Champions Golf Tour
CHAMPIONS - Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Friday, January 22nd through Sunday, January 24th
SITE: Hualalai Golf Club, Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jack Nicklaus (1995)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,107
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 397 Yds10 - Par 5 566 Yds
2 - Par 4 434 Yds11 - Par 4 416 Yds
3 - Par 4 422 Yds12 - Par 3 167 Yds
4 - Par 5 526 Yds13 - Par 4 387 Yds
5 - Par 3 205 Yds14 - Par 5 519 Yds
6 - Par 4 392 Yds15 - Par 4 428 Yds
7 - Par 5 551 Yds16 - Par 4 440 Yds
8 - Par 3 222 Yds17 - Par 3 164 Yds
9 - Par 4 461 Yds18 - Par 4 410 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,610 Yds36 3,497 Yds
 
Annual:  27th
Television:  Golf Channel - Friday -- 6:30-9 p.m. (et),
  Saturday -- 12:30-3 a.m. (et) - replay,
  Saturday/Sunday -- 7:30-10 p.m. (et),
  Sunday-Monday -- 1:30-4 a.m. (et) - replay
Defending Champion:  Bernhard Langer
Runner-Up:  Andy Bean
72-Hole Tournament Record:  279 (Bruce Crampton, 1992; Jack Nicklaus, 1994)
54-Hole Tournament Record:  191 (Loren Roberts, 2006)
36-Hole Record:  127 (Don Pooley, 2006)
Course Record:  61 (Loren Roberts, 2006)
Total Purse:  $1,800,000
Shares:  1st Place - $315,000; 2nd Place - $196,000; 3rd Place - $132,000
 
2009 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Bernhard Langer198John Cook203
Andy Bean199Gil Morgan203
Jay Haas201Loren Roberts204
Jeff Sluman202Brad Bryant204
Mark McNulty202Mark James205
 
Past Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Bernhard Langer (198) -- Andy Bean
2008Fred Funk (195) -- Allen Doyle
2007Hale Irwin (193) -- Tom Kite, Jim Thorpe
2006Loren Roberts (191) -- Don Pooley
2005*Dana Quigley (198) -- Tom Watson
2004Fuzzy Zoeller (196) -- Dana Quigley
2003Dana Quigley (198) -- Larry Nelson
2002Tom Kite (199) -- John Jacobs
2001Larry Nelson (197) -- Jim Thorpe
2000George Archer (207) -- Lee Trevino, Graham Marsh, Hale Irwin,
Dana Quigley
1999John Jacobs (203) -- Jim Colbert, Ray Floyd
1998Gil Morgan (195) -- Gibby Gilbert, Hale Irwin
1997Hale Irwin (209) -- Gil Morgan
1996John Bland (207) -- Jim Colbert
1995*Jim Colbert (209) -- Jim Albus
1994Jack Nicklaus (279) -- Bob Murphy
1993Al Geiberger (280) -- Jim Dent
1992Al Geiberger (280) -- Bruce Crampton, Chi Chi Rodriguez
1991Bruce Crampton (279) -- Frank Beard
1990George Archer (283) -- Bruce Crampton, Bobby Nichols
1989Miller Barber (280) -- Dale Douglass
1988#Dave Hill (211) -- Miller Barber, Al Geiberger
1987*Don January (287) -- Butch Baird
1986Miller Barber (282) -- Arnold Palmer
1985Peter Thomson (284) -- Don January, Dan Sikes
1984Orville Moody (288) -- Dan Sikes

# - Rain Shortened

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Previously called MasterCard Championship at Hualalai (2006-08),
MasterCard Championship (1997-2005), Senior Tournament of Champions (1995-96), Mercedes Championships (1994), Infiniti Senior Tournament of Champions (1991-93), MONY Senior Tournament of Champions (1984-90).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Bernhard Langer------------------------T-3Won
Andy Bean---------------------T-19---2nd
Jay Haas------------------T-3T-5T-33rd
Mark McNulty---------------T-5T-21T-15T-30T-4
Jeff Sluman---------------------------T-4
John Cook------------------------6thT-6
Loren Roberts------------------Won4th7thT-8
Brad Bryant---------------------T-5T-10T-8
Mark Wiebe------------------------T-13T-11
Hale IrwinT-2T-12T-24T-16T-19T-3T-21WonT-30T-11
Ben Crenshaw------------------25thT-1317th14th
Tom Watson---T-8T-12T-433rd2ndT-5T-9T-8T-15
D.A. Weibring------------32ndT-19T-3T-7T-10T-15
Allen DoyleT-137thT-5T-7T-7T-20T-8T-92ndT-24
R.W. Eaks------------------------T-23T-24
Denis Watson------------------------T-1832nd
Keith Fergus------------------------T-2333rd
Mike Reid------------------33rdT-19T-18---
Michael Allen------------------------------
Phil Blackmar------------------------------
Fred Couples------------------------------
Dan Forsman------------------------------
Mike Goodes------------------------------
Tom Lehman------------------------------
Mark O'Meara------------------------------
Corey Pavin------------------------------
Nick Price------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Tom Lehman
Darkhorse - Phil Blackmar
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Fred Couples/Nick Price) - Finished 3rd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Gary Player/Loren Roberts) - Finished 4th
 
NOTES:
The 2010 Champions Tour continues this week with the first stroke-play event of the season in the Aloha State, the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. The field is comprised of players who have won a Champions Tour major championship within the last five seasons or a Champions Tour co- sponsored and approved tournament in the last two years, plus sponsor exemptions. Ten players will make their first trips to Hualalai for this event: Michael Allen, Phil Blackmar, Fred Couples, Dan Forsman, Mike Goodes, Tom Lehman, Mark O'Meara, Corey Pavin, Tom Pernice, Jr. and Nick Price.

Couples and Pavin will both play in their first Champions Tour stroke-play event this week. Couples partnered with Price last week in the Wendy's Senior Skins Game. Couples has won 15 PGA Tour events, including the 1992 Masters. He captained the victorious United States team at the 2009 Presidents Cup. Pavin has also won 15 PGA Tour events, including the 1995 U.S. Open. He will captain the United States team at the 2010 Ryder Cup.

Last year, Bernhard Langer carded rounds of 64-66-68 to hold off Andy Bean for a one-stroke win at this event. Langer trailed by one entering the final round, but his 68 gave him the win at 18-under-par 198. Langer went on to win three more times in 2009 and captured the money title for the second consecutive year.

In 2007, Hale Irwin fired rounds of 66-62-65 to cruise to a five-shot victory over Jim Thorpe and Tom Kite at this event. He finished at 23-under-par 193 for his 45th victory on the Champions Tour. Irwin became the oldest winner of this event at 61 years, 7 months and 18 days. George Archer was the previous oldest winner when he won in 2000 at 60 years, 3 months and 23 days. Archer is also the youngest winner of this event when he won in 1990 at 50 years, 3 months and 6 days. Irwin's win here in 2007 was his last on the Champions Tour.

Irwin, the winner in 1997 and 2007 and a runner-up in 1998 and 2000, is making his 15th straight appearance in this tournament, the longest current streak among Champions Tour players.

In 2006, Loren Roberts fired a course-record, 11-under-par 61 in the final round to win. It was the first of four victories for Roberts in 2006 on the Champions Tour. Roberts' 25-under-par 191 total tied the lowest 54-hole score in Champions Tour history and the 25-under is the best score in relation to par in the history of the elder circuit. Bernhard Langer tied Roberts' 25-under mark in 2007 at the Administaff Small Business Classic.

When Tom Kite opened with a 63 in 2002 and cruised to a six-shot win over John Jacobs, he hit 85 percent of his greens in regulation to become the third wire-to-wire winner of this event (Peter Thomson and Jacobs). In earning his win, Kite also joined Don January, Al Geiberger and Jack Nicklaus as winners of the season-opening event on both the PGA and Champions Tour.

Dana Quigley is the all-time money leader at this event with $1,079,446 in 11 starts. He also owns six top-10 finishes in the tournament. Quigley has 23 straight sub-par rounds in the tournament and has never had a round over par in 33 rounds at Hualalai (two were even-par). Quigley, Irwin, George Archer, Miller Barber and Geiberger are the only two-time winners of this event, while Geiberger is the only player in tournament history to win this event two straight years (1992-93).

There have been just three playoffs in tournament history. The first was in 1987, when January bested Butch Baird with a birdie on the fourth extra hole. The second came in 1995 when Jim Colbert birdied the third extra hole to defeat Jim Albus. The last playoff was in 2005, when Quigley defeated Tom Watson on the third extra hole.

Hualalai Golf Club, which will be hosting the tournament for the 14th straight year, was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The East course at Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort in Puerto Rico had been the site for this event for two years, while La Costa Country Club in California hosted this tournament the first 11 years.

Only once in this event has the winner not finished in the top 31 on the money list at the end of the season (1994, Nicklaus - 34th). This is the first of 25 official events in the season-long competition for the Charles Schwab Cup. Roberts won the Cup in 2007 and 2009; Jay Haas won the Cup in 2006 and 2008; Tom Watson won the Cup in 2003 and 2005, Irwin won the Cup in 2002 and 2004 and Allen Doyle won the inaugural competition in 2001.

In the previous 26 tournaments, the player who has led or been tied for the lead after 36 holes has won this event 16 times. However, in five of the last six years, Fuzzy Zoeller (2004), Quigley (2005), Roberts (2006), Funk (2008) and Langer (2009) all came from behind in the final round to win.

In the last eight years, no winner has had a round of 70 or higher, and since the event moved to Hawaii in 1997 only one winner -- Irwin in 1997 -- has had a round over par (opening-round 73).

The Champions Tour moves to Florida in three weeks for The ACE Group Classic in Naples, where Roberts captured the 2009 event.

01/19 14:10:15 ET

As of January 19, 2010, at 02:10 PM ET