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.
Mark Wiebe warmed up for this week's title defense at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn with a solid third-place finish Sunday at the SAS Championship.
The Greater Hickory Classic is the second-to-last full-field event on the Champions Tour schedule. That means the race for the Charles Schwab Cup and a place in the season-ending top 30 tournament is in its stretch drive. The Charles Schwab Cup Championship will be played Oct. 29-Nov. 4 in Scottsdale.
Wiebe shot 10-under 206 to finish three strokes behind winner Bernhard Langer, who posted his second victory of the Champions Tour season. Jay Don Blake, another player with a hot hand, was second, two behind Langer.
Wiebe's victory at Rock Barn was his first Champions Tour victory since 2008. He defeated Monday-qualifier James Mason in a playoff. Both players birdied the 18th hole of the final round to tie at 19-under. Wiebe shot 65 in regulation to set up his playoff victory. It denied Fred Funk's bid to win with a closing 62. Funk and Chip Beck tied for third, one shot out of the playoff.
|Power Rankings: Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn|
This week's Power Rankings for the Champions Tour's Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn: