60-year-old Jay Haas (pictured by Getty Images) became the 10th oldest winner in Champions Tour history when he claimed a two-stroke win over rookie Joe Durant, and SAS Championship winner Kirk Triplett, at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn. Haas, who shot 17-under 196, also won this event in 2005 and 2009. Durant was one of five rookies to finish in the top 10 and he moved into the top 30 on the money list with one event remaining before the season finale. Bernhard Langer did not play the event but maintained his 771-point lead in the Charles Schwab Cup as his nearest challenger, Colin Montgomerie (T34) failed to earn points.
Champions Tour professionals Mark O’Meara and David Graham will be joined by Laura Davies and A.W. Tillinghast as inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame next year. The Induction Ceremony will take place in St Andrews during the 2015 Open Championship.
Tournament host and World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman announced the 24-player field for the Franklin Templeton Shootout, scheduled for December 8-13, and it includes two Champions Tour professionals – Kenny Perry and Scott Verplank.
It was announced last week that Champions Tour President Mike Stevens is leaving the PGA TOUR effective Jan. 1, 2015. It was also announced that Greg McLaughlin, currently Senior Vice President of PGA TOUR Championship Management, is transitioning into the role.
At this week’s AT&T Championship at TPC San Antonio Kenny Perry will attempt to successfully defend a title for the fifth time on the Champions Tour, something he has not yet achieved. Perry’s best result while attempting to defend was T4 at this year’s Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS. On the PGA TOUR, Perry’s best finish was T7 (twice) in defense of his 14 career victories (1996 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, 2004 U.S. Bank Championship).
Bernhard Langer was defeated in playoffs each of the last two years at the AT&T Championship – to Kenny Perry in 2013 and David Frost in 2012. Langer is seeking his sixth title of the season on the Champions Tour. Langer also has earnings of $2,842,089 this year and is just $186,215 short of Hale Irwin’s all-time record total (2002). The last Champions Tour player to win six times in a season was Larry Nelson in 2000.
Bernhard Langer (67-69-67) and Colin Montgomerie (68-68-69), the only two players with a chance to claim the Charles Schwab Cup, both scored three sub-70 rounds at TPC San Antonio last year. The only other played in the field to score three rounds in the 60s was Fred Funk (69-69-67), currently 19th on the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
As the last full-field event of the season, this is the final opportunity for players currently outside the top 30 on the money list to play their way into the top 30 and earn a berth at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Scottsdale. In addition, a spot among the top-50 on the 2014 money list will also provide conditional status into tournaments in 2015 for those players not otherwise eligible.
During the last four years, no player has been bumped out of the top-30 on the money list following the AT&T Championship. The last time it happened was 2009 when Phil Blackmar made a huge jump after winning the tournament, moving from 57th to the 30th and final spot.
The AT&T Championship holds the distinction of being the tournament that has been played the longest in one metropolitan area on the Champions Tour. This year’s stop in San Antonio will be the 30th consecutive in the Alamo City.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
Bernhard Langer leads the Charles Schwab Cup race by 771 points over Colin Montgomerie. Should he finish with an 833-point lead over Montgomerie at the conclusion of the AT&T Championship, he will clinch the Schwab Cup before the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Only Hale Irwin (2002) has been able to clinch the Cup before the season-ending event was played.
For Bernhard Langer to clinch the Schwab Cup, it is estimated that the following will need to occur at the AT&T Championship;
Langer finishes solo 2nd & Montgomerie finishes no worse than solo 4th
Langer finishes solo 3rd & Montgomerie finishes no worse than solo 6th
Langer finishes solo 4th & Montgomerie finishes no worse than a two-way tie for 9th
Langer finishes 5th & Montgomerie finishes worse than a 10-way tie for 10th
Langer finishes solo 8th, a three-way tie for 7th or a five-way tie for 8th & Montgomerie earns zero points
10 – There were 18 different winners last year on the Champions Tour and 10 of those 2013 champions are still searching for a victory in 2014. Among that group are five multiple winners from a season ago – Russ Cochran, Rocco Mediate, David Frost, Mark Wiebe and Esteban Toledo.
ON THIS DATE
10/20/02 – Dana Quigley celebrates his 200th consecutive start by winning the SBC Championship in San Antonio.
10/22/89 – Colin Montgomerie closes with a 9-under-par 63 and goes on to an 11-stroke victory at the Portuguese Open, the first of his 31 titles on the European Tour.
10/22/00 – Hale Irwin ties Lee Trevino as the all-time Champions Tour victory leader with 29 wins when he wins the EMC Kaanapali Classic.
DID YOU KNOW?
There have been five events this season where at least one open qualifier has finished in the top 10.
Tournament Player(s) & Result
3M Championship Marco Dawson (T3)
Dick’s Sporting Goods Open Dick Mast (T7)
Quebec Championship Jay Delsing (T10), P.H. Horgan III (T10)
Nature Valley First Tee Open Skip Kendall (T3), Grant Waite (T10)
SAS Championship Guy Boros (T10)
QUOTES TO NOTE
“I have been very, very consistent. But at the same time I kept kind of hitting my head on the ceiling and I couldn’t break through.” – Jay Haas assesses his season following his first win of the year at last week’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn.
“I’ve been blown away by how much fun it is. I’ve been surprised how much camaraderie there is between players. Everybody pulls for each other. Everyone’s having a great time. I love it.” – Billy Andrade sums up his first season on the Champions Tour.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Chip Beck @ChipBeck59 Showing off our 59 socks at Rock Barn 59 Breakfast with @PaulGoydosPGA@@DMarr3 and Kevin Sutherland pic.twitter.com/aC95D2u208
Source: PGA Tour