Power Rankings: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classictext sizeMarch 18, 2013
By Vartan Kupelian, Champiions Tour Insider
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.
Defending champion Fred Couples returns to the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic this week and can expect a strong challenge from David Frost.
Frost and Couples finished 1-2 last week at the Toshiba Classic, where Frost went wire-to-wire. Frost pulled away from the field with birdies on four of the last five holes to win by five strokes. His final round 65 for a 19-under 194 total tied the Toshiba Classic record of 194, set by Jay Haas in 2007.
Frost has moved into the top spot in both the Charles Schwab Cup points list and the Money List. He became the fourth different winner this year as the depth of the Champions Tour continues to resonate.
Couples' victory last year at Fallen Oak in Biloxi was by one shot over Michael Allen. Jeff Sluman and Tom Pernice, Jr., tied for third, four shots behind the winner.
The Power Rankings for this week's Champions Tour event, the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic:
Power Rankings: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Rank Player Comment David FROST He's on quite a roll, adding the victory at the Toshiba Classic to his runner-up finish in Hawaii and two other top-10s in 2013. Ended 2012 with three straight top-10s and a victory at the AT&T Championship. It's an impressive stretch of golf. Bernhard LANGER His T20 at Toshiba was uncharacteristic but still can't overlook a first, second and third in his previous starts. He's in the top-10 in every statistical category measured by the Champions Tour and No. 2 on Charles Schwab Cup points and Money List behind Frost. Fred COUPLES The defending champion was in contention at Newport Beach before Frost put it into another gear and raced off with the title. Couples is tops in par breakers at a convincing 33 percent – that’s 36 birdies/eagles in 108 holes. No. 1 in Driving Distance (293.4 yards). Rocco MEDIATE Continued his solid play at the Toshiba Classic. An eagle-3 on the tournament’s final hole enabled him to finish T6. He’s now got a victory and two other top-six finishes in his Champions Tour career. Mediate has been solid tee-to-green. John COOK Let's call the T32 at Toshiba an aberration. He's No. 3 in Charles Schwab Cup points and he does have a victory already this season, beating the hot Frost in a playoff in Hawaii. Don’t forget, he finished with three top-10s in final four events last year.