Michael Allen’s two-putt birdie from 15 feet on the first playoff hole at last week’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn allowed him to defeat Olin Browne in overtime for his second victory of the 2013 season. Allen birdied two of the final three holes in regulation to move past a faltering Bernhard Langer and catch Browne before beating him at the first playoff hole. Allen became the eighth player with a pair of titles on the Champions Tour this year.
Olin Browne’s runner-up performance at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic was his best effort on the Champions Tour since winning the 2011 U.S. Senior Open Championship at Inverness. Browne was making his 13th start of the season this week, having missed five months with an injury to his lower back.
Bernhard Langer’s third-place finish at this year’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn was his eighth straight top-10 performance and his $115,200 check made him the first player on the Champions Tour this year with over $2 million in single-season earnings ($2,066,895).
Bill Glasson posted his best round ever in a TOUR-sponsored event and equaled the 18-hole tournament record at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic when he carded a 9-under-par 61 in the final round. Bruce Vaughan, the medalist at the open qualifier for the Greater Hickory Kia Classic, shot his career-low score on the Champions Tour, a bogey-free 8-under 62 in Saturday’s second round.
Jack Nicklaus (with son, Jack II) will headline the PNC Father/Son Challenge, December 12-15, in Orlando. The 2013 field grows from 18 to 20 teams. Stewart Cink and his son, Connor, and Nick Price and his son, Greg, are set to make their debuts this year. The 2013 field also boasts 430 victories across the PGA TOUR and European Tour, including 59 major championships, and 12 World Golf Hall of Fame members.
Champions Tour professionals confirmed for the 2013 Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples on December 9-15 include defending champion Kenny Perry (with partner Sean O’Hair), tournament host Greg Norman and Mark Calcavecchia.
The Greater Gwinnett Championship Presented by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating recently announced the tournament, in its first year, donated more than $165,000 to several charities in the region.
Wake Forest unveiled a statue of Demon Deacon legend and golfing great Arnold Palmer last Friday. The unveiling, which was part of Homecoming Weekend, took place at the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex on campus.
Mr. Palmer's likeness will not only welcome visitors to the complex named in his honor, but will also serve as a constant reminder of the proud history and tradition of Wake Forest Golf.
The AT&T Championship holds the distinction of being the tournament that has been played the longest in one metropolitan area on the Champions Tour. This year’s stop in San Antonio will be the 29th consecutive in the Alamo City. The AT&T Championship was originally played at The Dominion Country Club from 1985-2001 before it moved to Oak Hills CC from 2002-2010. In 2011, the event moved to TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Canyons Course.
Should David Frost prevail again this year, he’d become the fourth player to claim back-to-back titles at the AT&T Championship. When he won for the second time in 2008, John Cook became the third player to post back-to-back victories in this event joining Lee Trevino (1991-’92) and Jim Albus (1994-’95). Trevino also is the only three-time winner of the AT&T Championship, winning again in 1998 at The Dominion.
Jose Coceres, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR as well as a two-time winner on the European Tour, will make his Champions Tour debut at the AT&T Championship. The Argentinian turned 50 in August and finished T30 at last week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the PGA TOUR.
Sweden’s Anders Forsbrand registered a second consecutive top-10 finish with a T6 at Rock Barn last week and as a result, earned a spot into this week’s AT&T Championship. Forsbrand had finished T5 at the previous week’s SAS Championship to earn a spot into last week’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic.
John Cook, winner of 20 total events on both the PGA TOUR (11) and Champions Tour (9), including this year’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, will be inducted into the Southern California Golf Association Hall of Fame this week.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
Bernhard Langer earned 115 Charles Schwab Cup points at last week’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic and cut into Kenny Perry’s Schwab Cup lead in the season-long race. He now trails Perry by 494 points with two official events remaining. Perry was T20 at Rock Barn and didn’t earn any points. With 1,117 available points left for winners of the last two events, only three players still have a mathematical chance at this year’s Schwab Cup: Kenny Perry (2,760), Bernhard Langer (2,266) and David Frost (1,971).
3 – Three winners this season have featured in the top-10 in all three significant statistical categories during the week of their respective victories.
ON THIS DATE
10/22/00 – Hale Irwin ties Lee Trevino as the all-time Champions Tour victory leader with 29 wins when he wins by four strokes over Joe Inman at the EMC Kaanapali Classic.
10/26/08 – John Cook makes it two straight wins at the AT&T Championship at Oak Hills CC in San Antonio when he defeats Texan Keith Fergus by three strokes.
10/27/02 – Hale Irwin finishes fourth at the Senior Tour Championship at Gaillardia but wins $176,000 to become the first Champions Tour player to eclipse $3 million in one season.
DID YOU KNOW?
For the last three seasons following the AT&T Championship, there have been no changes in the all-important top-30 on the money list. The top-30 money winners earn a spot in the field at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park.
QUOTES TO NOTE
"It's always come down to the last tournament, and it's always come down to the last putt the last few years. If one of those guys get hot, if Langer or Frosty get hot and I don't make the top 10 and get points, they can catch me." – Charles Schwab Cup points leader Kenny Perry explains, before the start of the Greater Hickory Kia Classic, why he can’t take it easy with just three events remaining.
“I feel very blessed. We’re making a very nice living and the guys kind of get it. But what I’m most amazed about on this Tour is the actual quality of play, the winning score week in and week out.” – Mark O’Meara expresses his thoughts about the Champions Tour.
TWEET OF THE WEEK