|Constellation Energy To Become Title Sponsor Of Senior Players Championship; Champions Tour Major Moving To Baltimore Country Club In October 2007; NBC To Televise|
(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.
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Robert L. Gould