Notebook: Montgomerie ready to make Champions Tour debut this week

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June 24, 2013

By Champions Tour Staff

News and notes from around the Champions Tour for the week of June 24, 2013

RECENTLY

• Craig Stadler held off Fred Couples and won the Encompass Championship, his ninth career title on the Champions Tour, and ended a victory drought of 8 years, 8 months and 28 days, breaking the Champions Tour’s all-time mark for longest time between victories. (J.C. Snead previously held the record of 6 years, 11 months, 7 days (1995 Ford Senior Players Championship-2002 Greater Baltimore Classic). It was Stadler’s 171st start since his last victory at the 2004 SAS Championship.

• With his Encompass Championship victory, Craig Stadler became the 21st winner over the age of 60 in Champions Tour history and the first since Bob Gilder won the 2011 Principal Charity Classic.

• John Riegger (T26) and Jeff Brehaut (T59) both made their debuts on the Champions Tour at last week’s Encompass Championship after both became eligible on June 13 when they turned 50. Brehaut earned the No. 2 spot at the 2012 National Qualifying Tournament while Riegger secured the fifth spot.

• In his first Champions Tour start since withdrawing from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in August of 2012, World Golf Hall of Fame member Nick Price finished T76. Price has been rehabbing from recent elbow issues and made just eight starts in 2012.

• Steve Pate and his amateur partner, Lee Tenzer, ran away with the pro-am portion of the Encompass Championship, finishing 25-under 119 in the 36-hole better-ball format.

• Brad Faxon missed the cut on the PGA TOUR last week while playing on a sponsor exemption at the Travelers Championship.

• Shaw Communications Inc. announced last week a $1 million commitment to support Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta, the first Official Charity Partner of the Shaw Charity Classic, a new Champions Tour event to be held at Canyon Meadows GC in Calgary in August.

COMING UP

• Newly inducted World Golf Hall of Fame member Colin Montgomerie makes his Champions Tour debut at this week’s Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship in Pittsburgh, having celebrated his 50th birthday on June 23.

• Fox Chapel GC in Pittsburgh will host this week’s Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship for the second consecutive year but the Seth Raynor layout will feature a slightly different configuration from last year. The first eight holes remain the same as last year, as do the final three holes. The re-configured holes (9 - 15) are all located east and south of the practice area.

• Joe Daley claimed his first (and to date, only) Champions Tour victory at Fox Chapel in 2012. Seven players recorded their first Champions Tour victories at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS , including four of the last 11 winners (1986/Chi Chi Rodriguez, 1991/Jim Albus, 1992/Dave Stockton, 2002/Stewart Ginn, 2003/Craig Stadler, 2004/Mark James, 2012/Joe Daley).  

• David Feherty interviews World Golf Hall of Fame member and two-time Masters winner Ben Crenshaw on Feherty, Monday, June 24 at 10 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

CHARLES SCHWAB CUP

• Craig Stadler earned 270 Charles Schwab Cup points for winning the Encompass Championship and moved into 20th place in the season-long race with 327 points. Current leader David Frost remains 298 points ahead of Bernhard Langer after both finished T3 in Chicago last week.

NUMBERS

7 – The number of World Golf Hall of Fame members who have won the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship (Arnold Palmer, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Gary Player, Billy Casper, Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd and Hale Irwin).

ON THIS DATE

6/25/00 -- Lee Trevino becomes just the second player to win in five different decades (Gary Player the other) when he defeats Walter Hall by two strokes at the Cadillac NFL Golf Classic in New Jersey. It is also the last of 29 Champions Tour titles.

6/27/04 -- Craig Stadler makes history near Boston, winning the Bank of America Championship the same day his son, Kevin, wins the Lake Erie Charity Classic on the Nationwide Tour. Craig’s final-round 64 near Boston was the best Sunday round in tournament history and he also makes up four strokes on Saturday’s leader Tom Purtzer.

DID YOU KNOW?

It’s hard enough to win two majors in the same season, but even harder to win the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship and any of the other four majors on the Champions Tour in the same year. Gil Morgan was the last player to claim a Regions Tradition and SENIOR PLAYERS title, doing so in 1998. Orville Moody was the last player to claim a U.S. Senior Open title and a SENIOR PLAYERS, doing so in 1989. Arnold Palmer was the last to win the Senior PGA Championship and the SENIOR PLAYERS in the same season, doing so in 1984. No player has ever won the Senior British Open and SENIOR PLAYERS in the same season.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“It looked familiar to the one I made a billion years ago at 18 at Akron.” – Craig Stadler refers to his winning 12-foot putt at last week’s Encompass Championship.

"I used to get texts when I finished 25th in a tournament saying 'well done’. Now if I finish 25th it's 'hang in there.'” – Willie Wood explains one of the differences after becoming a two-time winner on the Champions Tour.

"I knew when they picked Fox Chapel guys would lose their mind. (Ben) Crenshaw said it's one of the best places he's ever seen, and Crenshaw and (Bill) Coore have built some of the best golf courses on the planet. I already knew that, but it was cool to hear that." – Rocco Mediate speaks glowingly of this week’s host venue for the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS in his home state of Pennsylvania.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Bill Beckner ‏(@jdbbeck): Couples is the main draw at @CESeniorPlayers, but big story will be @ChampionsTour debut of Colin Montgomerie, who's turning 50. #monty

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