Irwin, Kite, Morgan and Thorpe commit
September 15, 2009
Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship receives commitments from quartet of Champions Tour legends
BALTIMORE, MD, September 15, 2009 - In what was already shaping up to be perhaps the strongest field of the Champions Tour season, the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship gained commitments from four of the over-50 circuits living legends on Tuesday. Champions Tour career wins leader Hale Irwin, former U.S. Open champion Tom Kite, 25-time Champions Tour winner Gil Morgan and Jim Thorpe will all compete in this year's event, tournament officials today announced. The 2009 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship returns to Baltimore Country club in just over two weeks, September 28-October 4.
The most decorated player in Champions Tour history, Irwin has amassed 45 wins and over $25 million in official prize money since joining the Tour in 1995. A 20-time winner on the PGA TOUR, including three memorable U.S. Open victories, Irwin has set a standard of excellence on the Champions Tour over the last 15 years, winning seven major championships and claiming the season-long Charles Schwab Cup in 2002 and 2004. Included among Irwin's seven major championship victories was a seven-shot triumph in the 1999 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. In two previous starts in the Senior Players since the event moved to Baltimore Country Club, Irwin posted a T7 in 2007 and a T27 last year.
A 19-time winner on the PGA TOUR during a career that spanned over 25 years (full time from 1973-1999), including a dramatic victory in the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Kite hasn't missed a beat since joining the Champions Tour in 2000. Now in his 10th full season, Kite has 10 victories on the Champions Tour, highlighted by a major championship victory at the 2000 JELD-WEN Tradition. A long-time resident of Austin, TX, Kite has earned over $1 million in eight-of-nine seasons on the Champions Tour and has notched six top-10 finishes in 2009. His best finish in the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship was a T2 in 2003 and has finished T25 and T21 in 2007 and 2008, respectively, at Baltimore Country Club.
Irwin's primary rival through the late 1990's and early years of this decade, Morgan has enjoyed prolonged success on the Champions Tour. Following a PGA TOUR career in which he won seven times from 1977-1990, Morgan joined the Champions Tour in September of 1996 and proceeded to win 13 times before the end of the 1998 season, including six-win campaigns in 1997 and 1998. With 25 career Champions Tour victories, Morgan ranks third all-time behind Irwin's 45 and Lee Trevino's 29, and has earned nearly $19 million in official earnings. Winner of the 1998 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, Morgan finished T25 at Baltimore Country Club in 2007 and T13 last year.
A Champions Tour regular since turning 50 in 1999, Thorpe returns to Maryland for the third-consecutive year in 2009. Following a PGA TOUR career in which he earned three victories, Thorpe has won 13 times on the Champions Tour, including a major championship title at the 2002 JELD-WEN Tradition. In 18 events in 2009, Thorpe has two top 10's with his best finish a T4 at the Regions Charity Classic in May. He produced back-to-back T2s Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship in 2002 and 2003. Thorpe attended Morgan State University in Baltimore.
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 2009 event are September 28 - October 4. 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 $2.7 million purse, the largest of the season. The final two rounds of the event will be broadcast on NBC in high definition and aired in more than 140 countries around the world (1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, 4-6 p.m. Sunday). The first and second rounds of this final major of the season will air on the GOLF CHANNEL (1:00-3:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday). Since the inception of both the Senior Players Championship and the former Constellation Energy Classic, nearly $9 million has been raised for charities in the communities in which the tournaments were staged. Since Constellation Energy became the host sponsor of Champions Tour-affiliated tournaments in 2003, more than $3 million has been raised for Maryland charitable organizations. To purchase tickets, for information about corporate sponsorship opportunities or to become a volunteer for the 2009 tournament, please visit the Official Tournament Website at www.ceseniorplayers.com or call the Tournament Office at 410-853-7064.
About Constellation Energy Group
Constellation Energy (www.constellation.com) is a leading supplier of energy products and services to wholesale and retail electric and natural gas customers. It owns a diversified fleet of generating units located throughout the United States, totaling approximately 9,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and is among the leaders pursuing the development of new nuclear plants in the United States. The company delivers electricity and natural gas through the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), its regulated utility in Central Maryland. A FORTUNE 500 company headquartered in Baltimore, Constellation Energy had revenues of $19.8 billion in 2008.
About the Champions Tour
The Champions Tour is a division of the PGA TOUR, Inc., 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 will feature a minimum of 25 official events offering $55.6 million in prize money in 2009 and its highest average purse ever, $1.91 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. Mike Stevens is president of the Champions Tour. TOUR headquarters is in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
# # #