News and notes from around the Champions Tour for the week of Sept. 30.
• Kirk Triplett successfully defended the Nature Valley First Tee Open title he won at Pebble Beach last year and his play on the par-5s played a large role in his victory. Triplett birdied seven of the eight par-5s at Pebble Beach and was a combined 9-under-par on those par-5s this week. He joined Jeff Sluman as the only two players to post multiple wins in this tournament. Triplett also joins Craig Stadler (2004) as the only players to win the tournament as well as the Pro-Junior competition. Triplett teamed with Michelle Xie (Palo Alto, CA/The First Tee of Silicon Valley) to win the Pro-Junior, while Stadler teamed with Aaron Woodard.
• Doug Garwood, who open qualified for the Nature Valley First Tee Open, finished T2 and earns a spot in the next event (SAS Championship) as a player not previously exempt into the field. This marked the fourth time Garwood has open qualified this year.
• Dan Forsman’s T2 finish at the Nature Valley First Tee Open paid dividends as it moved him from 35th on the money list to 28th. Players who finish in the top-30 on the 2013 money list after the upcoming AT&T Championship will earn berths in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next month at San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park.
• Fred Couples (USA) and Nick Price (International) captain their respective teams at the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village in Columbus, Ohio. Couples will have fellow Champions Tour competitor Jay Haas as his co-captain, along with Davis Love III, who becomes eligible for the Champions Tour next year. Price’s assistants include Champions Tour regular Mark McNulty, Tony Johnstone, who played in last week’s Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and former PGA TOUR star Shigeki Maruyama.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
• As the Charles Schwab Cup race heads into the final stretch of four events, Kenny Perry remains No. 1 in the standings with 2,760 points. Bernhard Langer remains second with 2,091 points, 669 points behind Perry.
• 455,607 – The number of dollars for the player (Steve Elkington) currently ranked 30th on the money list.
ON THIS DATE
• 10/1/78 – Posting perhaps the biggest win of his PGA TOUR career, Gil Morgan makes par on the first playoff hole to defeat Hubert Green and win the World Series of Golf in Akron. He would finish the year second on the season money list behind Tom Watson.
• 10/6/96 – Just 11 days after turning 50, Gil Morgan becomes at the time the youngest winner in Champions Tour history when he captures the Ralphs Senior Classic in Los Angeles by one stroke over Chi Chi Rodriguez and Jim Colbert.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Kirk Triplett was the only player in the 81-man field to post a bogey-free final round at the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
QUOTES TO NOTE
• “To do it again, I am a bit overwhelmed. Last year, I was just so excited. This year, I am almost teary-eyed." – Kirk Triplett comments after winning the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach for a second consecutive year.
TWEET OF THE WEEK