Champions Golf Tour
CHAMPIONS - Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Friday, September 18th through Sunday, September 20th
SITE: Rock Barn Golf Club and Spa (Jones Course), Conover, North Carolina
COURSE ARCHITECT: Robert Trent Jones Jr (2002)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,090
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 436 Yds10 - Par 4 431 Yds
2 - Par 4 476 Yds11 - Par 4 451 Yds
3 - Par 3 187 Yds12 - Par 4 375 Yds
4 - Par 5 568 Yds13 - Par 4 433 Yds
5 - Par 4 415 Yds14 - Par 5 573 Yds
6 - Par 4 451 Yds15 - Par 3 150 Yds
7 - Par 5 507 Yds16 - Par 4 389 Yds
8 - Par 4 335 Yds17 - Par 3 190 Yds
9 - Par 3 197 Yds18 - Par 5 526 Yds
36 3,572 Yds36 3,518 Yds
Annual:  7th
Television:  Golf Channel - Friday/Sunday -- 3:30-6 p.m. (et),
  Saturday -- 12-2 a.m. (et) - replay,
  Saturday/Sunday -- 9:30-11:30 p.m. (et) - replay
Defending Champion:  R.W. Eaks
Runner-Up:  Tom Jenkins, Tom Kite
Tournament Record:  199 (R.W. Eaks, 2007)
36-Hole Record:  129 (R.W. Eaks, Tom Jenkins, 2008)
Course Record:  61 (R.W. Eaks, 2008)
Total Purse:  $1,700,000
Shares:  1st Place - $255,000; 2nd Place - $149,600; 3rd Place - $122,400
2008 Finish
R.W. Eaks200Mark McNulty205
Tom Jenkins204Bob Gilder206
Tom Kite204Gil Morgan206
Tom McKnight205Bruce Vaughan206
Mark Wiebe205Three players at207
Past Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008R.W. Eaks (200) -- Tom Jenkins, Tom Kite
2007R.W. Eaks (199) -- Jay Haas, Rod Spittle
2006*Andy Bean (201) -- R.W. Eaks
2005Jay Haas (200) -- Dana Quigley
2004Doug Tewell (202) -- Bruce Fleisher
2003Craig Stadler (201) -- Larry Nelson

* - Won in Playoff

Top Contenders in the Field
R.W. Eaks---T-33T-452ndWonWon
Tom Jenkins4thT-14T-59T-39T-31T-2
Tom KiteT-7------T-13T-48T-2
Mark McNulty------T-14T-26T-44T-4
Mark Wiebe---------------T-4
Gil Morgan6thT-10T-11T-22T-5T-7
Bob GilderT-7---T-26T-13T-31T-7
Jay Haas------WonT-10T-2T-10
Fred Funk------------T-25T-10
Gene Jones---------------T-10
Bruce FleisherT-162ndT-18T-55T-15T-13
Lonnie Nielsen---T-10T-11T-32T-48T-15
Brad Bryant------T-11T-10T-15T-18
Larry Nelson2ndT-7T-559thT-57T-18
Keith Fergus---T-17T-21T-32T-7T-23
Nick Price------------T-7T-25
D.A. WeibringT-16T-17------T-15T-25
Andy BeanT-55T-25T-45WonT-31T-25
Jeff Sluman------------T-15T-34
Chip Beck---------3rdT-48T-41
Allen DoyleT-16T-10---T-5T-25T-48
Tom PurtzerT-38------T-5T-25T-53
Jim Thorpe3rdT-17T-4T-55T-59T-53
Denis Watson---------T-67T-7T-60
Bobby WadkinsT-38T-5T-30wdT-48T-64
Craig StadlerWonT-25T-4T-13T-21---
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Mark McNulty
Darkhorse - David Eger
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jeff Sluman) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Tom Lehman) - Finished tied for 3rd
Only six events remain on the Champions Tour schedule, as players vie for coveted off-season awards, including Player of the Year honors. Heading the list for the POY award is Bernhard Langer, who leads the money list by only $181,500 over Loren Roberts. Langer has captured four titles this year. Roberts has won three times, including the Senior British Open Championship. Fred Funk leads Roberts by 57 points and Langer by 375 in the race for the Charles Schwab Cup. Funk is the only one of the three who is playing this week.

Last year, R.W. Eaks fired a course-record 61 in the first round and went on to successfully defend his title at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. He finished at 16-under 200 and won the title by four shots over Tom Kite and Tom Jenkins.

In 2007, Eaks fired rounds of 63-66-70 to hold off a charge by Jay Haas to win this event. Eaks went wire-to-wire for the win, squeezing three rounds of golf into just two days after the first round was rained out on Friday. He finished at 17-under 199 for a two-shot win over Haas.

In 2006, Andy Bean birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Eaks and earn his first Champions Tour. Bean, who went wire-to-wire for the victory, withstood a late charge from Eaks, who birdied six of his last seven holes in regulation and forced Bean to birdie the last to force the sudden-death playoff. The victory was Bean's first professional win since the 1987 Kapalua International on the PGA Tour.

In 2005, Haas picked up his maiden Champions Tour title with a two-stroke victory at this event. Haas fired a seven-under 65 in the final round to end the tournament at 16-under-par 200, two strokes better than second-round leader Dana Quigley, who shot a 70 in his final round. It was Haas' first victory since the 1993 H.E.B. Texas Open on the PGA Tour. Haas tied the tournament record for most birdies at this event with 20. The mark was established by Jim Thorpe and Tom Kite in 2003. Gil Morgan recorded the first hole-in-one in tournament history in 2005 when he aced the 201-yard ninth hole with a four-iron in the final round.

The Champions Tour remains in North Carolina next week for the SAS Championship, where Eduardo Romero captured last year's event.

09/15 17:01:39 ET

As of September 15, 2009, at 05:01 PM ET