Champions Tour announces schedule for 2010November 24, 2009
PGA TOUR staff
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The Champions Tour announced its 2010 tournament schedule that will feature 26 official Charles Schwab Cup events and $51.5 million in official prize money, with the average tournament purse measuring in at a record $1.98 million.
The 2010 season will bring the Champions Tour to 15 states and three countries, including the Dominican Republic, Scotland and for the first time, South Korea.
"We're delighted that our 2010 Schedule marks an increase in the number of Champions Tour events to 26," said Mike Stevens, Champions Tour President. "The strength of this schedule with new events in Mississippi, Asia, and a soon-to-be announced new event reflects not only a viable product that appeals to legions of fans, but also our business partners. Our sponsors have demonstrated a commitment to this tour and the communities we visit allowing us to showcase some of golf's greatest players and benefit many worthwhile charities."
The official season kicks off on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai (Jan. 18-24), with the first full-field event coming three weeks later at the ACE Group Classic, which will now be played at The Quarry in Naples, Fla. The season will conclude the first week of November with the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, which will relocate to San Francisco's Harding Park, site of the 2009 Presidents Cup, in 2010-11.
The Champions Tour's year-long competition, the Charles Schwab Cup, will once again offer $2.1 million in prize money to its five leading point-earners. Loren Roberts captured his second Charles Schwab Cup in the last three years by 319 points over John Cook to collect the Cup's $1 million annuity in 2009. The Charles Schwab Cup will continue to be featured prominently in all cable and network telecasts next year. Bernhard Langer won four times in '09 en route to the Arnold Palmer Award given to the Champions Tour's leading money winner.
As previously announced, two new events have been added to the schedule for 2010. The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic will be held April 26-May 2 in Biloxi at the Tom Fazio-designed golf course Fallen Oak, which earned a top-20 spot on Golf Digest's list of "America's 100 Greatest Public Courses" in 2009. In September, the Champions Tour will host a landmark event in Asia, the New Songdo City Championship, at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Songdo International Business District (IBD), located 40 miles west of Seoul in South Korea's largest current economic development project.
Stevens also noted that the upcoming season will have a great Champions Tour 'rookie' class with such names as Fred Couples, a 15-time PGA TOUR winner who captained the recent U.S. Presidents Cup team to victory at Harding Park; Paul Azinger, a 12-time winner on TOUR and Captain of the victorious 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team; Corey Pavin a 15-time winner on TOUR and U.S. Captain for 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales. Other names joining the Champions Tour in 2010 include PGA TOUR stars Mark Calcavecchia and Kenny Perry later in the season.
The Champions Tour's lineup of major championships will feature four new top-rated venues: Colorado Golf Club, located just outside of Denver, will host the Senior PGA Championship (May 24-30); Carnoustie Golf Club in Scotland will host the Senior British Open Championship (July 19-25); Sahalee Country Club near Seattle, Wash., will host the U.S. Senior Open and the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship will move to TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Md.
Crosswater Club at Sunriver Resort outside Bend, Ore., will once again host the JELD-WEN Tradition for the fourth straight year.
All 26 events will be televised nationally in the United States, with 20 receiving complete coverage on the GOLF CHANNEL, the Tour's exclusive cable television partner that reaches some 82 million homes in the U.S. Six events will have network coverage on the weekend (NBC -- Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, Senior PGA Championship, Senior U.S. Open and JELD-WEN Tradition; CBS- Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf; ESPN- Senior British Open). Champions Tour telecasts are distributed to more than 120 million homes internationally.