Bobby Wadkins’ 2007 victory at The ACE Group Classic, coupled with older brother Lanny’s win in 2000, made the duo the first set of brothers to claim titles in Naples.
QUOTES TO NOTE
“Most of these guys kicked my butt on the PGA TOUR. Now I’m ready to change that.” – Rocco Mediate talks about his intention to win tournaments on the Champions Tour in advance of his debut at last week’s Allianz Championship. He won the tournament.
TWEET OF THE WEEK