Champions Golf Tour
CHAMPIONS - Charles Schwab Cup Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, November 1st through Sunday, November 4th
SITE: Desert Mountain Club (Cochise Course), Scottsdale, Arizona
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jack Nicklaus (1986)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,026
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 397 Yds10 - Par 4 424 Yds
2 - Par 3 181 Yds11 - Par 3 189 Yds
3 - Par 4 475 Yds12 - Par 5 523 Yds
4 - Par 5 546 Yds13 - Par 3 138 Yds
5 - Par 4 448 Yds14 - Par 4 450 Yds
6 - Par 4 341 Yds15 - Par 5 548 Yds
7 - Par 3 215 Yds16 - Par 4 413 Yds
8 - Par 5 569 Yds17 - Par 3 225 Yds
9 - Par 4 433 Yds18 - Par 5 511 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,605 Yds36 3,421 Yds
 
Annual:  23rd
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Saturday -- 4:30-7 p.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 3:30-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Jay Don Blake
Runner-Up:  Mark Calcavecchia
Tournament Record:  266 (John Cook, 2009)
54-Hole Record:  197 (Ray Floyd, 1992; John Cook, 2009)
36-Hole Record:  130 (Jim Thorpe, 2003; John Cook, 2009)
18-Hole Record:  61 (Michael Allen, 2010 - TPC Harding Park)
Total Purse:  $2,500,000
Shares:  1st Place - $440,000; 2nd Place - $254,000; 3rd Place - $213,000
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Jay Don Blake276David Frost279
Mark Calcavecchia278Five players at280
Jay Haas278
Loren Roberts278
Michael Allen278
 
Past Charles Schwab Cup Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Jay Don Blake (276) -- M.Calcavecchia, J.Haas, L.Roberts, M.Allen
2010John Cook (267) -- Michael Allen
2009John Cook (266) -- Russ Cochran
2008Andy Bean (268) -- Gene Jones
2007Jim Thorpe (268) -- Fred Funk, Denis Watson
2006Jim Thorpe (271) -- Tom Kite
2005Tom Watson (272) -- Jay Haas
2004Mark McNulty (277) -- Tom Kite
2003Jim Thorpe (268) -- Tom Watson
2002Tom Watson (274) -- Gil Morgan
2001Bob Gilder (277) -- Doug Tewell
2000Tom Watson (270) -- John Jacobs
1999Gary McCord (276) -- Larry Nelson, Bruce Fleisher
1998Hale Irwin (274) -- Gil Morgan
1997Gil Morgan (272) -- Hale Irwin
1996Jay Sigel (279) -- Kermit Zarley
1995Jim Colbert (282) -- Ray Floyd
1994*Ray Floyd (273) -- Jim Albus
1993Simon Hobday (199) -- Ray Floyd, Larry Gilbert
1992Ray Floyd (197) -- George Archer, Dale Douglass
1991Mike Hill (202) -- Jim Colbert
1990*Mike Hill (201) -- Dale Douglass, Lee Trevino

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Previously called New York Life Champions (1990), Senior Tour
Championship (1991-92), Hyatt Senior Tour Champions (1993), Golf Magazine Senior Tour Championship (1994), Energizer Senior Tour Championship (1995-98), Ingersoll-Rand Senior Tour Championship (1999), IR Senior Tour Championship (2000), Senior Tour Championship at Gaillardia (2001-02).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player20042005200620072008200920102011
Jay Don Blake---------------------Won
Michael Allen------------------2ndT-2
Jay Haas---2ndT-6T-20T-16T-1016thT-2
Loren Roberts---T-5T-4T-134thT-6T-24T-2
Mark Calcavecchia------------------T-29T-2
David Frost------------------T-36th
Russ Cochran---------------2ndT-5T-7
Fred Couples------------------T-10T-7
Kenny Perry---------------------T-7
Jeff Sluman------------T-5T-315thT-12
Olin Browne------------------T-17T-12
Peter Senior------------------26th17th
Bernhard Langer------------T-18T-6T-3T-18
Tom Lehman------------------T-5T-18
John Cook------------13thWonWonT-20
Mark Wiebe------------T-21T-1628thT-20
Brad Bryant---T-13T-19T-103rdT-327thT-25
Corey Pavin------------------T-10T-26
Chien Soon Lu------------------T-17T-26
Fred Funk---------T-2T-25T-25T-5---
Dan Forsman---------------T-18T-20---
Larry Mize---------------T-10T-24---
Mark McNultyWon4th23rd4thT-5T-10------
Mike Goodes------------T-1621st------
Roger Chapman------------------------
Joe Daley------------------------
Bill Glasson------------------------
Gary Hallberg------------------------
Kirk Triplett------------------------
Willie Wood------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Bernhard Langer
Darkhorse - Peter Senior
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Fred Funk) - Finished tied for 17th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Mark Wiebe) - Finished tied for 13th
 
NOTES:
The final regular-season event of the 2012 schedule is upon us with key races yet to be decided. It's quite fitting that this tournament will produce not only the Player of the Year, but also the $1 million annuity for capturing the Charles Schwab Cup and the money title.

Bernhard Langer leads the money list over Michael Allen by $406,808. Allen would have to win this week and have Langer finish in 24th place or worse to win the money title. Langer leads Tom Lehman in the race for the Charles Schwab Cup by 211 points and Roger Chapman by 657 points. Only those three players can win the Cup with double points awarded this week. There are six first-timers in the field - Chapman, Joe Daley, Bill Glasson, Gary Hallberg, Kirk Triplett and Willie Wood.

The tournament is moving to its seventh different venue this year at the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. TPC Harding Park in San Francisco hosted in 2010-11 after seven years at Sonoma Golf Club in California. Hyatt Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico hosted the first four years. The Dunes Golf and Beach Club played host to this event six straight years prior to the 2000 move to the TPC Myrtle Beach. Gaillardia Golf & Country Club in Oklahoma staged the event in 2001-02.

Last year, Jay Don Blake shot rounds of 71-68-66-71 to win by two strokes over Mark Calcavecchia, Jay Haas, Loren Roberts and Allen. Blake finished at 8-under-par 276 for his second Champions Tour title of 2011. Lehman may have left a bigger mark, as he won the season-long race for the Charles Schwab Cup title and the money title.

In 2010, John Cook carded rounds of 64-69-67-67 to successfully defend his title. Cook finished at 17-under 267 and defeated third-round leader Allen by two strokes at TPC Harding Park. Langer captured the year-long Charles Schwab Cup title and the $1 million annuity.

Cook fired a 62 in the second round in 2009 to take the lead and never trailed again as he won by five strokes over Russ Cochran. Cook matched the record for lowest 54-hole score in a 72-hole event in Champions Tour history at 197 set by Jack Nicklaus at the 1990 Mazda Senior Tournament Players Championship. He completed the season's final tournament at 22-under-par 266. Cook also set the tournament's 72-hole scoring record. The previous record of 268 was set by Jim Thorpe in 2003, then matched by Thorpe in 2007 and Andy Bean in 2008. The other big winner in 2009 was Loren Roberts, who finished in a tie for sixth at minus-13. The finish helped Roberts secure the season-long Charles Schwab Cup. It was the second time in three years that Roberts won that title.

In 2008, Andy Bean fired a 6-under 66 in the final round and cruised to a record-setting win. Bean finished four spectacular rounds at 20-under-par 268 for a 9-shot win over Gene Jones, the largest margin of victory in tournament history and the largest on the Champions Tour in 2008. Bean was the only player in the field to fire four rounds in the 60s.

Thorpe birdied five of his last six holes in the final round of 2007, including his final four, to shoot a 6-under 66 and successfully defend his title. Thorpe ran away with it in the end. He finished at 20-under-par 268 and won by three strokes over Fred Funk and Denis Watson. Thorpe has three wins at this event, having previously won in 2003 and 2006.

In 2005, Tom Watson erased a 6-shot deficit in the final round to come from behind and win. He birdied the 72nd hole to fire an 8-under 64 and win the tournament by a single stroke at 16-under-par 272. The win not only gave Watson the tournament title, but it allowed him to win his second year-long Charles Schwab Cup title. He also won the Cup in 2003. Watson has won this event three times, having previously won in 2000 and 2002.

Hale Irwin has the most top-10 finishes in tournament history with nine, followed by Gil Morgan and Tom Kite with eight and Tom Watson with seven. Jim Colbert and Thorpe are the only players to go wire-to-wire in winning the season-ending event. Colbert led from start-to-finish at the 1995 tournament despite a final-round 74, and Thorpe turned the trick in 2003.

There have been two playoffs in tournament history. In the inaugural event in 1990, Mike Hill defeated Dale Douglass and Lee Trevino with a birdie on the first extra hole. The other came in 1994, when Raymond Floyd bested Jim Albus with a birdie on the fifth extra hole.

Only one player leading the money list heading into this event has captured the title -- Irwin (1998). Irwin appeared in 13 consecutive tournaments from 1995-2007 and returned in 2011. Brad Bryant, Jay Haas and Loren Roberts have the longest current streaks with eight.

Watson is the all-time money winner at this event with $1,979,500 in earnings. Thorpe, with his three wins and five top-10s, is second ($1,681,616).

Although this is the final regular-season event, the Champions Tour continues action November 6, as they compete against the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour at the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge in Nevada.

10/30 20:07:28 ET

As of October 30, 2012, at 08:07 PM ET