CHAMPIONS TOUR UPDATE – Week of June 10
David Frost edged Fred Couples by one stroke for his first senior major championship at the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek last week. Frost’s previous-best finish in a major on the Champions Tour was a three-way playoff loss to Tom Lehman at the 2010 Senior PGA Championship, a playoff which also included Couples.
David Frost’s Regions Tradition victory was his second Champions Tour title in last seven starts (Toshiba Classic) and he joins Bernhard Langer as the second player with multiple wins this year.
Bernhard Langer’s 9-under-par, final-round 63 included 10 birdies and was not only the best round posted at the Regions Tradition since the event relocated to Shoal Creek in 2011, but also matched Gary Player’s course record set in the second round of the 1984 PGA Championship.
Peter Senior finished T12 at the Regions Tradition and his check for $44,733 moved him ahead of Joey Sindelar with the most career money won on the Champions Tour without a win. Senior has earned $3,784,986 while Sindelar is second with $3,777,748 in career money without a title.
World Golf Hall of Fame Member Jack Nicklaus has been named the 2013 Ambassador of Golf by Northern Ohio Golf Charities. The Ambassador of Golf Award is presented annually to a person who has fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course. New this year, Nicklaus will be honored on the first tee at Firestone Country Club on Wednesday afternoon during the PGA TOUR’s Bridgestone Invitational.
Champions Tour professional Jim Gallagher had reason to celebrate at last week’s Regions Tradition even though he finished T44. His 16-year-old daughter, Kathleen, won the Mississippi State Amateur on Thursday of tournament week.
Paul Wesselingh retained his PGA Seniors Championship title on the European Senior Tour last week after a 9-under 64 in the final round helped him win by four strokes with a 20-under 292 total.
Jay Don Blake is the lone Champions Tour representative competing in this week’s U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, having qualified as medalist at Old Warson Golf Club in St. Louis last week. 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 next month.
The USGA announced last week that 2,746 golfers have entered to play in the 2013 U.S. Senior Open Championship, scheduled for July 11-14 at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club. Twelve past champions are among the 78 players who are currently fully exempt into the field for the championship.
Jeff Brehaut and John Riegger will be making their Champions Tour debuts at the upcoming Encompass Championship. The pair, both 50 on June 13th, finished in the top five at last year’s Champions Tour Qualifying School to earn exempt status. They were not eligible to compete until turning 50 years of age.
The Pick ‘Em Challenge is back. Fans can visit www.theultimateclubhouse.com and select ten different golfers over ten tournaments, and compete to win the ultimate Champions Tour fan experience during the 2013 Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif.
Former Travelers Championship winner Brad Faxon received a sponsor’s exemption into that tournament the week following this week’s U.S. Open. Now a Champions Tour professional, Faxon recorded his last win on the PGA TOUR in Cromwell in 2005 at the then-Buick Championship. He will be making his 29th appearance at TPC River Highlands.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
David Frost earned 660 Charles Schwab Cup points for his Regions Tradition win and took over the lead from Bernhard Langer in the season-long standings. Frost previously led the standings for one week following his Toshiba Classic victory in March. Frost now has 1,336 total points and leads Langer by 298 points. John Cook is third.
23 – The number of birdies made by winner David Frost in this year’s Regions Tradition. Last year, Brad Bryant had 23 total birdies and finished T7 in the Regions Tradition.
ON THIS DATE
6/10/77 – Al Geiberger becomes the first player to break 60 in a PGA TOUR event when he shoots 59 in the second round of the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic.
6/16/06 – Jay Haas sets a new PGA TOUR record for career cuts made when he makes his 591st career cut at the U.S. Open. He would eventually finish T37 at Winged Foot. Tom Kite held the previous mark at 590.
DID YOU KNOW?
Russ Cochran’s win at the recent Principal Charity Classic was the 100th victory by a player aged 54 since the Champions Tour began in 1980.
QUOTES TO NOTE
“I remember in a practice round one of our guys dropped his Rolex on the 18th hole and it took six guys about 10 minutes to find it.” – Steve Elkington recalls how brutal the rough was at the 1990 PGA Championship at Shoal Creek, which hosted last week’s Regions Tradition.
“If I can play as well as the Tide has the last five years, I'm sure I'll be talking to you on Sunday.” – Jeff Sluman’s final comment to Birmingham reporters following his first-round 65 to take the lead at last week’s Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek in Alabama.
TWEET OF THE WEEK