News and notes from around the Champions Tour for the week of Aug. 26, 2013.
• John Riegger won his first Champions Tour event at the Boeing Classic, shooting 15-under 201 to win by two strokes over John Cook. Fred Couples was third at 11-under. Seven players finished T4. It was Riegger’s fifth official start and he became the fifth rookie and fifth first-time winner on the Tour this year, equaling the record for most rookies to triumph in a season. There were also five rookie winners in 2007, 1999 and 1989.
• Riegger joined the Champions Tour at the Encompass Championship in Chicago after turning 50 on June 13 and his previous best finish among his four career appearances was a T14 at the 3M Championship.
• It was recently announced that Michael Allen will be inducted into the University of Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in September. Allen is a four-time winner on the Champions Tour, including victory at this year’s Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.
• Hal Sutton has surgery scheduled for next month to replace his right hip and will be out for the rest of the season. Sutton, who had a left-hip-replacement surgery last October, completed 14 tournaments this season with a best finish of T4 at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf when teamed with Larry Mize. Sutton’s best individual performance was T14 at the Insperity Championship.
• The Shaw Charity Classic, a new Champions Tour event with a $2,000,000 purse, takes place this week at Canyon Meadows G&CC in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The field includes five World Golf Hall of Fame members (Hale Irwin, Fred Couples, Nick Price, Tom Kite and Sandy Lyle). The 81 players scheduled to participate in the event have combined for more than 370 PGA TOUR wins, including 16 major championships.
• This week’s Shaw Charity Classic will see the Champions Tour compete in Calgary for the first time in 15 years. This will be the Champions Tour’s third event in Calgary. The first was 30 years ago when Don January won the 1983 Peter Jackson Champions at Earl Grey CC. Fifteen years later, Brian Barnes won the 1998 AT&T Canada Senior Open Championship at Glencoe G&C.
• Two Canadian natives, Jim Rutledge and Rod Spittle, are in the top-50 on this year’s Champions Tour money list and both will compete in the Shaw Charity Classic. Rutledge recently won the Canadian Senior PGA Championship, defeating Spittle in a playoff. Dave Barr, a two-time PGA TOUR winner, will also play at Canyon Meadows after receiving a sponsor invite.
• Participants at Hockey Canada’s men’s orientation camp visited Canyon Meadows G&CC on Monday, Aug. 26. Before playing in a private outing, a handful of hockey stars such as Sidney Crosby and Martin St. Louis, were scheduled to join Champions Tour professionals and youth-based southern Alberta charitable beneficiaries of the Shaw Charity Classic to launch tournament week.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
Bernhard Langer finished T4 at the Boeing Classic and closed the previous 866-point gap by 77 points and now trails leader Kenny Perry by 789 points in the race for the Charles Schwab Cup. John Riegger earned 300 points for his win at the Boeing Classic – his first points since joining the Champions Tour.
9 - Mark Calcavecchia set a PGA TOUR record in 2009 when he reeled off nine consecutive birdies in the second round of the RBC Canadian Open. Calcavecchia has won in Canada on both the PGA TOUR (1997 Greater Vancouver Open, 2005 Bell Canadian Open) and the Champions Tour (2012 Montreal Championship).
ON THIS DATE
8/27/89 -- David Frost’s third of 10 career wins on the PGA TOUR is his most significant. Frost claims the NEC World Series of Golf and earns a 10-year exemption into all PGA TOUR co-sponsored events.
8/28/11 – Forty-nine year-old Kirk Triplett becomes the oldest winner ever on the Web.com Tour at the News Sentinel Open in Knoxville, Tenn.
9/1/02 – Gene Sauers ends a 13-year victory drought to win the Air Canada Championship near Vancouver by one stroke over Steve Lowery.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Shaw Charity Classic is one of three new events on the Champions Tour in 2013. Earlier this year, the Champions Tour visited Duluth, Ga. for the inaugural Greater Gwinnett Championship won by Bernhard Langer. In June, the Encompass Championship took place in Glenview, Ill. and Craig Stadler claimed the win to end a nine-year victory drought.
QUOTES TO NOTE
"It's not going to do anyone any good to worry about what someone else is doing"- John Riegger comments on why he is not a leaderboard watcher.
''That was as big a bummer as I've ever had because I was playing really, really well. It was a touch embarrassing, coming up here ready to play and people are driving in and I'm driving away. It was a little weird.'' – Fred Couples reflects on having to withdraw from last year’s Boeing Classic following his opening tee-shot which hurt his back.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
BritneyCalcavecchia (@B_Calcavecchia): @ChampionsTour @SIRIUSXM @PearlJamRadio @BoeingClassic: @MarkCalc is "expert" on guitar hero. Clearly rockstar status.