Power Rankings: Toshiba Classic

March 13, 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.


Three tournaments, three winners.

The Champions Tour's depth has been on display early in the 2012 season. Dan Forsman (Mitsubishi Electric), Corey Pavin (Allianz) and Kenny Perry (ACE Group Classic) have won the first three events.

Forsman and Pavin are in the field this week at the Toshiba Classic, where Nick Price will defend his title.

Price posted his fourth career Champions Tour victory at Newport Beach Country Club last year, opening with a career-best 11-under 60 and holding off a charging Mark Wiebe. Price shot 68-68 on the weekend for a 17-under 196 total.

Fred Couples, the 2010 winner who tied for fifth last year, also is in the field, along with Michael Allen, who tied for third behind Price and Wiebe.

Power Rankings: Toshiba Classic
Rank Player   Comment
Only player to finish in the top 10 in each of the first three events, he has a victory (2007, with the tournament record 194 total) and a runner-up (2008) at Newport Beach. His 68.44 scoring average is the best on the Champions Tour.
Hasn't had the best start of 2012, but he tied for fifth last year at Newport Beach Country Club. Making his first Champions Tour start since season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
His T12 last year on a course that suits him - Newport Beach CC plays 6,584 yards and requires precision around and on the greens. Like Perry, the early-season win at Allianz could be the building block for a big campaign.
Two top-3 finishes in three starts, so he's back in form after the injury woes of 2011. The 2008 winner of the Toshiba Classic is No. 1 in Putting Average (1.655) and Putts Per Round (27.67) and tied with Haas for the best scoring average (68.44).
AThe course record holder (60) at Newport Beach is off to a decent start with a T7 at Allianz followed by a T12 at the ACE Group. At the PGA TOUR's Mayakoba Classic, he opened with a solid 69 before a stomach ailment forced him to withdraw.

This week's Champions Tour Power Rankings for the Toshiba Classic: