Power Rankings: Greater Gwinnett Championshiptext sizeApril 15, 2013
Editor's note: Vartan Kupelian is the Champions Tour Insider and a PGATOUR.COM Contributor. Each week, Kupelian will size up the field and provide his top 5 players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc.
The Champions Tour returns to the Atlanta area for the first time in 13 years with this week’s inaugural Greater Gwinnett Championship.
The TPC Sugarloaf, designed by Greg Norman, previously was the venue for the PGA TOUR’s BellSouth Classic from 1997-2008. TPC Sugarloaf is a 7,259-yard, par 72 layout accented by tree-lined Bermuda fairways, streams, lakes and hills. It offers a little bit of everything and interesting elevation changes.
The Champions Tour last visited the Atlanta market for the Nationwide Championship in Alpharetta from 1991-2000. The Pepsi Senior Challenge was a regular stop on the Champions Tour from 1986-1988.
The Champions Tour’s all-time winningest player, Hale Irwin, holds the distinction of being the most recent winner in the Atlanta area. He made a five-foot par putt on the last hole to win the 2000 Nationwide Championship at The Golf Club of Georgia by one shot over Vicente Fernandez. Irwin also became that event’s first repeat winner.
Power Rankings: Greater Gwinnett Championship Rank Player Comment Bernhard LANGER Off to a fast start in 2013, he was the Champions Tour Player of the Month for January/February, winning the ACE Group Classic (career victory No. 17) and two other top three finishes in five starts. He’s on a roll – 21 consecutive rounds of par or better. David FROST His eight straight top 10 finishes dating back to last year includes the recent victory at the Toshiba Classic. During that stretch, he has averaged earnings of $126,000 a start. Started the campaign with a playoff loss in Hawaii to John Cook. Rocco MEDIATE He became the 16th player in Champions Tour history to win in his debut, at the Allianz Championship. Mediate has finished sixth or better in all four events. He’s No. 1 in Putting Average (1.671) and No. 2 in (27.83). Michael ALLEN The winner of the Mississippi Gulf goes for back-to-back titles. He’s no stranger to the challenge. He is the last Tour player to accomplish it, winning last year’s Encompass Pro-Am and teaming with David Frost to win Liberty Mutual the following week. John COOK Winner of the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship is No. 4 on the Charles Schwab Cup points list. He’s No. 3 on the Money List, and sixth in both the All-Around Ranking and Scoring Average (69.07).