Inside the field at the SAS Championship
October 09, 2018
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- October 09, 2018
- Miguel Angel Jimenez is number two of the current Charles Schwab Cup standings.
The PGA TOUR Champions regular season will conclude with the SAS Championship, which will be contested at Prestonwood Country Club for the 18th straight year. World Golf Hall of Famer Colin Montgomerie will return to Cary, North Carolina, in hopes of defending his title, and he’ll be joined by seven other past champions: Doug Garwood, Tom Lehman, Kirk Triplett, Russ Cochran, Bernhard Langer, Kenny Perry and Tom Pernice Jr. The European contingent will also be represented by Miguel Angel Jimenez, who claimed two senior major titles this season, and Nick Faldo, who will make his second start of the season. The field features 28 of the top-30 players in the Charles Schwab Cup, including Scott McCarron, who will compete as the top-ranked player for the first time in his career.
- 57 PGA TOUR winners with 330 total career victories
- 52 PGA TOUR Champions winners with 247 total career victories
- 20 players with a PGA TOUR Champions major victory; 17 with a PGA TOUR major
- 28 of the top-30 players in the Charles Schwab Cup standings
- 6 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame (Nick Faldo, Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Vijay Singh)
Wildcard Weekend at the SAS Championship
The third-annual Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs begin next week, and Wildcard Weekend at the SAS Championship offers another opportunity for players to earn one of the 72 Playoff berths. Should a player post a top-10 finish this week but finish the regular season outside the top-72 on the Charles Schwab Cup money list, he will earn the Wildcard and qualify for the Playoffs.
In all, the 78-player field includes 19 players that are currently outside the top-72 in the standings: Dan Forsman (74th), John Huston (75th), Sandy Lyle (80th), Steve Jones (81st), Mark Brooks (82nd), Gibby Gilbert III (85th), Scott Hoch (86th), Dudley Hart (89th), Darren Clarke (92nd), Loren Roberts (95th), Bill Glasson, Tom Kite (102nd), Neal Lancaster (132nd), Chris DiMarco (154th), Gil Morgan (169th), Sir Nick Faldo (NR), Marion Dantzler (NR), James Mason (NR) and Roger Rowland (NR).
Montgomerie Returns to Defend Title
Colin Montgomerie recorded his sixth career victory at last year’s SAS Championship, as his 16-under total was three shots better than Vijay Singh and defending champion Doug Garwood. After being one of three co-leaders through 36 holes, Montgomerie closed with a bogey-free 64 and claimed his second win in four weeks. He entered the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs No. 7 in the standings, and he went on to finish the season 10th.
Montgomerie has turned in multiple strong performances as a defending champion. He won back-to-back titles at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in 2014 and 2015, and he finished second in 2016. At the U.S. Senior Open, he followed his victory in 2014 with a runner-up in 2015. In each of these cases, however, his title defenses came on a different golf course. The Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship was his one title defense on the same golf course; after winning in 2016, he returned to Victoria, British Columbia and finished T32 in 2017.
This season on PGA TOUR Champions, Montgomerie has three top-10s, including a runner-up finish at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, and he is currently No. 27 in the Charles Schwab Cup.
Langer’s Drive for Five
A four-time winner of the Charles Schwab Cup, Bernhard Langer has five runner-up finishes and one victory (Insperity Invitational) this season, and he is currently No. 4 in the standings with one week left before the start of the Playoffs. He is one of eight past champions in the field, and this week marks his 11th start at the SAS Championship. When he won in 2012, Langer was T15 and trailed by four entering the final round. He closed with a 9-under 63 to complete the four-shot comeback, tied for second-largest of his PGA TOUR Champions career. Additionally, of his 37 wins on PGA TOUR Champions, T15 is the lowest final-round starting position he overcame en route to victory.
Tar Heel Ties
Among the players in the field with North Carolina ties are former Wake Forest golfers Billy Andrade, Jay Haas, Gary Hallberg and Scott Hoch. Others who reside in the Tar Heel state are Mike Goodes (Browns Summit), Neal Lancaster (Smithfield), Scott McCarron (Mooresville) and Tommy Tolles (Hendersonville).
Last year, Colin Montgomerie joined Bernhard Langer (2012) and Hale Irwin (2005) as World Golf Hall of Famers that have won the SAS Championship. Other milestones in the tournament’s 17-year history:
- A player has won in his PGA TOUR Champions debut 18 times, and it happened at the SAS Championship twice (Mark Wiebe/2007, Tom Pernice Jr./2009).
- The SAS Championship was the first PGA TOUR Champions win for five players: D.A. Weibring (2003), Mark Wiebe (2007), Tom Pernice, Jr. (2009), Kenny Perry (2011) and Doug Garwood (2016).
- D.A. Weibring’s five-stroke, come-from-behind win in 2003 was the best in tournament history.
- The last time a player won on PGA TOUR Champions with birdies on his last four holes was 2013 champion Russ Cochran.
- The average margin of victory is 2.41 and there has never been a playoff.
A Final Playoff Push
After the SAS Championship, the top-72 players will qualify for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. This week’s field includes 18 players who need to play their way into the Playoffs, which begins Oct. 19-21 at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Virginia. Michael Allen is currently No. 72 in the standings, but he is not in this week’s field and will finish the regular season with $131,843.
There are two ways for these 18 players to qualify for the Playoffs. First, they can earn enough money to finish the regular season in the top-72 on the money list. This scenario is most possible for Dan Forsman (74th), John Huston (75th), Sandy Lyle (80th), Steve Jones (81st), Mark Brooks (82nd) and Gibby Gilbert III (85th).