Constellation Energy To Become Title Sponsor Of Senior Players Championship; Champions Tour Major Moving To Baltimore Country Club In October 2007; NBC To Televise
January 12, 2007
(Baltimore, MD) - The Senior Players Championship, one of five Champions Tour majors, will have a new title sponsor, Baltimore-based Constellation Energy, a new home, Baltimore Country Club, and a new October date in 2007, it was announced today by PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem.
The Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship will be played Oct. 1-7, 2007 at Baltimore Country Club/Five Farms, East Course. The Championship will air on NBC.
"We are extremely pleased to continue our relationship with the Champions Tour and to bring this prestigious new major event to Baltimore," said Mayo A. Shattuck III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Constellation Energy. "Our decision to expand our partnership with the Champions Tour is just another example of our corporate commitment to the economic viability of Baltimore, the state of Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region. We believe this event will grow the $35-million annual economic impact the current Constellation Energy Classic has brought to the region and the $1.5 million raised for charity over the last three years. We eagerly look forward to the fall of 2007 and the prospect of significantly growing these numbers with the arrival of the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship."
Constellation Energy and the Champions Tour entered into a five-year agreement, with Constellation Energy assuming title sponsorship through 2011.
"Constellation Energy has been a very enthusiastic supporter of the Champions Tour from the moment it came on board in 2003," Finchem said. "We are truly excited about the prospects of working with Constellation Energy, Mayo Shattuck, Baltimore Country Club and the business and golf communities of Baltimore. Their commitment, combined with the storied venue at Five Farms and our new October date, puts us in a perfect position to elevate what is already a wonderful championship. NBC televises many of golf's most significant competitions. We look forward to working with lead golf producer Tommy Roy and the entire NBC golf production team."
Constellation Energy has been title sponsor of the Champions Tour's Constellation Energy Classic at Hayfields Country Club just north of Baltimore since 2003. "Hayfields has been a tremendous venue for the tournament and wonderful partner," Shattuck said. The 2006 Classic returns to Hayfields, Sept. 11-17 for its final year, with Bob Gilder defending. Past champions include Larry Nelson, Wayne Levi and Gilder.
Baltimore Country Club is one of America's oldest golf clubs, having been founded in 1898. Its East Course has hosted many important national championships and competitions, including the 1928 PGA Championship (won by Leo Diegel), 1932 U.S. Amateur Championship (C. Ross Somerville), 1965 Walker Cup (USA/Great Britain & Ireland, tie) and 1988 U.S. Women's Open Championship (Liselotte Neumann).
The Club will join five others to hold a major championship on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and LPGA. It shares the distinction with Cherry Hills Country Club (CO), Hazeltine National Golf Club (MN), NCR Country Club (OH), Turnberry (Scotland) and Winged Foot Golf Club (NY). Turnberry, Winged Foot and Baltimore CC have also been the site of a Walker Cup. The Club's original course at Roland Park in Baltimore hosted the fifth U.S. Open Championship won by Willie Smith in 1899.
The Senior Players Championship moves to the Baltimore area after a highly-successful run of 17 championships in Dearborn, MI, 16 of which were held at the Tournament Players Club of Michigan and 14 sponsored by Ford Motor Company. The 2006 Ford Senior Players Championship will be played July 10-16 at the TPC of Michigan. It will offer the second-largest purse on the Champions Tour, $2.5 million. Peter Jacobsen is the defending champion.
"We thank the greater Detroit area and Ford Motor Company for their many years of support and commitment to the Senior Players Championship," said Champions Tour president Rick George. "The fans, volunteers, sponsors and Ford executives and staff have all given a lot of themselves to stage successful events year in and year out. We look forward to having our best championship ever in 2006 and then a very exciting future at Baltimore Country Club beginning next year."
Past winners of the Championship include World Golf Hall of Fame members Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Raymond Floyd and Hale Irwin.
The Senior Players Championship is joined on the Champions Tour schedule by four other major championships - the JELD-WEN Tradition, Senior British Open, Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open.
The PGA TOUR's Championship Management division will be responsible for all aspects of tournament promotion, operation and staging. A tournament director will be named at a later date.
About Constellation Energy Group
Constellation Energy (http://www.constellation.com), a FORTUNE 200 company based in Baltimore, is the nation's largest competitive supplier of electricity to large commercial and industrial customers and the nation's largest wholesale power seller. Constellation Energy also manages fuels and energy services on behalf of energy intensive industries and utilities. It owns a diversified fleet of more than 100 generating units located throughout the United States, totaling approximately 12,000 megawatts of generating capacity. The company delivers electricity and natural gas through the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), its regulated utility in Central Maryland. In 2004, the combined revenues of the integrated energy company totaled $12.5 billion.
About Baltimore Country Club
Baltimore Country Club was originally located five miles from downtown Baltimore at Roland Park. It hosted the fifth United States Open Championship in 1899 won by Willie Smith. In the 1920s the Club purchased property north of the city in what is now Timonium, MD, and in 1926 the A.W. Tillinghast-designed East Course at Five Farms opened for play. The par-70 East Course features limited water hazards, 96 bunkers and back-to-front pitched greens. The East has received many honors, including the No. 37 ranking in Golfweek's March 2005 list of "America's Top 100 Classic Courses (pre-1960)" and the No. 63 ranking in GOLF Magazine's September 2005 list of "Top 100 Courses in the U.S.". The USGA lists it as one of the first 100 clubs established in the U.S. Baltimore Country Club has a second course at Five Farms, the par-72 West Course, which opened in 1962 and was redesigned in 1990 by Bob Cupp and Champions Tour member and World Golf Hall of Fame member Tom Kite.
About the Champions Tour
The Champions Tour is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. The Champions Tour now has 29 official events offering a minimum of $52.65 million in prize money in 2006 and its highest average purse ever of $1.82 million. The Champions Tour's primary purpose is to provide significant competitive and earnings opportunities for players age 50 and older; to protect the integrity of the game; and to help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world. In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, Champions Tour events also generate significant sums of money for charity. On October 30th, 2005 the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour and their tournaments announced they had reached the $1 billion milestone in charitable donations dating back to the first recorded donation in 1938. The commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Rick George is president of the Champions Tour. TOUR headquarters are in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Its Web site address is PGATOUR.com.
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Robert L. Gould