|March 17, 2010 - Hale Irwin, John Cook headed to inaugural Montreal Championship|
Ex-Canadian Open winner, all-time Champions Tour money leader among first wave of players to commit to Canada's lone Champions Tour stop
MONTREAL, QC - John Cook already knows what it feels like to win in Canada.
Hale Irwin, on the other hand, does not, although he has won pretty well everywhere else over a 42-year Hall of Fame pro career. This summer, Irwin would like nothing more than to add a piece of made-in-Canada hardware to his trophy case.
Cook and Irwin, who have won a combined 36 times on the PGA Tour, are among the first wave of stars to commit to the $1.8 million US Montreal Championship, which marks the return of the Champions Tour to Canada for the first time in eight years. The inaugural championship, showcasing 78 legends from the Champions Tour, will be staged July 2-4 at Fontainebleau Golf Club in Blainville.
"We are thrilled with the news that John Cook and Hale Irwin have confirmed they will coming to Montreal this summer," said Montreal Championship Tournament Director David Skitt. "These players have outstanding resumes highlighted by brilliant careers on the PGA Tour and we know they will put on a show for Quebec golf fans."
Nearly three decades after claiming the 1983 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey, Cook might be considered one of the favourites once he touches down in Montreal. The 11-time PGA Tour champion has won four times on the Champions Tour since 2007, including the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship that capped off a pair of 2009 triumphs. That victory vaulted Cook into third spot on the Champions Tour money list.
"These player commitments are just the start of what we know will be star-studded field consisting of the top legends from the Champions Tour," added Skitt.
When it comes to forecasting the starting field for the Montreal Championship, Skitt would know better than most. Skitt and Tournament Chairman Ronald Corey recently jetted to Florida to meet with Champions Tour players during the Allianz Championship and were overwhelmed by the response from the tour's brightest stars.
Irwin, the runaway leader in career Champions Tour wins (45) and the circuit's all-time money leader, has won an astonishing 65 times on the PGA and Champions Tours. A three-time winner of the U.S. Open and a five-time member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, Irwin also prevailed at the U.S. Senior Open in 1998 and 2000.
In 2000, Golf Digest ranked Irwin as the 19th greatest-player of all time, eight years after he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Twenty-seven years after winning at Glen Abbey, John Cook will be looking to pop the cork in Canada yet again.
Hale Irwin just wants a chance at that long-overdue triumph north of the border.