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June 28-July 1


Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship


THE CONSTELLATION SENIOR PLAYERS


CHAMPIONSHIP is the Champions Tour’s version of the PGA TOUR’s THE PLAYERS Championship.The tournament was first played in 1983 and is considered a major championship. Over the years, the tournament has been won


by some of the game’s finest players, including World Golf Hall of Fame members Arnold Palmer (2), Chi Chi Rodriguez, Gary Player, Billy Casper, Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd (2), and Hale Irwin. It has also been played on some of the country’s finest courses, including Canterbury Golf Club and Baltimore Country Club (Five Farms). Its longest run, however, was a 16-year stretch at TPC Michigan. In 2012 the tournament moves to Fox Chapel


Golf Club and also moves to a mid-summer date. Last year’s championship came down to a playoff between two of the Champions Tour’s most popular players, Fred Couples and John Cook, with Couples winning a three-hole playoff at Westchester Country Club outside New York City. Couples’ win put him in a very select elite


group, since he joins Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd as the only golfers to win both THE PLAYERS and the SENIOR PLAYERS. And the win earned Couples a free pass to THE PLAYERS 2012, which he has won three times. The news seemed to surprise Couples. “You might have thrown me for a loop with that one,” Couples confessed. “I’ll go. Yeah. That’ll


be very exciting. I did not know the winner got to go. That’s great. I get to play with the studs, or try to. So that will be fun.” The field had to


endure a two-hour rain delay on Sunday, which didn’t do much for Couples, who is plagued by back and hip problems. “I was swinging as hard as I could on every one of those last few holes,” Couples said. “I was grinding it out. But I didn’t feel horrible. I just was not loose.” Couples and Cook both parred the par-5 18th


hole, which was playing dead into strong winds, twice in the playoff. Cook dodged a bullet the second time around when Couples hit the green in two, but three-putted. At the 374-yard par-4 17th, Couples drove into the right rough but his approach from inside 100 yards wound up three feet from the hole, and after Cook two-putted for his par, Couples sank his putt for the victory, his first major title on the Champions Tour. “Did I think I’d win this quick? No...” Couples


said. “But this is a course that I can handle and I survived. It was a little edgy out there... But I hit enough good shots, I guess.” ■


Fred Couples won in 2011 despite strong winds and back problems.


Course Insight


Fox Chapel Golf Club


CHARLES SCHWAB CUP STANDINGS PLAYER


Tom Lehman Peter Senior Olin Browne John Cook


Mark Calcavecchia Nick Price


Russ Cochran Tom Watson Mark O’Meara Jeff Sluman


www.pgatour.com


EVENTS 15 16 17 17 16 16 12 9


15 18


POINTS 1,985 1,419 1,370 1,344 1,278 1,181 1,163 1,131 1,116 937


566 615 641 707 804 822 854 869


1,048


3 -


1 3 0 1 1 1 -


1


10 9 7 5 9 7 4 4 7 8


Fox Chapel Golf Club is located just outside of Pittsburgh. The course was designed and built by the highly regarded Seth Raynor, who graduated from Princeton with a degree in engineering. Early in his career he worked with C.B. Macdonald, one of the early giants of golf in America. Among the many outstanding courses to Raynor’s credit are Piping Rock Club, Sleepy Hollow, The Greenbrier Golf Club (The Old White TPC) and Mid-Ocean Golf Club in Bermuda. Many of these were collaborations with Macdonald. Fox Chapel opened for play in 1923. The course is tree- lined and features brilliant bunkering, as well as strategic use of water hazards. Carelessly played approach shots will often run off into bunkers—a Raynor signature.


POINTS BEHIND WINS TOP 10 -


“I GET TO PLAY WITH THE STUDS, OR TRY TO. SO THAT WILL BE FUN.” – Fred Couples


Tournament Record 261, Jack Nicklaus, 1990


Tournament Course Record: 63, Jim Colbert, 1995; Hubert Green, 2002; Tom Kite 2003 (all at TPC Michigan)


Fox Chapel Golf Club (Par 71/ 6,706 yards) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


GOLF CHANNEL


Ticket Information www.pgatour.com/


tournaments/s507 PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2012 139


© PGA TOUR/STAN BADZ


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