August 19, 2009
August 19, 2009, Baltimore, MD - Less than a month removed from one of the greatest performances in the history of the game, 2009 British Open runner-up Tom Watson has committed to play the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, tournament officials today announced. Watson was forced to miss last year's Senior Players Championship after he underwent hip replacement surgery in early October. The final major championship of the Champions Tour season, the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship returns to Baltimore Country Club's historic Five Farms course, September 28-October 4.
At the age of 59, Watson returned to the Ailsa Course at The Westin Turnberry Resort last month, site of his epic "Duel in the Sun" with Jack Nicklaus in 1977, and treated the golf world to one of the most amazing performances in all of sport. Following an eye-opening first round 5-under-par 65 that left him one-shot off the lead, Watson continued to play solid golf and enjoyed a one-stroke lead entering the final round. The fairytale ending proved not to be, however, with a bogey on the 72nd hole that led to a playoff eventually won by Stewart Cink.
"Anyone who follows golf, both casually and closely, will remember Tom Watson's performance at the 2009 British Open and what a special four days we were all treated to," said Tournament Executive Director Steve Schoenfeld. "We missed Tom in Baltimore last year and couldn't be more thrilled to have him competing this year in the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship."
Despite the disappointing playoff loss to Cink at Turnberry, Watson bounced back the following week at the Senior British Open and fired a final-round 3-under-par 67 to finish T8. Completing a grueling three-week stretch, the 39-time PGA TOUR winner traveled to Crooked Stick Golf Club outside Indianapolis, IN the very next week and finished T43 at the U.S. Senior Open. A 12-time winner on the Champions Tour since turning 50 in September 1999, Watson was runner-up to Loren Roberts the first year the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship was contested at Baltimore Country Club in 2007. He has posted top-10 finishes in four of his previous six appearances in the event. Prior to his bid to become golf's oldest major champion, Watson enjoyed a solid start to the season on the Champions Tour. He finished T15 in his return to competitive golf following off season hip surgery at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai and posted a T4 in the season's first major at the Senior PGA Championship. The Champions Tour returns to action this week at the JELD-WEN Tradition in Oregon, the season's fourth major championship.
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.
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