Champions Golf Tour
CHAMPIONS - Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, October 1st through Sunday, October 4th
SITE: Baltimore Country Club/Five Farms (East Course), Timonium, Maryland
COURSE ARCHITECT: A.W. Tillinghast (1923), Keith Foster (2006 - redesign)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 7,037
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 427 Yds10 - Par 4 389 Yds
2 - Par 3 157 Yds11 - Par 3 189 Yds
3 - Par 4 452 Yds12 - Par 5 608 Yds
4 - Par 5 583 Yds13 - Par 4 452 Yds
5 - Par 4 379 Yds14 - Par 4 451 Yds
6 - Par 4 362 Yds15 - Par 3 180 Yds
7 - Par 3 202 Yds16 - Par 4 384 Yds
8 - Par 4 435 Yds17 - Par 4 458 Yds
9 - Par 4 433 Yds18 - Par 4 496 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,430 Yds35 3,607 Yds
 
Annual:  27th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 1-3:30 p.m. (et),
  Friday/Saturday -- 1:30-3:30 a.m. (et) - replay,
  NBC - Saturday -- 1:30-3:30 p.m. (et),
  Sunday -- 4-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  D.A. Weibring
Runner-Up:  Fred Funk
Tournament Record:  261 (Jack Nicklaus, 1990)
54-Hole Record:  197 (Jack Nicklaus, 1990)
36-Hole Record:  131 (J.C. Snead, 1992)
18-Hole Record:  63 (Jim Colbert, 1995; Hubert Green, 2002; Tom Kite, 2003)
Course Record:  64 (Tom McKnight, 2007; Jeff Sluman, 2008)
Total Purse:  $2,700,000
Shares:  1st Place - $405,000; 2nd Place - $237,600; 3rd Place - $194,400
 
2008 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
D.A. Weibring271Jay Haas274
Fred Funk272Brad Bryant275
Ben Crenshaw273John Cook275
Nick Price273Bernhard Langer275
Jeff Sluman273Eduardo Romero275
 
Past Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008D.A. Weibring (271) -- Fred Funk
2007Loren Roberts (267) -- Tom Watson
2006Bobby Wadkins (274) -- Jim Thorpe
2005Peter Jacobsen (273) -- Hale Irwin
2004Mark James (275) -- Jose Maria Canizares
2003Craig Stadler (271) -- Tom Kite, Jim Thorpe, Tom Watson
2002Stewart Ginn (274) --- Jim Thorpe, Hubert Green, Mike McCullough
2001*Allen Doyle (273) -- Doug Tewell
2000Ray Floyd (273) -- Larry Nelson, Dana Quigley
1999Hale Irwin (267) -- Graham Marsh
1998Gil Morgan (267) -- Hale Irwin
1997Larry Gilbert (274) -- Isao Aoki, Bob Dickson, Jack Kiefer, Dave
Stockton
1996Ray Floyd (275) -- Hale Irwin
1995*J.C. Snead (272) -- Jack Nicklaus
1994Dave Stockton (271) -- Jim Albus
1993Jim Colbert (278) -- Ray Floyd
1992Dave Stockton (277) -- J.C. Snead, Lee Trevino
1991Jim Albus (279) -- Bob Charles, Dave Hill, Charles Coody
1990Jack Nicklaus (261) -- Lee Trevino
1989Orville Moody (271) -- Charles Coody
1988Billy Casper (278) -- Al Geiberger
1987Gary Player (280) -- Chi Chi Rodriguez, Bruce Crampton
1986#Chi Chi Rodriguez (206) -- Bruce Crampton
1985Arnold Palmer (274) -- Lee Elder, Gene Littler, Miller Barber,
Charles Owens
1984Arnold Palmer (276) -- Peter Thomson
1983Miller Barber (278) -- Gene Littler

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Formerly called Ford Senior Players Championship (1993-2006), Mazda
Presents The Senior Players Championship (1991-92), Mazda Senior Tournament Players Championship (1987-90), Senior Tournament Players Championship (1983-86).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player1999200020012002200320042005200620072008
D.A. Weibring---------------T-13T-5T-22T-5Won
Fred Funk---------------------T-11T-32nd
Jeff Sluman------------------------T-17T-3
Nick Price------------------------T-39T-3
Ben Crenshaw---------T-53T-61T-56T-66---T-67T-3
Jay Haas------------------T-18T-3T-176th
Eduardo Romero------------------------T-7T-7
Bernhard Langer------------------------T-13T-7
Brad Bryant------------------T-16T-7T-46T-7
John Cook---------------------------T-7
Andy Bean---------------T-18T-27T-22T-13T-11
Tom JenkinsT-29T-7T-31T-17T-5T-22T-49T-22T-46T-11
Gil MorganT-7T-1013thT-40T-5T-9T-5T-3T-25T-13
Lonnie Nielsen---------------T-46T-27T-17T-39T-13
Mike Goodes---------------------------T-16
Bobby Wadkins---------T-12T-40T-34T-37WonT-25T-18
Loren Roberts---------------------T-3WonT-21
Scott Simpson---------------------T-17T-3T-21
Tom Kite---6thT-10T-10T-2T-7T-39T-9T-25T-21
Bob Gilder------T-63T-40T-30T-39T-39T-2261stT-21
Hale IrwinWonT-43rdT-6T-12T-92nd---T-7T-27
Don Pooley---------T-22T-40T-13T-18T-11T-23T-27
Denis Watson------------------------T-31T-27
Bruce FleisherT-7T-18T-4T-12T-123rdT-27T-41T-72T-27
Walter HallT-33T-49T-41T-30T-48T-16T-49T-67T-31T-32
Mark O'Meara------------------------T-31T-32
Mark James---------------WonT-49T-11T-46T-32
Larry Nelson4thT-2T-31T-829thT-51T-5T-50wdT-39
Des Smyth------------T-48T-51T-72T-3T-17T-41
Mark Wiebe------------------------T-7T-43
Tom Purtzer---------T-17T-5T-54T-37T-7T-23T-43
Wayne Levi---------T-22T-40T-28T-30T-35T-67T-43
Keith Fergus---------------T-46T-39T-38T-7T-47
Jim ThorpeT-22T-10T-26T-2T-2T-7T-452ndT-46T-47
Morris Hatalsky---------T-33T-35T-16T-11T-11T-54T-47
Mark McNulty---------------T-9T-11T-41T-31T-52
Allen DoyleT-19T-12WonT-12T-15T-9T-5T-45T-46T-59
Mike McCulloughT-64T-4T-6T-2T-5T-34T-30T-67T-54T-59
Fuzzy Zoeller---------T-10T-23T-58T-59T-9T-7T-65
R.W. Eaks------------T-40---T-68T-56T-46T-65
Bruce Lietzke---------T-12T-334thT-11T-35T-5971st
Craig Stadler------------WonT-18T-30T-32T-37wd
Tom Watson---T-18T-8---T-2---T-3T-172nd---
David Frost------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Nick Price
Darkhorse - Andy Bean
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Loren Roberts) - Finished tied for 9th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Mark O'Meara) - Finished tied for 29th
 
NOTES:
Although most players focus on the U.S. Senior Open, the Senior PGA Championship and the Senior British Open as the top majors on the Champions Tour, the Senior Players Championship certainly takes no back seat to that trio. Started in 1983, the Senior Players is the fourth-oldest event on the Champions Tour schedule. This is the final major of 2009, with Michael Allen capturing the Senior PGA Championship in May, Loren Roberts winning the Senior British Open in July, Fred Funk winning the U.S. Senior Open in August and Mike Reid capturing the JELD-WEN Tradition in August. The purse increased $100,000 from last year to $2.7 million, with the winner receiving $405,000.

Last year, D.A. Weibring claimed his first career major at the age of 55 with a two-under 68 in the final round that gave him a one-shot victory at this event. Weibring held off Funk for his fifth Champions Tour victory overall. It all came down to a pair of clutch putts for Weibring -- a nine-footer for par at the 17th that he thought he'd missed until it went in, and a 48-footer he lagged to inches at the 18th to save another par. He finished at nine-under 271, one shot ahead of Funk.

Weibring made a seven-foot birdie putt at the 11th hole and rolled in a five- footer for birdie at the 12th in the final round to take a two-shot lead at 10-under par. His advantage was trimmed to just a stroke when he missed a three-footer for par at the 13th, but Weibring was able to hang on down the stretch despite closing with five consecutive pars. Weibring's 72-hole score of nine-under-par 271 was the highest score in relation to par to win this event since Jim Albus won in 1991 with a score of nine-under-par 279.

In 2008, Roberts rolled off four straight birdies on the front nine in the final round to pull away and win this event by six strokes over Tom Watson. Roberts, who lost a five-shot lead in the final round at this event in 2006, carded rounds of 67-66-67-67 to finish the tournament at 13-under-par 267.

Roberts won a major title on the Champions Tour for the third year in a row with his win here in 2008. He joined Hale Irwin, Miller Barber, Raymond Floyd and Gary Player in accomplishing this feat. Irwin and Barber won a major championship five consecutive years.

In 2005, Peter Jacobsen fired a six-under 66 in the final round to win this event. He finished at 15-under-par 273. Irwin finished one stroke back at 14- under-par 274. It was Jacobsen's second major championship, as he won the U.S. Senior Open in 2004. Jacobsen's first two victories on the Champions Tour are both major championships. He joined Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer as the only three players to accomplish this feat.

Raymond Floyd completed the largest come-from-behind win in the history of the event when he came from six strokes back to edge both Larry Nelson and Dana Quigley in 2000. In the history of the tournament, only six players in 26 events have opened with a round in the 70s and gone on to win, including Jacobsen in 2005 (70). Palmer, who fired an even-par 72 in 1984, is the only player to not shoot under par in the opening round and still win the tournament. Palmer opened with an even-par 72, then followed with three consecutive sub-70 rounds to defeat Peter Thomson by three strokes.

There have been just two playoffs in the previous 26 Senior Players Championships. In 2001, Allen Doyle defeated Doug Tewell and in 1995 J.C. Snead defeated Nicklaus with a birdie on the first extra hole.

The Senior Players Championship traditionally has been a favorite among "rookies" on the Champions Tour. Chi Chi Rodriguez (1986), Nicklaus (1990), Jim Albus (1991), Dave Stockton (1992), Craig Stadler (2003) and Jacobsen (2005) all won in their first appearances in the championship.

From 1990 through last year's event, the first-round leader or co-leader of this event has gone on to win the event just five times -- and only three times has that happened since 1991 (Larry Gilbert in 1997; Doyle in 2002; Roberts in 2007). Second-round leaders or co-leaders have claimed seven of the last 19 Senior Players Championships. Leaders or co-leaders after 54 holes have won this event 11 of 19 times since 1990. Palmer is the only player in tournament history to go wire-to-wire for his victory. Palmer did so in 1985, when he was an 11-stroke victor over four players at the Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland, Ohio. Roberts led wire-to-wire in 2007, but shared the first- round lead with four other players.

This is the third consecutive year that the tournament will be held at Baltimore Country Club. The TPC of Michigan hosted this tournament from 1991 to 2006. The tournament was held at Canterbury Country Club in Cleveland the first four years, followed by the TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida and Dearborn Country Club in Michigan.

Floyd, Stockton and Palmer are the only players to win this event twice, while Palmer is the only player to win this event two straight years (1984-85).

The Champions Tour heads to Texas in two weeks for the Administaff Small Business Classic, where Bernhard Langer has captured the event the last two years.

09/29 15:05:26 ET

As of September 29, 2009, at 03:05 PM ET