Power Rankings: ACE Group Classic
February 13, 2014
By Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM
- Images Duffy Waldorf is on the verge of a victory after multiple impressive showings. (Cohen/Getty)
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.
Bernhard Langer returns to the ACE Group Classic this week in search of his third title in four years. The defending champion at TwinEagles Golf Club also won in 2011. In 2012, Langer finished second behind Kenny Perry.
Langer is off to a fine start in 2013. After winning in Hawaii, he posted a T7 finish last week at the Allianz Championship. The victory at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship means Langer has won at least one event for the eighth straight year, the longest active streak on the Champions Tour. His first victory came in 2007 at the Administaff Small Business Classic.
Langer is the sixth player to win the ACE Group Classic twice. He joins Lee Trevino (1990-91), Mike Hill (1993-94), Hale Irwin (1997, 2002), Gil Morgan (1998, 2001) and Loren Roberts (2006, 2009) on that list.
This week’s Power Rankings for the Champions Tour’s ACE Group Classic:
Power Rankings: ACE Group Classic Rank Player Comment Bernhard LANGER Closed with 64 at Allianz. That’s his third 64 in six rounds this year on the Champions Tour and he’s already an aggregate 36-under-par in two tournaments. His form chart in Naples – two wins, a runner-up in the last three years – makes him a solid choice again at TwinEagles. Michael ALLEN Started in style at Allianz with a 60 and closed it with substance, winning in a playoff over Duffy Waldorf. Hit the quality, clutch shots down the stretch to win for the sixth time on the Champions Tour. Duffy WALDORF Keeps knocking on the door and there’s no way that it’s not going to open soon. For the record, he has 16 top 10 finishes in 30 starts on the Champions Tour after his playoff defeat at Allianz. Tom LEHMAN Finished fourth at Allianz and for a time looked like he wouldn’t be denied. That was before his putter betrayed him down the stretch. Still, a solid start as he looks to atone for a winless ’13 season. Jay HAAS One of four players to finish top 10 in both events this year, joining Langer, Lehman and Rocco Mediate. Haas finished T5 alongside Brad Bryant at Allianz after a fourth in Hawaii. No. 5 in Scoring Average (66.67) after six rounds.
… and another to keep an eye on:
Chien Soon Lu – He’s headed to the ACE Group Classic, where he finished T10 last year, off a solid showing at Allianz (solo 3rd at 17-under). It could be the right combination as he continues to search for his first Champions Tour victory. He has three runner-up finishes, two of those in a major, at the Tradition. Plays some of his best golf early in the season.