Update: Langer gets an early leg up in Schwab Cup raceFebruary 18, 2013
By Mark Williams, Champions Tour staff
• Bernhard Langer won the ACE Group Classic for the second time in three years (2011), becoming the sixth player in the 26-year history of the event to win the event twice. Langer also became the first player to win wire-to-wire on the Champions Tour since Olin Browne did so at the 2011 U.S. Senior Open.
• Since winning last year’s Boeing Classic, Jay Don Blake has now finished second twice and both times he’s been a runner-up to Bernhard Langer. Along with the ACE Group Classic, Langer also won last year’s SAS Championship where Blake was two strokes back.
• Open qualifier Jeff Freeman earned a spot into the field at the upcoming Toshiba Classic after recording a T7 at this year’s ACE Group Classic.
• In his first appearance on the Champions Tour in more than a year (2011 AT&T Championship), Scott Hoch finished T20 at the ACE Group Classic. Hoch had been struggling with hand, wrist issues that kept him out of action throughout the 2012 season.
• Champions Tour pros, caddies, volunteers, spectators and staff accepted a friendly challenge to track the miles walked during the week of The ACE Group Classic. The NCH Healthcare System Foundation received a $10,000 donation from The ACE Group Classic as a result.
• Thanks to a sponsor’s exemption, Fred Couples made his 31st start at the Northern Trust Open, which surpassed Gene Littler for the most starts in tournament history. Couples finished T46.
• Vijay Singh is not in the field for this week’s PGA TOUR event so last week’s Northern Trust Open, where he finished T51 will be the last TOUR event Singh plays before turning 50 on February 22.
• Tournament officials announced last week that CareerBuilder will be the Presenting Sponsor for this year’s Encompass Championship to be held at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Ill., June 17-23.
• Kenny Perry will undergo left knee surgery for a torn meniscus in Nashville on Feb. 19 and hopes to be back in action in time for the Greater Gwinnett Championship at TPC Sugarloaf. The new Champions Tour event just outside Atlanta takes place April 15-21, the week following The Masters.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
• Bernhard Langer earned 240 Charles Schwab Cup points with his win in last week’s ACE Group Classic to move into the lead in the season-long race with 517 points on the season. When he won the 2010 Charles Schwab Cup, Langer did not take over the lead in the season-long race until he won the Senior British Open in mid-July.
2 -- The number of players who finished in the top-15 at the 1992 PGA Championship at Bellerive CC who are currently under 50 years of age – Jeff Maggert (6th) and Billy Andrade (T15). They both turn 50 early in 2014. The 2013 Senior PGA Championship will be played at Bellerive on May 20-26.
ON THIS DATE
2/22/04 – In his initial Champions Tour start, Mark McNulty wins the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am near Tampa.
DID YOU KNOW?
Bernhard Langer has not finished outside of the top three in his first three starts in 2013.
QUOTES TO NOTE
“It's a very competitive place. We should be really good at what we do, been doing it our whole life, so you're going to see some amazing things.” – Rocco Mediate sums up the Champions Tour and its players.
“I want to play full time out here this year and give the Charles Schwab Cup a shot.” – Tom Pernice Jr. has bounced between the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour the past couple of years and now shares a common goal with other Champions Tour professionals.
“I hear it’s a lot of fun. When it’s time for the Champions Tour, I could play a few there.” – Steve Stricker, who turns 46 later this week, comments on the Champions Tour after cutting back his PGA TOUR schedule this year.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Randall Mell (@RandallMellGC) When Fred Couples first played Riviera, the Berlin Wall was standing, cell phones weren't available commercially & Internet wasn't launched.