Notes: Couples set to make his first start since June

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Fred Couples hasn't teed off in a competitive round since the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance on the PGA TOUR in early June.
August 01, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

The Champions Tour heads to TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, MN, for the 3M Championship on August 1-7. The purse is $1.75 million and the winner will receive $262,500 and 263 Charles Schwab Cup points. Last year, David Frost drained a 25-foot eagle putt at the final hole to tie the Champions Tour 54-hole scoring record of 191 (-25) and close with a tournament-record 11-under-par 61. Frost won by seven strokes over Mark Calcavecchia.

LAST WEEK

Olin Browne birdied the 72nd hole for a three-stroke win over Mark O'Meara in the U.S. Senior Open. It was Browne's first Champions Tour victory.

• Browne set a U.S. Senior Open 9-hole scoring record with a 5-under-par 29 on the back nine in Round 3. Browne's 29 broke the 9-hole scoring record of 30 which was set in 1983 by Richard King and was matched 15 times, most recently by Browne on the front nine in last year's final round at Sahalee CC.

• Browne's 54-hole total of 198 is the best 54-hole total in U.S. Senior Open history, breaking Simon Hobday's mark of 199 in 1994.

• Browne has now won at least one event on the Nationwide Tour, PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, joining Ron Streck, Keith Fergus, Tom Lehman and Gary Hallbergwith that honor.

Hale Irwin became the Champions Tour's all-time leader in top-10 finishes with his T4 at the U.S. Senior Open. It was the 204th of his career, one more than Bob Charles. Irwin also fired a 5-under-par 66 in Round 3, matching his age for the second time in his career. He posted a 65 at last year's AT&T Championship in San Antonio.

• D. A. Weibring made the 18th ace in U.S. Senior Open history and the first since 2007 when he made one at No. 3 on Friday. Weibring used a 6-iron on the 170-yard hole.

Mark Calcavecchia (3rd) was the only player in the U.S. Senior Open field who posted four consecutive rounds in the 60s.

• Defending champion Bernhard Langer finished T9 in defense of his U.S. Senior Open title, while Tom Lehman, the current Charles Schwab Cup leader and the leading money winner finished T23.

• Champions Tour professional Tom Watson played with Phil Mickelson and Stuart Appleby in the featured pairing during the first two rounds of The Greenbrier Classic. All three players failed to make the cut. The other two Champions Tour professionals in the field had more success -- Kenny Perry finished T39 and Tom Pernice, Jr. was T49.

Peter Jacobsen, a two-time winner on the Champions Tour (both majors), has been awarded the Old Tom Morris Award, the highest honor given by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. The award is given annually to a person who "through a continuing lifetime commitment to the game of golf has helped to mold the welfare of the game in a manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris." Jacobsen, who has designed several golf courses with Jim Hardy, will be the 30th recipient of the award.

• Current Champions Tour professional Mark Mouland will compete in the British Par 3 Championship in Warwickshire beginning August 9 along with celebrities and other golf professionals including Tony Jacklin, Larry Laoretti and Doug Sanders.

• The Boeing Classic, a Champions Tour event held annually at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge in Seattle, Wash., was recently highlighted as the newest member of the Green Sports Alliance, a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the environmental impact of professional sports and to inspire fans to join in these efforts. The Boeing Classic is the first and only professional golf tournament in this group which includes an unprecedented collaboration of six different professional sports leagues. The founding Alliance members include teams from the NHL, WNBA, MLB, NFL, NBA and MLS.

CHARLES SCHWAB CUP

Double Charles Schwab Cup points were awarded at last week's U.S. Senior Open and Olin Browne's victory earned him 1,000 points. He now has 1,330 points and jumped from 23rd to second behind Tom Lehman, who leads with 1,533 points. Mark Calcavecchia is now third with 1,238 points and Nick Price is fourth with 1,181. Mark O'Meara, runner-up to Browne last week, jumped from 34th to 10th in the standings.

Player Events Points Pts. Behind Wins Top-10s
Tom Lehman 13 1,533 - 3 7
Olin Browne 15 1,330 203 1 6
Mark Calcavecchia 14 1,238 295 0 8
Nick Price 14 1,181 352 1 9
Russ Cochran 10 1,163 370 1 7

COMING UP

• Eight-time PGA TOUR winner Brad Faxon turned 50 on August 1 and is scheduled to make his Champions Tour debut at the 3M Championship. Nationwide Tour veteran Ben Bates will also make his first appearance on the Champions Tour via a sponsor exemption. Bates has made 409 starts for two wins on the Nationwide Tour. He has also played in 122 PGA TOUR events.

3M-Championship.jpg

• Minnesota native Tom Lehman will make his first appearance in the 3M Championship. Lehman is the current Champions Tour points leader in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race and sits atop the money list as well. He also served as a co-designer of the TPC Twin Cities with Arnold Palmer.

Fred Couples is scheduled to make his first appearance in a PGA TOUR or Champions Tour event since June 3rd when he missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. He has been sidelined with injuries.

• The 3M Championship continues to be among the leaders on the Champions Tour in terms of charitable contributions. In the previous 18 years, the tournament has donated $17.5 million to Minnesota area charities, helping impact the lives of countless people in the Twin Cities area.

• The Greats of Golf Challenge presented by Post-It Brand Products will take place on Saturday and Sunday at TPC Twin Cities during the 3M Championship. Four teams of three players will compete in the better-ball exhibition. Those scheduled to play include:

Player Total combined wins PGA TOUR Majors
Arnold Palmer* 72 7
Billy Casper* 60 3
Lee Trevino* 58 6
Gene Littler* 37 1
Miller Barber 35 -
Don January 32 1
Chi Chi Rodriquez* 22 -
Dave Stockton 24 2
Al Geiberger 21 1
David Graham 13 2
Charles Coody 8 1
Andy North 4 2
Totals 394 26
* denotes World Golf Hall of Fame member.

• This year's Orion Classic in Sioux Falls - formerly known as the Hot Stuff Foods Challenge - will be a pro-am event as opposed to a 'shootout.' The classic has raised more than $3.5 million for the Children's Home Society, with Champions Tour veteran Graham Marsh attending every year. Marsh, 67, will be joined again this year by Onida, S.D. natives Tom and Curt Byrum along with Senior British Open champion Russ Cochran, Morris Hatalsky, Bruce Fleisher, and David Peoples. The event takes place August 8, followed by a free kids' golf clinic with the First Tee program.

• Former Masters champion and Cedar Rapids native Zach Johnson is headed to Elmcrest Country Club with a few of his friends, including his caddie, Damon Green, who just completed playing back-to-back Champions Tour majors with a T70 at the Senior British Open and a T13 at the U.S. Senior Open. The August 1 Pro-Am will support a pilot program, Kids on Course, designed by the Zach Johnson Foundation in concert with the United Way of East Central Iowa and the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

NUMBERS

2,233 -- The number of official rounds Brad Faxon played as a professional on the PGA TOUR in his 29 year career before joining the Champions Tour this week.

2,303 -- The number of dollars separating Hale Irwin and Kenny Perry on the all-time money leaders list. Irwin's T4 at the U.S. Senior Open earned a check of $117,077 to move him just ahead of Perry as the 'all time money leader.' Irwin has $32,032,585 while Perry, who earned $25,200 for his T39 at last week's Greenbrier Classic, has $32,030,282.

DID YOU KNOW??

In the 18 year history of the 3M Championship, no player has managed to defend his title at this event.

Hale Irwin was the closest, tying for second in 2000.

ON THIS DATE

8/5/01 -- Ten days after turning 50, Bobby Wadkins becomes the youngest winner of a Champions Tour event when he captures the Lightpath Long Island Classic in New York. (Mark Wiebe joined Wadkins as the youngest winner with his 2007 SAS Championship victory 10 days after turning 50).

8/6/72 -- It was a "miracle" 9-iron from an almost impossible position that earned Gary Player his second PGA Championship. After bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15, Player pushed his tee shot far to the right on the following hole. Unable to see the flag, Player hit his 9-iron over a willow tree and pond and within four feet of the hole. Player ended up making birdie and went on to a two-stroke victory at Oakland Hills CC over Tommy Aaron and Jim Jamieson.

8/7/03 -- Chip Beck records the first par-4 ace in Nationwide Tour history during the first round of the 2003 Omaha Classic (No. 9).

QUOTES TO NOTE

"I hope I have the energy and can get in the mix. It's a unique thing. It was a great feat Bernhard achieved last year." -- Russ Cochran anticipates following in Bernhard Langer's footsteps to try and win the Senior British Open and the U.S. Senior Open in an eight-day period. Cochran finished T17 at Inverness after his victory at Walton Heath.

"I don't feel a need to get in there and try to hit it. I just remember what happened that day." -- Bob Tway shares his thoughts during a practice round at the Inverness Club before last week's U.S. Senior Open. Tway holed a bunker shot at the 72nd hole to snatch victory from Greg Norman at the 1986 PGA Championship at Inverness Club.

"I'm still really confused. You can't mess with a 50 year old's mind. You don't have many brain cells left, so we've got to keep all we can." -- John Cook tries to make sense of the reconfiguration of the Inverness Club for the U.S. Senior Open last week. Cook last played the Inverness Club when it was routed differently for the 1979 U.S. Open.

"There are serious mixed emotions. I'm really looking forward to the next chapter (the Champions Tour), but it's hard to say goodbye after 28 years. It won't be easy. The guys who are winning out there are posting really good scores. But, if you want to do well, you'd better be confident. You've got to think you can win." -- Brad Faxon shares his feelings on turning 50 on August 1 and becoming eligible for the Champions Tour. Faxon missed the cut at last week's Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR and will make his Champions Tour debut at this week's 3M Championship.

"There's a whole sub-culture below the (Champions Tour) and I'm kind of part of it, trying to get back to the Tour." -- P.H. Horgan III explains the world in which he lives while attempting Monday qualifiers to get into Champions Tour events. Horgan, who posted 13 top-10 finishes in 275 career PGA TOUR starts, successfully qualified for the Senior British Open but missed the cut by one stroke. It was his third Champions Tour event this season after a T44 at the Toshiba Classic and a T57 at the Senior PGA Championship.

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