Notebook: Durant solid in debut, Insperity up next
April 21, 2014
- Joe Durant finished T21 in his first start on the Champions Tour at TPC Sugarloaf. (Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez’ debut on the Champions Tour saw him win the Greater Gwinnett Championship by two strokes over Bernhard Langer. He was the 18th player in Champions Tour history to win in his debut. Along with Jeff Maggert’s win at the previous event, the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic presented by C-Spire, it marks the first time since 1980 that back-to-back Champions Tour tournaments have been won by players making their debuts. In 1980, the first two official events ever played on the Champions Tour were won by Don January (Atlantic City International) and Roberto DeVicenzo (U.S. Senior Open). His victory earns him an immediate exemption for one full year and qualifies him into the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai field for the next two years.
Bernhard Langer finished runner-up at the Greater Gwinnett Championship and extended his streak of finishes among the top 10 to 16 straight on the Champions Tour and 17 overall, including a T8 at the Masters Tournament. The last time Langer was not in the top 10 in a Champions Tour event was when he was T14 at the 2013 U.S. Senior Open in Omaha (July 14).
In addition to Miguel Angel Jimenez debuting last week, four-time PGA TOUR winner Joe Durant finished T21 in his first Champions Tour start. Durant turned 50 on April 7.
Trevor Dodds made the first ace in Greater Gwinnett Championship history, holing a wedge from 127 yards at the par-3 2nd hole in the final round. It marked the third straight event on the Champions Tour that an ace was made.
World Golf Hall of Fame members Tom Watson and Sir Nick Faldo both missed the cut at the PGA TOUR’s RBC Heritage last week, while Woody Austin (T53) and Jeff Maggert (T64) completed four rounds.
After celebrating its 10th anniversary last year, the Insperity Invitational (formerly Championship) takes on a new name and a new player eligibility format. The 81 players to compete in Houston from April 28-May 4 will be invited based on eight new categories of eligibility. Here is a breakdown of the new eligibility requirements for the Insperity Invitational:
- Those players eligible for Champions Tour events who are members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
- Winners of major championships on the Champions Tour (Senior PGA Championship, the Senior Open Championship, U.S. Senior Open, Constellation Senior Players Championship, Regions Tradition) in the preceding five calendar years and the current year.
- Top 20 available players from the final Previous Year’s Money List provided such players are 50th or better on such money list.
- Top 20 players available from the All-Time Money List as of commitment deadline, not otherwise exempt above, provided such players are 70th or higher on such money list.
- The top player from the prior year’s European Senior Tour, PGA Australia Legends Tour and Asian Senior Tour Orders of Merit.
- Winners of cosponsored or approved Champions Tour tournaments since the prior year’s Insperity Invitational.
- The top player from the most recent Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament.
- In order to fill the field of 81 players, at the invitation of the host organization, players not otherwise exempt for the Insperity Invitational, provided all of such players shall be winners of a PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, European Tour or European Senior Tour tournament. Or, players who have a minimum of five wins on their respective home Tour.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
Bernhard Langer earned 158 Charles Schwab Cup points for his runner-up finish at the Greater Gwinnett Championship to increase his total in the season-long race to 869 points. Langer widened his lead in the Schwab Cup race to 264 points over Fred Couples who finished fourth at TPC Sugarloaf and earned 107 points. Miguel Angel Jimenenz earned 270 points for his victory and appears on the standings in 8th position.
5 - Colin Montgomerie has not been out of the top-10 in his five appearances on the Champions Tour in 2014.
ON THIS DATE
4/21/63 – Bob Charles becomes the first left-hander to win a PGA TOUR event when he beats Fred Hawkins by one stroke at the Houston Classic.
4/25/04 – When Hale Irwin wins the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, he wins at least one event for 10 straight years, breaking his tie with Miller Barber for most consecutive years with at least one win.
DID YOU KNOW?
60-year-old Jay Haas has been among the top five in five of his six appearances and he’s a cumulative 73-under for the 2014 season. Of his 18 rounds this year on the Champions Tour, 15 have been in the 60s.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“I would love to be part of the Ryder Cup. I would love to play also here. So now I getting older and I more complicate my calendar, you know? Every people want me all over the place and it makes life difficult, you know? I don't know what's going to happen at the end of the year.” – Miguel Angel Jimenez comments on how winning the Greater Gwinnett Championship affects his outlook for the future.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
Well done to the mechanic winning his first tournament on the seniors tour. He can stay there too if he likes! Give us young lads a chance!😂— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) April 21, 2014