Champions Golf Tour
CHAMPIONS - The Cap Cana Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Friday, March 26th through Sunday, March 28th
SITE: Punta Espada Golf Club (Nicklaus Course), Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jack Nicklaus (2006)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,260
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 416 Yds10 - Par 4 432 Yds
2 - Par 5 598 Yds11 - Par 4 476 Yds
3 - Par 4 403 Yds12 - Par 5 540 Yds
4 - Par 3 190 Yds13 - Par 3 223 Yds
5 - Par 4 465 Yds14 - Par 4 434 Yds
6 - Par 5 613 Yds15 - Par 5 562 Yds
7 - Par 3 170 Yds16 - Par 3 204 Yds
8 - Par 4 336 Yds17 - Par 4 358 Yds
9 - Par 4 402 Yds18 - Par 4 438 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,593 Yds36 3,667 Yds
 
Annual:  3rd
Television:  Golf Channel - Friday -- 12:30-2:30 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday -- 12-2 a.m. (et) - replay,
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 1-4 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 9:30-11:30 p.m. (et) - replay
Defending Champion:  Keith Fergus
Runner-Up:  Andy Bean, Mark O'Meara
Tournament Record:  202 (Mark Wiebe, 2008)
36-Hole Record:  135 (Mark Wiebe, 2008)
Course Record:  64 (Bernhard Langer, 2009)
Total Purse:  $1,600,000
Shares:  1st Place - $240,000; 2nd Place - $140,800; 3rd Place - $115,200
 
2009 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Keith Fergus203Bernhard Langer207
Andy Bean204Mark McNulty207
Mark O'Meara204R.W. Eaks208
Joey Sindelar205John Cook209
Gene Jones206Gil Morgan209
 
Past Cap Cana Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Keith Fergus (203) -- Andy Bean, Mark O'Meara
2008Mark Wiebe (202) -- Vicente Fernandez

Top Contenders in the Field
Player20082009
Keith FergusT-35Won
Andy Bean---T-2
Mark O'Meara---T-2
Joey SindelarT-614th
Bernhard LangerT-15T-6
John CookT-25T-9
Jay HaasT-3T-11
Nick PriceT-5T-11
Eduardo RomeroT-9T-11
Brady BryantT-12T-11
Craig StadlerT-3T-15
Ronnie Black---T-20
Mark WiebeWonT-36
Hale IrwinT-30T-43
Tom KiteT-56T-48
Vicente Fernandez2ndT-59
Mike GoodesT-35T-59
Loren Roberts---T-70
Tommy Armour III------
Fred Couples------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Fred Couples
Darkhorse - Chien Soon Lu
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Fred Couples) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Scott Hoch) - Not in final field
 
NOTES:
The Champions Tour returns to the Dominican Republic this week for the third annual Cap Cana Championship. Another outstanding field is scheduled to compete this week as eight of the top-10 players on the current will battle it out. The field is led by money leader and two-time winner Fred Couples. Couples has played in three events in his rookie season, winning twice and finishing second in the other. The purse decreased $500,000 from last year to $1.6 million, with the winner receiving $240,000.

This week's Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic will be the first of four international Champions Tour tournaments in 2010. Later this year, the Tour will be in Quebec, Canada, for the inaugural Montreal Championship (July 2-July 4) and then in Scotland for the Senior British Open (July 22-25). The final international event this year will be the inaugural New Songdo City Championship (Sept. 10-12) in South Korea.

Last year, Keith Fergus birdied four straight holes from the 12th in the final round and holed out for eagle on the par-four 17th to win this event. Fergus' late rally helped him card a five-under 67 to win by one shot over Andy Bean and Mark O'Meara at 13-under-par 203. Fergus was the only player in the field to card three rounds in the 60s.

After a bogey on the 10th on the final day, Fergus trailed O'Meara by four strokes. Fergus flew into contention with four consecutive birdies from the 12th. That jumped him to 11-under, where he was still a stroke out of the lead. Fergus drove into the left rough on the 17th and had 95 yards left. He holed that shot for eagle to leap into the lead at minus-13. Fergus two-putted for par from about 50 feet at the last to seal the win.

Couples will make his fourth career start on the Champions Tour this week and will have an opportunity to become the first player since Jay Haas to win three consecutive starts. He's also trying to become the first Tour player to win three official events in his first four appearances. In 2006, Haas won the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, the FedEx Kinko's Classic and the Senior PGA Championship. Don January, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino all won three of their first five official events on the Champions Tour.

In 2008 at the inaugural event, Mark Wiebe led from start to finish, as he cruised to a four-shot win over Vicente Fernandez. Wiebe fired rounds of 67-68-67 for his second career Champions Tour title. Wiebe was the only player in the field to card three rounds in the 60s.

This tournament is the only tour-sanctioned event ever held in the Dominican Republic. The 2008 tournament marked the Champions Tour's return to the Caribbean. The Champions Tour played an official money event at the Hyatt Dorado Beach (East) in Puerto Rico from 1990-1993 and 1995-96 and also co- sponsored four different unofficial events in the Caribbean over the years. The Chrysler Senior Match Play Challenge was played at the Hyatt Dorado Beach (East) in 1999 and 2000. The Bahamas served as the venue for two other unofficial events in the Caribbean. The Office Depot Father-Son Challenge was held at The Ocean Club near Nassau from 2000-2002 and the Senior Slam was held at Our Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island in 2000. In the decade of the 80s, the Champions Tour also co-sponsored the Mazda Champions with the LPGA from 1985-1989. The event was first held at Tryall Golf & Beach Club in Sandy Bay, Jamaica from 1985-87 and then moved to the Hyatt Dorado Beach in 1988-89.

The Champions Tour returns to Florida in three weeks for the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am in Lutz, where Nick Price won for the first time on the Champions Tour last season.

03/23 14:21:45 ET

As of March 23, 2010, at 02:21 PM ET