Year in review: Storylines abound in 2013December 24, 2013
By Mark Williams, Champions Tour
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
Kenny Perry won the 2013 Charles Schwab Cup.
Kenny Perry took the lead in the Charles Schwab Cup for the first time in his career following his win at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. He earned 1000 points the following week for winning the US Senior Open. Perry kept the lead all the way through to the season finale, where he finished T5 and claimed the Cup by a margin of 412 points over Bernhard Langer and was awarded the $1 million annuity. Langer was awarded $500,000, while Fred Couples ($300,000), David Frost ($200,000) and Duffy Waldorf ($100,000) also won bonus money.
“It's neat to have the lead, something I can tell my grandkids I actually led it at some point in my life.” – Kenny Perry comments on taking the No. 1 position in the Charles Schwab Cup following his victory at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.
“I don't think any lead's comfortable but it's always nice to have a lead.” - Kenny Perry comments on leading the season-long Charles Schwab Cup standings ahead of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
“I’ve got a nice lead in the Schwab Cup now but I still need to keep my foot on the gas because anything can happen. Over the last few years, it’s always come down to the last tournament and sometimes the last putt. With 880 points available for first place at TPC Harding Park, lots of things can still happen. If Bernhard Langer or David Frost get hot over the next few weeks and I don’t get any points for a top-10 finish, they can still catch me. It’s definitely not over.” – Kenny Perry’s comments ahead of the Greater Hickory Kia Classic with three events remaining in the season. Perry finished T20 at Rock Barn and scored no points while Langer finished 3rd and closed the gap to 494 points.
"I'm the guy that's being hunted. I think you have a different attitude when you're the hunter, and you're trying to attack." – Kenny Perry reveals what it is like to lead the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
Following his AT&T Championship victory, Kenny Perry held a 612-point lead Bernhard Langer in the season-long race for the Charles Schwab Cup with the final event remaining. Langer needed to win the season-ending tournament to claim the Charles Schwab Cup while Perry could finish solo fifth at TPC Harding Park and still win the Schwab Cup.
“Not too many people have one of these and to be able to say that I did it once in my career is a dream come true, at 53, to finally achievesomething pretty significant in my golfing career.” – Kenny Perry comments on winning the Charles Schwab Cup.
WINNERSJohn Cook won in a playoff at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
In 2013, there were 18 different winners, seven players who won two events and one player (Kenny Perry) who won three times.
John Cook sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to defeat David Frost and win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai for the second time in the last three years. Cook played all 54 holes in regulation without a bogey.
Rocco Mediate won the Allianz Championship and became the 16th player in Champions Tour history to win in his debut on the Champions Tour.
Bernhard Langer won the ACE Group Classic for the second time in three years (2011), becoming the sixth player in the 26-year history of the event to win the event twice.
David Frost went wire-to-wire in winning the Toshiba Classic with a five stroke victory over Fred Couples and equaled the tournament record of 19-under 194 in the process. It was Frost’s seventh consecutive top-10 finish on the Champions Tour.
Michael Allen held on to win by a stroke over Bernhard Langer at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. Langer regained the Charles Schwab Cup lead with his runner-up finish. David Frost posted his eighth consecutive top-10 finish with a T6.
Bernhard Langer’s victory at the Greater Gwinnett Championship at TPC Sugarloaf 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.
World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player competed as a team in the Demaret Division at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf in Savannah. Brad Faxon/Jeff Sluman teamed to win the official-money Legends Division.
On Cinco de Mayo, Mexico’s Esteban Toledo came from seven shots back to prevail in a three-way playoff with Mike Goodes and Gene Sauers and win his first career victory on the Champions Tour at the Insperity Championship. Toledo is the first player from Mexico to win an event on the Champions Tour.
Kohki Idoki’s first trip to the United States will always be a memorable one. A long-time player on the Japan Golf Tour, Idoki surprised a star-studded field with a two-stroke victory over Jay Haas and Kenny Perry to win the 74th Senior PGA Championship. Idoki is the 17th player in Champions Tour history to win on his debut.
Russ Cochran outlasted Jay Don Blake for his fourth career victory on the Champions Tour, winning the Principal Charity Classic at Wakonda Club, a new venue for 2013. After his victory, Cochran announced he was donating five special-needs bicycles to Variety – The Children’s Charity from his winnings. Each of the bikes cost up to $3,000.
David Frost edged Fred Couples by one stroke for his first senior major championship at the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek. It was Frost’s second Champions Tour title in his last seven starts (Toshiba Classic) and he joined Bernhard Langer as the second player with multiple wins in 2013.
Craig Stadler held off Fred Couples and won the Encompass Championship, his ninth career title on the Champions Tour, and ended a victory drought of 8 years, 8 months and 28 days, breaking the Champions Tour’s all-time mark for longest time between victories. (J.C. Snead previously held the record of 6 years, 11 months, 7 days (1995 Ford Senior Players Championship-2002 Greater Baltimore Classic). It was Stadler’s 171st start since his last victory at the 2004 SAS Championship.
Kenny Perry (71-63-63-64—261) birdied two of his final three holes to pull away from Fred Couples and Duffy Waldorf and win the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. Perry’s victory avenged his final-round collapse at the Senior PGA Championship just over a month earlier when Kohki Idoki won.
Kenny Perry, two strokes back at the beginning of the final round, posted a 63 to cruise to a five-stroke victory over Fred Funk at the U.S. Senior Open. The win was Perry’s fourth career victory on the Champions Tour and he claimed his second major championship in his 11th career start in a senior major.
In the first Monday finish in Senior Open Championship history, Mark Wiebe won an improbable playoff with Bernhard Langer at Royal Birkdale for the first major title of his career. On Sunday night, Wiebe appeared as if he would be the runner-up before Langer’s double-bogey on the final hole allowed him to get into the overtime session. In near darkness on Sunday night, both players halved two extra holes with pars and resumed the playoff on Monday morning. After making pars on the third extra hole and bogeys at the fourth extra hole, Wiebe claimed the title with a par at the fifth extra hole.
Tom Pernice, Jr., birdied his final two holes to hold off a pair of final-round charges by Corey Pavin and Jeff Sluman to claim the 3M Championship. It was Pernice’s second victory on the Champions Tour and the first since he won the 2009 SAS Championship.
Bart Bryant won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, claiming his first Champions Tour title in his rookie year. He also became the 1,000th winner in Champions Tour history and was joined at the trophy presentation by Don January, the first official winner on the Champions Tour in 1980. Bryant was the fourth rookie to win a Champions Tour event in 2013.
John Riegger won his first Champions Tour event at the Boeing Classic, shooting 15-under 201 to win by two strokes over John Cook. It was Riegger’s fifth official start and he became the fifth rookie and fifth first-time winner on the Tour in 2013, equaling the record for most rookies to triumph in a season. There were also five rookie winners in 2007, 1999 and 1989.
After rounds of 63-64 to open the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic, Rocco Mediate closed with a 7-under-par 64 for an impressive seven-stroke victory at the Canyon Meadows G&CC in Calgary. Mediate was the third rookie winner in a row on the Champions Tour, following Bart Bryant (Dick’s Sporting Goods Open) and John Riegger (Boeing Classic). He was also the fourth multiple winner this year, joining Bernhard Langer, David Frost and Kenny Perry.
Esteban Toledo chipped in from 35 feet on the third extra hole to defeat Kenny Perry and win the Montreal Championship, his second win in 2013. Toledo is the seventh rookie to win an event this year. He joined Rocco Mediate with a pair of “rookie” victories.
Mark Wiebe birdied the final hole of regulation to get into a playoff and eventually defeated Corey Pavin on the second extra hole to claim his second win of the season at the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship. The win marked the first time in Wiebe’s career that he was a multiple winner in a season, having won the Senior British Open Championship earlier this year. He is also the sixth player with a pair of titles on the Champions Tour this year.
Kirk Triplett successfully defended the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and his play on the par-5s played a large role in his victory. Triplett birdied seven of the eight par-5s at Pebble Beach. He joined Jeff Sluman as the only two players to post multiple wins in this tournament.
Russ Cochran birdied the final four holes to win his second SAS Championship in the last four years. It was Cochran’s second victory in 2013, following his win at the Principal Charity Classic, and he became the seventh multiple winner on the Champions Tour in 2013.
Michael Allen’s two-putt birdie from 15 feet on the first playoff hole at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn allowed him to defeat Olin Browne in overtime for his second victory in 2013. Allen birdied two of the final three holes in regulation to move past a faltering Bernhard Langer and catch Browne before beating him at the first playoff hole. Allen became the eighth player with a pair of titles on the Champions Tour in 2013.
Kenny Perry made two huge saves on Nos. 17 and 18 and then birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Bernhard Langer at the AT&T Championship for his third win in 2013. Perry became the first to win three times in a season on the Champions Tour since John Cook and Tom Lehman each had three wins in 2011.
Fred Couples closed with a 2-under-par 69, his fourth consecutive round in the 60s, to win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship by six strokes. Mark O’Meara, who started the final day five back of Couples, made a double bogey on the final hole to drop from solo second place into a three-way tie for second with Bernhard Langer and Peter Senior. The victory was Couples first win in 2013.
Wes Short, Jr. (Austin, Texas) won the weather-delayed Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament at the Champions Course at TPC Scottsdale and the $30,000 check.
Stewart Cink and his son, Conner, won the PNC Father/Son Challenge by three strokes over Steve Elkington and his son, Sam.
PLAYER OF THE MONTHDavid Frost won Player of the Month after a solid March, which included a win. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
Bernhard Langer was the Champions Tour Player of the Month for January/February. Langer averaged $172,333 per event and was a combined total of 43-under-par for the three events.
For the first time in his Champions Tour career David Frost earned the Champions Tour Player of the Month award. In March, Frost won the Toshiba Classic in wire-to-wire fashion with a 19-under score of 194 and followed up with a T6 finish at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. He was 25-under par for the six rounds he played in March and earned $316,900. Frost also led the season-long Charles Schwab Cup points race after his Toshiba Classic victory.
Bernhard Langer claimed his second Player of the Month award in 2013, earning the title in April after victory at the Greater Gwinnett Championship in Atlanta.
Kohki Idoki was the Champions Tour Player of the Month for May. Idoki won the season’s first major, the Senior PGA Championship, on his first visit to the United States from his native Japan. It was Idoki’s first start on the Champions Tour and the victory earned him 756 points and vaulted to No. 2 on the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
Kenny Perry got the nod for Champions Tour Player of the Month in June, claiming his first major championship victory, the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS, shooting 71-63-63-64—261 to win by two strokes. Perry also finished T15 at the Regions Tradition, won by David Frost, and posted a T3 finish at the Encompass Championship, where Craig Stadler was victorious. Fred Couples finished runner-up in each of the three Champions Tour events in June.
Kenny Perry, who shot 67-73-64-63—267 to win the U.S. Senior Open and claim back-to-back major championships, was the Champions Tour Player of the Month for July. Perry was also the Player of the Month in June.
Bart Bryant, the 1,000th winner in Champions Tour history when he captured his first Champions Tour victory at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, was the Champions Tour Player of the Month for August. Bryant also finished T12 the following week at the Boeing Classic and T10 at the Shaw Charity Classic to round out the month. He was a cumulative 36-under par for nine rounds and earned $356,000 in the three events.
Kirk Triplett was the Champions Tour Player of the Month for September. Triplett shot nine of 10 rounds under par during the month of September, defending the Nature Valley First Tee Open title which he won at Pebble Beach in 2012. Triplett was 20-under for the month and earned $360,600 during that period.
Kenny Perry was the Player of the Month for October. Perry finished T11 at the SAS Championship, T20 at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic, defeated Bernhard Langer in a playoff to win the AT&T Championship and was T5 at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship and captured the Charles Schwab Cup. Perry never shot an over-par round for the 13 rounds he played and was a total of 35-under during the stretch which earned him $457,816.
CHARITYAfter winning the Principal Charity Classic, Russ Cochran announced he would donate five special-needs bicycles to a local children's charity. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
The Wendy’s Walk for Kids, a fourth-year fundraising initiative conducted during the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open, was named the 2012 Champions Tour Charity of the Year.
A unique fundraising pro-am was held Feb. 3 at The Floridian Golf & Yacht Club in Palm City, Fla. with funds assisting the recovery of Devon Quigley, son of Champions Tour professional Dana Quigley, who was left near death in a 2011 car accident. The professional participants were required to be members of the World Golf Hall of Fame or major championship winners and the field included Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, along with many other legends of the game. An estimated $1 million was raised during the day.
Defending champion Corey Pavin made 17 birdies at the Allianz Championship and finished T4. As a result, the Moabery Family Foundation contributed $17,000 to the nonprofit Boca Raton Champions Golf Charities ($1,000 per birdie). Tom Lehman, sponsored by Allianz, also made 17 birdies during the week. As a result of Lehman’s 17 birdies, $17,000 will go to the South Florida chapter of Junior Achievement and the Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
There was some good karma for two players who took time out from the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic to visit a family living in a home built by the Mississippi Habitat for Humanity. Michael Allen won the tournament and Olin Browne finished T12.
After his victory at the Principal Charity Classic, Russ Cochran announced he was donating five special-needs bicycles to Variety – The Children’s Charity from his winnings. Each of the bikes cost up to $3,000.
Two-time defending Regions Tradition champion Tom Lehman joined Honorary Chairman Dr. Condoleezza Rice to visit Children’s of Alabama, the primary beneficiary of the tournament.
In June, Shaw Communications Inc. announced a $1 million commitment to support Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta, the first Official Charity Partner of the Shaw Charity Classic, a new Champions Tour event held at Canyon Meadows GC in Calgary in August.
On Tuesday of Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS week, Peter Senior, Sandy Lyle and Joe Daley made a visit to the home of Margaret Rumley to help spruce up her yard in a Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh A Brush With Kindness project.
In July, the Calgary-based team responsible for bringing the Shaw Charity Classic to the city donated $250,000 to the Southern Alberta Emergency Relief Fund, established to support organizations helping to rebuild following June’s devastating floods.
Canadian Champions Tour professional Dave Barr, along with a star-studded crop of 12 Olympians and a selection of Calgary’s personalities, first responders and civilians affected by the floods in June, teamed up to applaud the Calgarians who worked together to clean up the city and bring awareness to the inaugural Champions Tour event in Calgary. The Olympians competed head-to-head against Team Calgary at Canyon Meadows in a closest-to-the-pin contest coined “The Shootout at The Meadows.”
Tom Watson was presented with the Golf Foundation’s ‘Spirit of Golf’ Award at Muirfield during the British Open. The Golf Foundation works to make golf more accessible to children from all backgrounds through its HSBC Golf Roots program. Watson follows a stellar list of Spirit of Golf Award recipients, including Gary Player (2007), Tony Jacklin (2008), Lee Westwood (2009), Ian Poulter (2010), Ernie Els (2011) and Peter Alliss (2012).
Participants at Hockey Canada’s men’s orientation camp visited Canyon Meadows G&CC on Monday, August 26. Before playing in a private outing, a handful of hockey stars such as Sidney Crosby and Martin St. Louis, were scheduled to join Champions Tour professionals and youth-based southern Alberta charitable beneficiaries of the Shaw Charity Classic to launch tournament week.
The Greater Gwinnett Championship Presented by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating announced the tournament, in its first year, donated more than $165,000 to several charities in the region.
The Principal Charity Classic announced donations of more than $1 million following the 2013 tournament to local children’s charities in Des Moines, Iowa. It was the first time in tournament history that a single year donation surpassed $1 million.
Chevron donated a total of $100,000 at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. It was $10,000 for every eagle in the first three rounds (7) and $30,000 for final-round eagles (1) through their Eagles For Education program. Each eagle provides funding for 1000 kids to participate in The First Tee of San Francisco program for a year.
Four major charity announcements from Champions Tour tournaments occurred following the conclusion of the 2013 season. Rocco Mediate, along with Brad Shaw from Shaw Communications and the Patron Group – the Calgary-based team who instigated the Shaw Charity Classic – announced the inaugural event raised $2,267,251 for charities in southern Alberta, Canada. The contribution is the single largest charitable donation in Champions Tour history. Tournament officials from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai presented $55,000 to the Rotary Club of Kona, which has played an integral role in helping to organize volunteer corps since the tournament began in 1997. Representatives from local children’s charity organizations received $245,370 in donations from the 2013 Wendy’s Walk for Kids, an annual charity event held at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open. The 2013 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Foundation donated $125,000 to Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In four years, the Champions Tour event has raised nearly $350,000 for the Habitat group.
“FORE Our Kids”, the fundraising initiative of The Principal Charity Classic, was named the 2013 Champions Tour Charity of the Year. “FORE Our Kids” will receive $30,000, which will benefit children with disabilities and illnesses in central Iowa through the donation of adapted bicycles and specially equipped iPads for children's organizations associated with The 2013 Principal Charity Classic.
ROOKIESRocco Mediate, who won two events in 2013, was named Rookie of the Year. (Inglis/Getty Images)
Rookie of the Year was Rocco Mediate. In 2013, there were five rookie winners, with Mediate and Esteban Toledo winning two events each.
Mediate won his first start at the Allianz Championship and posted top-10s in each of his first four events. Steve Elkington began his Champions Tour career with a T9 at Hualalai. Bart Bryant made his debut at the Allianz Championship and finished T33. Taiwan’s Chie-Hsaing Lin also made his debut in Boca Raton and finished T75. PGA TOUR winners Brian Henninger and John Inman made their debuts in Mississippi with T44 and T48 finishes respectively. Mark Bucek and Gary Rusnak also made their debuts at Fallen Oak. Esteban Toledo claimed his first win at the Insperity Championship in a three-way, three-hole playoff. Kohki Idoki, from Japan, won the Senior PGA Championship in his first visit to the United States.
Doug Garwood open qualified to earn his first start at the Principal Charity Classic and finished T7. John Riegger (T26) and Jeff Brehaut (T59) made their debuts at Encompass Championship after both earned exempt status at the 2012 Qualifying School and turned 50 on June 13. Colin Montgomerie finished T9 in his debut at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS, shooting a final-round 65. Bart Bryant claimed his first win at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, becoming the Champions Tour’s 1,000th winner and having the trophy presented to him by Don January, the first official winner in Champions Tour history.
John Riegger won his first event at the Boeing Classic, in his fifth official start and he became the fifth rookie and fifth first-time winner in 2013, equaling the record for most rookies to triumph in a season. There were also five rookie winners in 2007, 1999 and 1989. Rocco Mediate won the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic by a seven-stroke margin for his second win in 2013. Esteban Toledo chipped in from 35 feet on the third extra hole to defeat Kenny Perry and win the Montreal Championship, his second win in 2013. Toledo was the seventh rookie to win an event in 2013. He joins Rocco Mediate with a pair of “rookie” victories.
Esteban Toledo was the fourth consecutive rookie to win an event, joining Bart Bryant, John Riegger and Rocco Mediate. Four rookie winners in a row is an unprecedented feat in Champions Tour history, apart from the first year (1980) when four different players won the four tournaments on the schedule.
Vijay Singh was tied for the lead after 11 holes of the final round of the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship, but he played his final seven holes in 2-over par to drop into a T6 finish in his debut. Jerry Haas finished T35 in his debut at the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. Nick Faldo played his first Champions Tour event in the US at the SAS Championship, but withdrew with an elbow injury after 12 holes. Faldo had previously played in two Senior British Open’s. Jose Coceres made his debut at the AT&T Championship, finishing 80th. Scott Dunlap Monday-qualified for the AT&T and finished T15 in his debut.
AWARDSTom Lehman received the Father Flanagan Award for Service to Youth from children and staff at Boys Town. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
Colin Montgomerie & Fred Couples were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May of 2013.
Roger Chapman, just before Christmas of 2012, was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour and was also named among the GWAA’s recipients for Player of the Year along with Rory McIroy and Stacy Lewis.
Mark McCumber was among ten sports stars inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Jacksonville, Fla.
Lee Trevino was the 2013 recipient of the PGA Distinguished Service Award. A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Trevino, 73, received the Association's highest annual honor in conjunction with the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
Steve Jones was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame at a ceremony in April.
Bobby Clampett became the first Tour player to ever achieve advanced certification from the PGA of America's CPP 2.0 program, with a career path in Instruction. Later in the year, Clampett became the third PGA Professional to graduate from the PGA Master Professional Program 2.0 – the highest educational designation a PGA member can attain. He is also the first PGA TOUR or Champions Tour professional to be certified in instruction through this advanced program.
Paul Azinger was selected to receive the 2013 Gold Tee Award from the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association. The award is the MGWA’s highest honor awarded to an individual whose career achievements exemplify the best spirit and traditions of the sport of golf.
Rod Spittle, winner of the 2010 AT&T Championship, was inducted into the Ontario (Canada) Hall of Fame in May.
Jim Dent joined about 75 other notable Augustans when he was inducted into the Local Legends wing at the Augusta Museum of History. The exhibition showcases memorabilia of actors, athletes, writers and other accomplished individuals born in the Garden City who went on to impact the world. Dent is already an inductee in the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
Jay Haas was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame in October.
Tom Lehman received the Father Flanagan Award for Service to Youth from the children and staff at Boys Town, Nebraska while in Omaha for the U.S. Senior Open. The honor is annually given to individuals who dedicate themselves to helping kids and the person being recognized must have made a significant contribution to youth and continued to further influence young people by an exemplary public and private life. Previous recipients of the Father Flanagan Award for Service to Youth include Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Bob Hope, Dr. Jonas Salk, Danny Thomas, Julius Erving, Nancy Reagan, Dr. Denton Cooley, Michael Jordan and Laura Bush.
Michael Allen was inducted into the University of Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in September.
Jay Sigel was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in October. Sigel won two U.S. Amateur titles and the 1979 British Amateur. He won eight times on the Champions Tour and recorded 101 top-10 finishes in 427 starts. Sigel was the Champions Tour Rookie of Year in 1994.
Peter Jacobsen was named the 2013 winner of the Payne Stewart Award, presented annually to a professional golfer who best exemplifies the values of character, charity and sportsmanship. Stewart, an 11-time winner on the PGA TOUR and World Golf Hall of Fame member, died tragically the week of the TOUR Championship in 1999.
John Cook, winner of 20 total events on both the PGA TOUR (11) and Champions Tour (9), including the 2013 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, was inducted into the Southern California Golf Association Hall of Fame in October.
Kenny Perry won the Jack Nicklaus Award after being voted the Champions Tour Player of the Year for 2013 following his three-win season which included back-to-back major championship victories. Perry also claimed the season-long Charles Schwab Cup. Rocco Mediate was awarded the Rookie of the Year title by his peers following a two-win season and top-10 finishes on both the money list (10th) and Charles Schwab Cup standings (9th). Bernhard Langer won the Arnold Palmer Award for a record fifth time as the leading money winner. Fred Couples claimed the Byron Nelson Award with a 68.64 scoring average for the year.
Annual awards were presented to the best tournaments of the 2013 Champions Tour season. The Bruno Award, presented annually to an individual judged to have made special and outstanding contributions to the Champions Tour, went to Jim Kelly, who was once identified as the ‘Voice of the Senior PGA Tour’. Kelly was a sports announcer for multiple sports over a 40-year period and was the host/commentator for ESPN during the several years the network carried Champions Tour broadcasts. Here are the 2013 recipients.
Award, Recipient, Tournament Director
President’s Award, DICK’S Sporting Goods Open, John Karedes
Players Award, Nature Valley First Tee Open, Steve John
Tournament Business Affairs Award, Boeing Classic, Michelle DeLancy
Outstanding Achievement Award, Shaw Charity Classic, Sean Van Kesteren
Bruno Award, Jim Kelly
Kathy Evans was named the 2013 Champions Tour Volunteer of the Year for her loyal service at the Greater Gwinnett Championship, a first-year event won by World Golf Hall of Fame member Bernhard Langer at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Ga. last April.
NOTABLETom Kite made his first hole-in-one on the Champions Tour in 2013. (Cohen/Getty Images)
In 2013, there were 18 different winners, seven players who won two events and one player (Kenny Perry) who won three times. There were five rookie winners, with Rocco Mediate and Esteban Toledo winning two events each.
Nine players made aces during the season. Seven events required playoffs to decide the champion. Two players, Hale Irwin and Larry Nelson, scored or bettered their age during a round.
Fans at the Insperity Championship on Saturday got the rare chance to see the “Big Four” – Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino – in action during the Greats of Golf 18-hole exhibition. Fellow World Golf Hall of Fame members Raymond Floyd and Johnny Miller were new-comers to the exhibition this year. They were joined by Don January, Gene Littler, David Graham, Tony Jacklin, Charles Coody and Dave Stockton. The group has combined for more than 300 PGA TOUR victories and more than 150 Champions Tour titles.
Tom Kite made his first career ace on the Champions Tour in the opening round of the Insperity Championship, holing his tee shot from 194 yards with a 7-iron on the par-3 16th hole. It was the 17,674th hole he played in competition.
Bobby Wadkins made his 1,000th career start (combined PGA TOUR/Champions Tour) at the Senior PGA Championship.
Jay Don Blake was the lone Champions Tour representative in the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, having qualified as medalist at Old Warson Golf Club in St. Louis. Roger Chapman, exempt into the U.S. Open as the current U.S. Senior Open champion, withdrew from the championship with a shoulder injury and the intent to focus on defending his major title on the Champions Tour in Omaha.
PGATE sent an ENG crew to a Champions Tour event for the first time in history to gather interviews specifically requested (after pitching) by our international TV partners. Included were comments on playing in Canada, the current success of international players, The Presidents Cup, the Charles Schwab Cup and charitable messages for the $2 billion campaign.
David Feherty featured Champions Tour players Tom Lehman, Rocco Mediate, Ben Crenshaw and Raymond Floyd on his show Feherty on Golf Channel during the season.
At the halfway point of the season, nine of 13 Champions Tour events (including pre-tournament pro-ams) had experienced a weather-related delay. The Senior British Open, in the second half of the season was the only other tournament to experience a weather-related delay.
Gary Player, 77, was featured in the July issue of ESPN The Magazine with other athletes in their annual “Body Issue”. Player is the oldest athlete in the feature’s five-year history.
U.S. Ryder cup captain Tom Watson announced two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North as his assistant captain for the matches to be played in Scotland in 2014.
The Champions Tour players who competed in The Open Championship at Muirfield included past champions Tom Watson, Mark O’Meara, Tom Lehman, Mark Calcavecchia, Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle. Also in the field were over-50s Peter Senior, Fred Couples, and Vijay Singh.
Woody Austin, who will turn 50 on Jan. 27, 2014 and become eligible for the Champions Tour, won the 2013 Sanderson Farms Championship at the first hole of a sudden death playoff. Billy Andrade, who turns 50 two days before Austin, recorded a T5 finish at 17-under, three strokes out of the playoff.
The Monday finish at Royal Birkdale this season was the first in a Senior British Open Championship and the first on the Champions Tour since the 2005 Bayer Advantage Classic near Kansas City.
Bob Tway’s son, Kevin, claimed his first Web.com Tour victory at the Albertson’s Boise Open, defeating Spencer Levin at the first hole of a sudden death playoff after both players finished tied at 23-under.
In the 10th Annual Greats of Golf Challenge, held Saturday afternoon at the 3M Championship, Team Majors shot a 16-under-par 56 to claim the Miller Barber Cup by two strokes over Team USA and Team LPGA. Team Majors was captained by Don January and included Lee Trevino, David Graham and Fuzzy Zoeller.
Bart Bryant won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y., to become the 1,000th official winner in Champions Tour history. Don January, who won the 1980 Atlantic City Senior International to claim the first official event, was on hand to present the trophy to Bryant.
Bart Bryant’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open win, coupled with older brother Brad’s four career titles on the Champions Tour, makes them the third set of brothers to claim Champions Tour events – Dave Hill (6)/Mike Hill (18), Lanny Wadkins (1)/Bobby Wadkins (4).
“Whether you're 1,001 or 999 it's pretty special, but this is even more special because you have Don January handing you the trophy. My family and I got to take a picture with Don. It's just a really cool moment, something that I'll always treasure.” – Bart Bryant explains becoming the 1,000th winner in Champions Tour history.
John Riegger won his first Champions Tour event at the Boeing Classic, in his fifth official start and he became the fifth rookie and fifth first-time winner on the Tour this year, equaling the record for most rookies to triumph in a season. There were also five rookie winners in 2007, 1999 and 1989.
Sixty-eight-year-old Hale Irwin bettered his age by four strokes when he posted a final-round 64 at the Shaw Charity Classic.
Jay Don Blake tied a Champions Tour record when he made three eagles in Round 2 of the Shaw Charity Classic. He became the seventh player to accomplish the feat and the first since Tom Kite did so in the second round of the 2011 Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.
Colin Montgomerie won the Travis Perkins Senior Masters on the European Senior Tour in August, shooting 10-under 206 to win by six shots at Woburn GC.
Esteban Toledo’s win at the Montreal Championship made him the fourth consecutive rookie to win an event, joining Bart Bryant, John Riegger and Rocco Mediate. Four rookie winners in a row is an unprecedented feat in Champions Tour history, apart from the first year (1980) when four different players won the four tournaments on the schedule.
Five of this year’s seven Presidents Cup captains/co-captains competed at the Nature Valley First Tee Open before heading to Muirfield Village for the Presidents Cup the following week. U.S. Team captain Fred Couples was joined by co-captain Jay Haas. International Team captain Nick Price and co-captain’s Mark McNulty and Tony Johnstone also competed. Davis Love III and Shigeki Maruyama were not yet 50 and therefore not eligible.
Captain Fred Couples and his U.S. Team defeated Captain Nick Price and his International Team at the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village. Although the International Team won the final session (singles), the U.S Team won the competition by 18.5 – 15.5.
Larry Nelson’s first-round 6-under-par 66 at the SAS Championship allowed him to match his age for the first time in his Champions Tour career.
World Golf Hall of Fame member Nick Faldo, making his initial Champions Tour start in the United States, was forced to withdraw from the SAS Championship after 12 holes with an elbow injury. He was 1-over-par at the time.
Due to the extensive damage caused by nine inches of torrential rain in just three hours on Saturday, July 27, the Greater Hickory Kia Classic used a reconfigured golf course. A combination of the Jones Course and the Jackson Course at Rock Barn Golf & Spa was called the ‘Champions Course’. Also, a damaged vehicle/pedestrian bridge on the Jones was unable to be repaired in time for the tournament. This year’s Champions Course was a par-70 versus the par-72 layout of the Jones Course that had been used for the first 10 years.
Bob Gilder became the 16th player to start in 1,000 combined events on the PGA TOUR/Champions Tour when he teed off at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic.
There were no changes in the top 30 on the money list following the AT&T Championship for the fourth year in succession as all 30 held their spots to earn a berth in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
The three-player team to represent the Champions Tour at the 2013 Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge, Fred Funk, Bernhard Langer, and Kenny Perry, finished second behind the team from the LPGA Tour.
World Golf Hall of Fame member Ben Crenshaw began hosting Crenshaw on Golf, a one-hour show airing every other week on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
At the end of the 2013 season, Peter Senior has won $4,483,977 in 95 starts, the most money won by a Champions Tour player without a victory, an average of $47,200 per start. Senior was also the only Champions Tour player to compete in the 30-man field at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.
Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez won the European Tour’s Hong Kong Open in December, just 28 days before he turns 50 and becomes eligible for the Champions Tour.
Wednesday, December 18, 2014 was declared “Kenny Perry Day” in the city of Bowling Green in recognition of his two major Champions Tour victories, the Charles Schwab Cup and his Player of the Year title in 2013. Perry, a Franklin, Kentucky native, was also presented with a key to the city.