Power Rankings: SAS Championship

October 01, 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.

Kenny Perry returns to defend his SAS Championship this week at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, N.C.


Perry posted an emotional victory last year. He nearly withdrew from the tournament following the death of his sister, Kay. But Perry stayed and played, and produced a memorable victory to honor his sister.

The key stroke for Perry was a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th hole that enabled him to defeat Jeff Sluman by one stroke. Perry shot a final-round 70 for an 11-under 205 total.

John Huston's closing 71 left him in third place followed by Russ Cochran and Fred Couples.

Power Rankings: SAS Championship
Rank Player   Comment
It's a big week for European golf and Langer no doubt will be inspired by what happened at Medinah Country Club. Truth is, he needs little motivation. Langer is second in the Charles Schwab Cup points race and with leader Tom Lehman not in the field, it's a big opportunity to gain ground.
He has become a force with two victories and a T3 in the last three events. The Dick's Sporting Goods Open and Pacific Links Hawaii Championship wins were career-changing. He's got the confidence now and his game is in a nice groove.
Two-time winner this year, lost a playoff at Dick's Sporting Goods but still leads the money list and is No. 4 on the Charles Schwab Cup points list. He continues his exceptional putting -- No. 2 in putting average (1.739) and No. 3 in putts per round (28.65).
Back-to-back T3 finishes at 3M Championship and Dick's Sporting Goods were his 10th and 11th top-11 finishes in 14 starts this year. Won the ACE Group Classic in February. He's 10th in both the Charles Schwab Cup and the Money List.
The North Carolina native has come back strong after a long layoff and has a string of four straight top-10 finishes, including a playoff loss at the Boeing Classic, since his return in August.

This week's Power Rankings for the Champions Tour's SAS Championship: