Fred Funk and Jim Thorpe Coming to Baltimore
September 02, 2007
FOR RELEASE: Monday, July 9, 2007
Maryland Native Funk To Compete at Baltimore Country Club in October, Morgan State Grad Thorpe Also Commits
Baltimore, MD - Fred Funk, who this year became one of only two players to win on the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour in the same season, has committed to play in the 2007 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, October 1-7 at Baltimore Country Club at Five Farms.
"Maryland holds a special place in my heart," said Funk, who is a native of Takoma Park, MD, and a graduate of the University of Maryland. Funk also served as the University of Maryland men's golf coach from 1982-88. "One of my goals this season is to contend in the Champions Tour majors, so I am thrilled that the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship is now in Baltimore. It will be a fun week and I'm really looking forward to it."
In his second Champions Tour appearance of the season, Fred Funk won the Turtle Bay Championship in January. He won by a record 11 strokes and led wire-to-wire for the second time in his brief Champions Tour career. He played bogey-free golf over the three days, firing rounds of 65-64-64 for a 193 total. Just one month later, at the age of 50 years, 8 months and 12 days, he earned his eighth PGA TOUR victory in his fourth start of the season at the 2007 Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya - Cancun. Funk became the fifth-oldest champion in PGA TOUR history and the oldest since Art Wall (51 years, 7 months, 10 day) won the 1975 Greater Milwaukee Open. The win enabled him to join Craig Stadler as the only players to win on the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour in the same season.
Funk's biggest professional win came at the 2005 PLAYERS Championship. Funk earned a career-best $2,830,046 (11th on earnings list) on the PGA TOUR that season and won in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1995-96. He was a member of the 2004 U.S. Ryder Cup Team and the U.S. Presidents Cup Team in 2003 and 2005. Funk is currently 27th in earnings on the Champions Tour and 45th in earnings on the PGA TOUR.
Jim Thorpe shot four consecutive sub-par rounds to cruise to a two-stroke victory over Tom Kite in the Champions Tour season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in 2006. He held the 18- and 54-hole leads and won the event for the second time, having also prevailed in 2003. The victory gave Thorpe, a graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, at least one win for seven straight years, the best current run on the Champions Tour, and also pushed him over the $1-million mark in season earnings for the seventh consecutive year. He finished second to Bobby Wadkins at the 2006 Senior Players Championship at the TPC Michigan near Detroit. He has won 12 Champions Tour events since joining the senior circuit in 1999.
"To have both Fred Funk and Jim Thorpe come back to Maryland to compete in the final major of the season on the Champions Tour will be a real treat for local golf fans," said Steve Schoenfeld, executive director of the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. "Both men are great competitors and entertain the gallery wherever they play, so we are thrilled that they will be in the field at Baltimore Country Club this October."
Funk and Thorpe join an impressive field that already includes defending champion Bobby Wadkins, World Golf Hall of Fame members Bernhard Langer and Tom Watson, Craig Stadler, Jeff Sluman, Jay Haas, Scott Hoch and Denis Watson.
About the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship
The Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship is one of five major championships on the PGA TOUR's Champions Tour for eligible professionals age 50 and over. Dates for the 2007 event are October 1-7. Beginning this year, the event will be played on the East Course at Baltimore Country Club in Timonium, MD, with a field of 78 Champions Tour players competing for a share of the $2.6 million purse, the largest of the season. The final two rounds of the event will be broadcast on NBC - in high definition for the first time - and aired in more than 140 countries around the world (2-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday). For the first time, all five of the Champions Tour's majors will have network weekend coverage. The first and second rounds of this final major of the season will air on the GOLF CHANNEL (12:30-3 p.m. Thursday and Friday). Since the inception of both the Senior Players Championship and the former Constellation Energy Classic, more than $8 million has been raised for charities in the communities in which the tournaments were staged. To purchase tickets, for information about corporate sponsorship opportunities or to become a volunteer for the 2007 tournament, please visit the Official Tournament Website at www.ceseniorplayers.com or call the Tournament Office at 410-223-3033.
About Constellation Energy Group
Constellation Energy (http://www.constellation.com), a FORTUNE 200 company with 2006 revenues of $19.3 billion, 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 78 generating units located throughout the United States, totaling approximately 8,700 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.
About the Champions Tour
The Champions Tour is a division of the PGA TOUR, Inc., a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. The Champions Tour will feature a minimum of 29 official events offering $54.1 million in prize money in 2007 and its highest average purse ever of $1.86 million. The Champions Tour operates under the umbrella of the PGA TOUR which includes the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour. The Champions Tour's primary purpose as an entity of the PGA TOUR 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. The commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Rick George is president of the Champions Tour. TOUR headquarters is in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
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