Power Rankings: Oasis Championship
February 04, 2019
By Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM
- February 04, 2019
- Calcavecchia won at The Old Course at Broken Sound in 2018. (Getty Images)
Vartan Kupelian is a PGATOUR.COM contributor. Each week, Kupelian will size up the field and provide his top 10 players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc.
The first full-field event of the 2019 PGA TOUR Champions season is full of star power and features two marquee rookies.
Mark Calcavecchia will defend his title at the Oasis Championship against a field which for the first time includes two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, who celebrated his 50th birthday on February 3 and will make his PGA TOUR Champions debut on the Old Course at Broken Sound.
Also making his PGA TOUR Champions debut is Gary Nicklaus, son of the legendary Jack Nicklaus.
Goosen, a South African, won the U.S. Open on two of the most challenging courses in the rotation – 2001 at Southern Hills in Tulsa and 2004 at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island.
Goosen, who has won 34 professional tournaments world-wide, will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in June during the week of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He will become the fourth South African in the World Golf Hall of Fame. The others are Gary Player, Bobby Locke and Ernie Els.
“The level of competition on the (PGA TOUR Champions) is incredible and creates great drama for fans around the world each week,” Goosen said. “I cannot wait to be a part of it."
Gary Nicklaus played 122 PGA TOUR events before regaining his amateur status in 2007. He’s been thinking about a return to professional competition with a more mature golf game.
Nicklaus was granted a sponsor exemption for the Oasis Championship, along with John Daly, Ken Duke and John Harris. Nicklaus knows what he’s up against.
“If I didn’t think I could compete at that level, I wouldn’t go out there,” Nicklaus said. “If I play well, I should be able to win a tournament. If I find out my expectations are wrong and I’m not that good, I won’t play there long.”