Champions Tour award winners receive trophies at Hualalai
January 16, 2014
By Mark Williams, PGATOUR.COM
- Some nice hardware was handed out prior to the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
The outdoor Hoku Theatre at the Four Seasons Resort at Hualalai was again the site for the players who exceled on the 2013 Champions Tour to accept their respective awards for outstanding seasons last year.
First up was Rookie of the Year Rocco Mediate, who posted two victories and finished ninth in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. Mediate’s entertaining acceptance speech was capped by the news that he will marry Jess, on the beach in bare feet, Monday, January 20, following the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
Fred Couples, a Mitsubishi Electric ambassador, followed Mediate onto the stage to accept the Byron Nelson Award for the best scoring average (68.64) for the year. In 15 starts, Couples was runner-up four times and posted ten top-10 finishes. His low round of the year occurred at Fox Chapel GC when he shot 62 in the second round of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. Seven of his 47 rounds in 2013 were over par. Couples also captured this award in 2010 with an all-time record 67.96 scoring average and in 2012 with a 68.52 average.
Bernhard Langer was introduced as the Arnold Palmer Award winner as the leading money winner in 2013, having earned $2,448,428.
“Rocco and I have some similarities,” said Langer as he accepted the award. “I played with him when he won his first ever start on the Champions Tour at the Allianz Championship, and Vicki and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on Monday. He and Jess are just getting started.”
Mitsubishi Electric officials earlier in the evening had pointed out that Langer won the season-opening championship in Hualalai in 2009 and he also claimed the 2013 Greater Gwinnett Championship presented by Mitsubishi Electric at TPC Sugarloaf.
“Maybe Mitsubishi Electric can sponsor a couple more events so I can win more tournaments,” joked Langer.
Finally, Kenny Perry took the stage to accept the Charles Schwab Cup as the season-long points leader, as well as the Jack Nicklaus Award as the Champions Tour Player of the Year.
“My family are all here with me and Sandy and I are celebrating 32 years of marriage this year - so I’ve got you there too Bernhard,” said a smiling Perry. “I’ve never received any type of award like this in my life so I’m really honored. I got hot at the right time over the summer and even though I won the Schwab Cup, you guys (fellow players) all helped me win the Cup – but you’re not getting any of my money.”
Perry took the lead in the race for the Charles Schwab Cup after winning his first major, the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS in Pittsburgh. He followed up with a win at the U.S. Senior Open in Omaha the very next week and won again late in the season with victory at the AT&T Championship in San Antonio to become the only player with three wins in 2013.
“I’m exempt on the PGA TOUR but I choose to play the Champions Tour. It’s by far the best Tour on the planet,” added Perry.
The evening closed with an amazing performance by the five-man musical group, Mo5aic, almost as amazing as the performances by the four talented athletes who claimed five significant awards.