Notebook: Star-studded field for Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf

April 22, 2013

By Mark Williams, Champions Tour staff

News and notes from around the Champions Tour for the week of April 22.

• Bernhard Langer’s victory at last week’s Greater Gwinnett Championship was his second win in his last four starts on the Champions Tour (ACE Group Classic), becoming the first two-time winner in 2013. His win also marked the fifth time in his six full seasons on the Champions Tour that he’s claimed multiple titles.

• In his first tournament back on the Champions Tour since the ACE Group Classic, Kenny Perry finished T36. Perry underwent left knee surgery on February 19 in Nashville and has been out of action recovering since the operation.

• David Frost’s streak of eight straight top-10 finishes dating back to last season, ended last week when he finished T36 at the Greater Gwinnett Championship.

• Hale Irwin played in his 403rd Champions Tour event last week and now has a PGA TOUR/Champions Tour combined total of 1,062. He’s now fourth on the all-time list for most combined Tour starts. Miller Barber is the all-time leader with 1,297 combined career appearances (694 PGA TOUR/603 Champions Tour).

• Bruce Fleisher made the first birdie in Greater Gwinnett Championship history (No. 2 in Round 1) while John Cook made the first eagle (13th hole in Round 1).

• The Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn presented by Kia Motors Champions Tour event is now the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn. A new tournament logo was unveiled last week and an updated website is expected to launch soon. The 11th annual Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn is set for Oct. 14-20, 2013.

• This year will be the 36th Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf and the 34th anniversary for Liberty Mutual as the title sponsor of the event. This tournament is also the second oldest in senior golf, with only the 74-year-old Senior PGA Championship exceeding it in longevity.

• Bernhard Langer/Tom Lehman won the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf in 2009 and are teammates again this year. Langer won last week’s Greater Gwinnett Championship by three strokes over Lehman, who finished T2 with Tom Pernice, Jr.

• This year’s Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf field will include 44 players in all three divisions who have won major championships on the PGA TOUR. The 72 teams competing across three divisions include 16 World Golf Hall of Fame members. Also competing in the Legends Division is Fred Couples, who will be inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame next month.

• Those players competing for the first time in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf are Rocco Mediate and teammate Steve Elkington, Willie Wood (with Mark Brooks), Joe Daley (with Steve Jones), Roger Chapman (with Jay Don Blake) and Kirk Triplett (with Craig Stadler).

• Charles Coody/Dale Douglass and Mike Hill/Lee Trevino have an opportunity this year to become only the second team in tournament history to win all three divisions. When they won the Demaret Division title in 2001, the team of Don January/Gene Littler became the first to claim all three divisions.

Bernhard Langer increased his lead in the Charles Schwab Cup after winning the Greater Gwinnett Championship. He now has 928 points while David Frost remains in second with 619 points.

108 – The number of consecutive holes without a bogey by defending champions Michael Allen/David Frost at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf, dating to 2011 when they tied for third. They have posted 53 birdies and one eagle during this span.

• 4/22/90 – Steve Elkington comes from seven strokes back the final day at the Kmart Greater Greensboro Open, firing a 6-under-par 66 to overtake Mike Reid and capture his first of 10 PGA TOUR titles.

• 4/25/04 – When Hale Irwin wins the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, he wins at least one event for 10 straight years, breaking his tie with Miller Barber for most consecutive years with at least one win.

Hale Irwin paired with Ian Baker-Finch to finish T9 at last year’s Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf, allowing Irwin to claim his 206th top-10 finish on the Champions Tour. Irwin has since added three more top-10s and holds the all-time Champions Tour record with 209.

• “When a guy who has won eight major championships is in the field, that issue really disappears in a hurry.” – Stan Hall, executive director of the Gwinnett Champions Foundation, refers to Tom Watson’s commitment to last week’s Greater Gwinnett Championship helping the newly established event gain credibility.

• “He doesn’t get ruffled. I think he has one of the best perspectives of anyone who has ever played the game.” – Tom Lehman shares his thoughts on why Bernhard Langer is so dominant.

Bobby Clampett ‏@BClampett: Spending time with Guan, Tianlang last week & seeing his work ethic, has inspired me this week in Atl! Nobody worked harder! #masters