Week 22 Approach Shots: Senior Players

September 30, 2009
PGA TOUR staff

The final major championship of 2009 is the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship at Baltimore Country Club's Five Farms East Course. Double Charles Schwab Cup points will be available for all top-10 finishers, with D.A. Weibring defending his title. Last year, he came from a stroke off the pace in the final round to defeat Fred Funk by a stroke. This season, Weibring has yet to record a top-10, his best finish a tie for 15th at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

Quick facts
WHAT: 22nd of 26 official Charles Schwab Cup events
WHEN: Oct. 1-4
WHERE: Timonium, Md.
COURSE: Baltimore Country Club (East Course)
ROUND 1 TV: GOLF, Thu., 1 to 3:30 p.m. ET
ROUND 2 TV: GOLF, Fri., 1 to 3:30 p.m. ET
ROUND 3 TV: NBC, Sat., 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET
ROUND 4 TV: NBC, Sun., 4 to 6 p.m. ET
KEY LINKS: Scores | Champions Tour Insider | Tournament site

FIRST TIMERS: Nearly a dozen new players will tee it up for the first time in this event. Among those are two former major championship winners on the PGA TOUR -- Hal Sutton (1983 PGA Championship) and Bob Tway (1986 PGA Championship). Those two will be joined by several other former PGA TOUR winners, including Jay Don Blake, Olin Browne, Russ Cochran, Dan Forsman and Blaine McCallister. Among the other players making their first visits include Steve Thomas and Chris Starkjohann.

THE OTHER "PLAYERS:" The winner of this year's Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship receives an invitation to next May's PLAYERS Championship on the PGA TOUR. Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd are the only two players to have claimed a PLAYERS Championship and a Constellation Energy Senior Players title. There are six players in this week's Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship field who have won THE PLAYERS: Jerry Pate in 1982, Hal Sutton in 1983 and 2000, Sandy Lyle in 1987, Tom Kite in 1989, Nick Price in 1993 and Fred Funk in 2005.

PLAYOFF HISTORY: There have only been two playoffs in the previous 26 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championships, but neither overtime session went longer than one extra hole. In 1995, J.C. Snead defeated Jack Nicklaus with a birdie on the first extra hole. It marked the first time since the 1982 Bay Hill Classic that Nicklaus lost an event in a playoff (to Tom Kite). In 2001, Allen Doyle defeated Doug Tewell with a par on the first playoff hole.

ROOKIE SUCCESS: The Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship traditionally has been a favorite among rookies on the Champions Tour. Chi Chi Rodriguez (1986), Jack Nicklaus (1990), Jim Albus (1991), Dave Stockton (1992), Craig Stadler (2003) and Peter Jacobsen (2005) all won in their first appearances in this championship. In all, 15 current players have earned their first victory on the Champions Tour in a major.

Weather forecast for the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship
Temp: 66 high/48 low
Temp: 71 high/51 low
Temp: 73 high/65 low
Partly cloudy
Temp: 68 high/59 low
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Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship snippets
Tour staple: The Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship is the fourth-oldest event on the Champions Tour, and this year marks the 27th playing of the tournament. Only the Senior PGA Championship (70 years), Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (32 years) and the U.S. Senior Open (30 years) are older.
Sweet 16: Tom Wargo will be making his 16th start in this tournament when he begins play in the opening round. The 67-year-old has played in every event since 1993 with the exception of last year. His best effort was a tie for 10th in 1994.
Count on Cochran: Rookie Russ Cochran has enjoyed an excellent season. He's finished in the top five in his last two starts and has four top-10s in 12 outings this season. He's currently 26th on the money list and 19th in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.

SCHWAB CUP UPDATE: Fred Funk has a slim seven-point lead over Loren Roberts in the chase for the Charles Schwab Cup. With double points available this week, the standings could take quite a turn as the season heads into its final few weeks.