Power Rankings: Mitsubishi Electric Championship

January 17, 2012
Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM Contributor

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.

2012 CHAMPIONS TOUR: Top 25 Players to Watch | 2012 schedule | Field: Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was a dream start for John Cook.


Cook shot back-to-back 64s in the Champions Tour's season opener last year in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai to launch the 2011 season in style. The final round fireworks included eight birdies and featured five straight after the turn as Cook posted a 2-shot over Tom Lehman.

Cook became the first player since Gil Morgan in 1997-98 to win the last event of the previous year (2010 Charles Schwab Cup Championship) and the first the following year.

Cook used the triumph at Hualalai to jump-start his finest Champions Tour campaign, which featured three victories, a total matched only by Lehman.

Power Rankings: Mitsubishi Electric Championship
Rank Player   Comment
The positive vibes from last year's resounding victory could well be the difference. That, and knowing how much a fast start meant for him the rest of the year. Tied for sixth here in 2009.
The 2012 Player of the Year chased Cook to the wire last year before falling just short but he, too, will start the season on a high. As usual, Lehman will rely on solid all-around ball-striking as the staple of his game.
Once he returned to the Champions Tour late last season following treatment on his back, Couples was a dominant force. He posted his first Champions Tour major at the Constellation Senior Players Championship in a playoff victory over Cook.
No. 2 in the Charles Schwab Cup race behind Lehman, Calcavecchia can have few misgivings about his accomplishments last year. Also finished No. 2 on the money List ($1.86 million). Now, the goal is to nail down a major this year.
Jay Don
The hottest golfer at the end of the season, when he won twice in his final five starts, including the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship. There were also three other top-10s from July until the season finale.

Here's a look at the Power Rankings for the Champions Tour's 2012 opener in Hawaii: