Notebook: Tour returns to Chicago with Encompass Championship

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June 17, 2013
By Mark Williams, Champions Tour staff

News and notes from around the Champions Tour for the week of June 17, 2013:

RECENTLY

After being medalist at his sectional qualifying site, Jay Don Blake shot 74-80 and missed the cut at last week’s U.S. Open. D.A. Weibring’s son, Matt, made the cut and shot 300 to finish near the tail of the field at Merion.

Miller Barber, who made a record 1,297 combined starts in PGA TOUR and Champions Tour history and was a dominant player after turning 50, died Tuesday, June 11 at the age of 82. Barber made 694 starts on the PGA TOUR, winning 11 times. He then made 603 starts on the Champions Tour, winning 24 more times. Barber ranks fourth on the Champions Tour all-time wins list behind Hale Irwin (45), Lee Trevino (29) and Gil Morgan (25). He won at least one Champions Tour event for nine consecutive years from 1981-89 and last played an official event on the Champions Tour in 2004.

It was announced last week that Jay Haas will be inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame in October.

The 3M Championship has added three women golfers to the tournament’s annual Greats of Golf competition. Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez and Pat Bradley will make up one of the three teams in the competition. One team will be made up of Johnny Miller, Dave Stockton and a third player yet to be named. The final team includes Lee Trevino, David Graham and Bill Rogers. Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper and Don January will be team captains.

Phil Golding shot 66-79-66 to win the Wales Senior Open on the European Senior Tour last week. Americans Mike Cunning and Tim Thelen tied for sixth at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club.

COMING UP

This year’s Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club marks the Champions Tour’s return to the Chicago market for the first time since 2002. The Champions Tour schedule included the Ameritech/SBC Senior Open from 1991-2002.

North Shore Country Club, the venue for this week’s Encompass Championship, hosted the 1933 U.S. Open Championship. The club also hosted the United States Amateur in 1939 and 1983.

This year’s Encompass Championship will feature eight of the first 11 winners on the 2013 Champions Tour.

World Golf Hall of Fame member Nick Price, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR in Chicago, has been out of action since mid-August of last year with torn ligaments in his left elbow and is scheduled to return to action at this week’s Encompass Championship. Price last played on the Champions Tour at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open but had to withdraw during the second round.

Former Chicago Bulls stars Scottie Pippen and Tony Kukoc will be competing in the celebrity portion of this week’s Encompass Championship. Other competing celebrities include Pat Foley, Robbie Gould, Dennis Haysbert, Joe Theismann, Marc Trestman, Brian Urlacher and Chad Watson.

CHARLES SCHWAB CUP

After 11 tournaments this season, Bernhard Langer has led the Charles Schwab Cup points standings at the end of seven events and John Cook has led after two events. David Frost, the current points leader, has also led the standings twice, each time following his two victories (Toshiba Classic and Regions Tradition).

NUMBERS

8 – The number of the hole where three of this season’s five aces have been scored.

Aces in 2013 ...

Bobby Wadkins, No. 8, Allianz Championship

Craig Stadler, No. 13, Toshiba Classic

Joe Daley, No. 8, Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf

Tom Kite, No. 16, Insperity Championship

Corey Pavin, No. 8, Regions Tradition

ON THIS DATE

6/18/62 – Jack Nicklaus wins the first of 73 PGA TOUR titles when he defeats Arnold Palmer (71-74) in an 18-hole playoff at the U.S. Open at Oakmont.

6/22/80 – Don January captures the first Champions Tour event when he finishes two strokes in front of Mike Souchak at the Atlantic City CC.

DID YOU KNOW?

Defending champions have had a difficult time defending titles this year on the Champions Tour. Best efforts have come from Corey Pavin (Allianz Championship) and the team of Michael Allen/David Frost (Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf) who finished T4 while defending the titles they won in 2012.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“He was a tower of strength on the Champions Tour. He was very important to us in the early days and was terrific with people, in pro-ams and being with fans. We always got great customer service on the Champions Tour with Miller.” – Former PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane Beman remembers Miller Barber, who passed away last week.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Brad Faxon: ‏@BradFaxon Judith Diaz my hairdresser who owns Metropolitan in Barrington just cut off a lot of my hair today! Lost three lbs pic.twitter.com/U1DJ51bnMX

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