June 04, 2012
Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
Editor's note: Vartan Kupelian is the Champions Tour Insider and a PGATOUR.COM Contributor. Each week, Kupelian will size up the field and provide his top 5 players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc.
Tom Lehman will defend his title this week at the Regions Tradition, the second major championship of the 2012 Champions Tour season.
A field of 79 golfers with a combined 772 victories on the Champions and PGA TOUR will tee it up Thursday at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Alabama, with prize money totaling $2.2 million.
The field for the 24th edition of the Tradition includes Fred Couples, who played last week at the Memorial Tournament. Couples was named the United States' Captain for the 2013 Presidents Cup. It will be his third time at the helm of the Presidents Cup, which will be played at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Couples' teams have a 2-0 record.
Peter Senior, who lost a playoff to Lehman last year at the Regions Tradition, and Roger Chapman, winner of the season's first major at the Senior PGA Championship, lead the international contingent at Shoal Creek.
|Power Rankings: Regions Tradition|
| || ||Michael |
|The two-time winner leads the Charles Schwab Cup points list (923) and the money list ($1.1 million). He's having a statistically dominant year, with No. 1 rankings in Scoring Average (68.80) and Birdie Average (4.80) and No. 3 position in both Putting Average (1.731) and Putts Per Round (28.56).|
| || ||Jay |
|Won the Principal Charity Classic for the third time, posting a five-stroke victory and tying the tournament record with a 16-under-par 197. It was his first victory of the season after five top-10 finishes in the first seven events. He tied for fifth last year at Shoal Creek.|
| || ||Fred |
|Made the cut at the Memorial Tournament. He's second in Scoring Average (69.00), third in Driving Distance (291.3), fourth in Greens in Regulation (73.93 percent) and fifth in the All-Around statistic. His putting has been upper-tier, too.|
| || ||Roger |
|He's the Champions Tour Player of the Month for May after winning the Senior PGA Championship and making a major championship his first victory on the Champions Tour. The triumph came in his 16th career start and first of 2012. Double points for a major moved him to No. 3 in Charles Schwab Cup points.|
| || ||Tom |
|The defending champion at the Regions Tradition is in good form. He tied for fourth at the Principal Charity and was runner-up at the Insperity Championship. In between, he finished strong at the PGA Senior Championship with a final-round 68. First win of 2012 should come soon.|
The Power Rankings for this week's Regions Tradition: