Champions Golf Tour
CHAMPIONS - Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Friday, April 16th through Sunday, April 18th
SITE: Tournament Players Club of Tampa Bay, Lutz, Florida
COURSE ARCHITECT: Bobby Weed and Chi Chi Rodriguez (1991)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 6,828
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 395 Yds10 - Par 4 395 Yds
2 - Par 3 191 Yds11 - Par 3 179 Yds
3 - Par 4 429 Yds12 - Par 5 495 Yds
4 - Par 4 427 Yds13 - Par 4 345 Yds
5 - Par 4 332 Yds14 - Par 5 574 Yds
6 - Par 3 154 Yds15 - Par 4 452 Yds
7 - Par 5 541 Yds16 - Par 4 430 Yds
8 - Par 4 400 Yds17 - Par 3 213 Yds
9 - Par 4 433 Yds18 - Par 4 443 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,302 Yds36 3,526 Yds
 
Annual:  23rd
Television:  Golf Channel - Friday -- 12:30-2:30 p.m. (et)
  NBC - Saturday -- 4-6 p.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 1-3 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Nick Price
Runner-Up:  Larry Nelson
Tournament Record:  200 (Jim Colbert, George Archer, 1992;
  Bruce Fleisher, 2000; Mark McNulty, 2004)
36-Hole Record:  131 (Bruce Fleisher, 2000, 2002; Mark Wiebe, 2008)
Course Record:  61 (Rocky Thompson, 1994; Fuzzy Zoeller, 2004)
Total Purse:  $1,700,000
Shares:  1st Place - $255,000; 2nd Place - $149,600; 3rd Place - $122,400
 
2009 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Nick Price204Jay Haas208
Larry Nelson206Mike McCullough209
Loren Roberts207Five players at210
Lonnie Nielsen207
Hal Sutton207
 
Past Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Nick Price (204) -- Larry Nelson
2008Tom Watson (204) -- Jay Haas, Scott Hoch
2007Tom Watson (209) -- Andy Bean, Jay Haas
2006Jerry Pate (202) -- Morris Hatalsky, Mark James, Hale Irwin
2005#Hale Irwin (134) -- Morris Hatalsky, Mark McNulty
2004Mark McNulty (200) -- Larry Nelson
2003Bruce Fleisher (205) -- Hale Irwin
2002Doug Tewell (203) -- Hale Irwin
2001Bob Gilder (205) -- Bruce Fleisher
2000Bruce Fleisher (200) -- Dana Quigley
1999Larry Nelson (205) -- Bruce Fleisher
1998Jim Albus (207) -- Simon Hobday, Kermit Zarley, Jose Maria Canizares
1997David Graham (204) -- Bob Dickson
1996Jack Nicklaus (211) -- J.C. Snead
1995Dave Stockton (204) -- Bob Charles, Jim Colbert, J.C. Snead
1994Rocky Thompson (201) -- Ray Floyd
1993Jim Albus (206) -- Don Bies, Gibby Gilbert
1992*Jim Colbert (200) -- George Archer
1991Bob Charles (210) -- George Archer, Lee Trevino
1990Mike Hill (207) -- Lee Trevino
1989*Bob Charles (207) -- Jim Ferree, Harold Henning, Dave Hill
1988Dale Douglass (210) -- Orville Moody

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Previously called GTE Suncoast Seniors Classic (1988-89), GTE
Suncoast Classic (1990-96); GTE Classic (1997-2000), Verizon Classic (2001-03).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Nick Price---------------------T-17T-8Won
Larry NelsonT-45T-6T-41wd2nd15th15thwdT-342nd
Loren Roberts------------------T-5T-4T-26T-3
Lonnie Nielsen------------T-55---66thT-46T-26T-3
Hal Sutton---------------------------T-3
Jay Haas------------------T-30T-2T-26th
John Cook------------------------4thT-8
Bruce FleisherWonT-2T-3WonT-11T-25T-5T-55T-22T-8
Mark O'Meara---------------------T-38T-39T-8
Larry Mize---------------------------T-8
Bernhard Langer------------------------T-34T-13
Joey Sindelar------------------------T-15T-16
Fuzzy Zoeller------T-43T-13T-3T-16T-32T-14T-50T-16
Andy Bean------------T-57T-2255thT-2T-29T-21
Craig Stadler------------T-13T-16T-35wdT-39T-21
Dan Forsman---------------------------T-21
Mike Goodes---------------------------T-21
Gil Morgan---T-2T-27T-7T-7T-31T-30T-42T-22T-28
Mark Wiebe------------------------T-5T-33
Bob Gilder---WonT-43T-21T-20T-31T-15T-21T-26T-33
Morris Hatalsky------T-17T-51T-27T-2T-2T-42T-34T-33
Brad Bryant---------------T-16T-26T-14T-39T-33
Hale IrwinT-3T-92nd2ndT-13WonT-2T-30T-50T-33
Tom KiteT-20---T-5T-21T-11T-9T-5T-42T-57T-33
Tom JenkinsT-14T-9T-12T-106thT-25T-35T-14T-5T-41
Keith Fergus---------------T-38T-15T-12T-15T-41
Tom WatsonT-8T-17---T-13---T-53---WonWonT-47
Jerry Pate------------T-27T-6WonT-42---T-57
Fred Couples------------------------------
Tom Lehman------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Fred Couples
Darkhorse - David Peoples
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Fred Couples) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Chien Soon Lu) - Finished tied for 36th
 
NOTES:
The Champions Tour returns to Florida this week for the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. This is the last of three events in the Sunshine State for 2010. Fred Couples captured the ACE Group Classic in Naples in February and Bernhard Langer won the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton in February. The top five players on the money list are in action this week, including every tournament winner in 2010.

Couples has dominated the Champions Tour in his rookie season. He has played in four events, winning three times and finishing second once. Couples will go for his fourth consecutive win this week. He leads the money list with $931,000 in earnings, more than $430,000 more than Langer in second place. Couples finished sixth last week at the Masters and was in contention all week. He is joined in the field by Langer and Tom Watson, the only other players to win a tournament on the Champions Tour in 2010. All three players are former Masters champions and played last week. Watson also had a good week and finished tied for 18th, while Langer missed the cut.

Last year, it took just over two years, but Nick Price finally collected his first Champions Tour victory at this event. Price enjoyed a Hall of Fame career with 18 PGA Tour wins, including three majors. Prior to winning last year, Price had two joint runner-up finishes on the elder circuit. Price carded rounds of 66-67-71 to finish at nine-under-par 204 and won by two over Larry Nelson.

In 2008, Watson fired an opening-round 63 and went on to successfully defend his title at this event. Watson finished the event at nine-under-par 204 for a one-stroke victory over Jay Haas and Scott Hoch. Second-round leader Mark Wiebe had a three-shot lead with four holes to play in the final round, but played his last four holes in six-over to tie for fifth. Watson's victory was his 11th on the Champions Tour, along with 39 wins on the PGA Tour. He joined Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino as the only players to have at least 10 victories on the Champions Tour, 20 wins on the PGA Tour and 50 titles combined on both tours.

Bobby Wadkins recorded the first double-eagle in tournament history in 2008 in the first round when he holed his second shot with a five-iron from 191 yards on the par-five 12th hole.

In 2007, Watson entered the final round two strokes behind. Watson was also staring at an 0-for-93 career record in Florida. He was 0-for-77 on the PGA Tour and 0-for-16 on the Champions Tour. Watson posted a one-under 70 in the final round to win by one stroke over Andy Bean and Haas. He completed the event at four-under-par 209. Weather conditions rivaled those of the British Open with temperatures in the upper 40s with winds gusting between 25 and 35 miles per hour. No problem for Watson, a two-time Senior British Open and five-time British Open champion. Three back-nine birdies pushed Watson to the top of the leaderboard and he calmly parred his final five holes for the win.

Watson's total of four-under-par 209 in 2007 was the highest winning score at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am since Jack Nicklaus won in 1996 at two-under-par 211. Watson's score was also the highest winning score in relation to par in a Champions Tour event since Dana Quigley won the 2002 Siebel Classic in Silicon Valley at four-under par. The 2007 final-round scoring average of 75.17 was the highest since the event moved to the TPC of Tampa Bay in 1992.

In 2006, Jerry Pate brought to an end one of golf's storied winless droughts, as he broke through to capture the title and collect his first win of any kind since the 1982 PLAYERS Championship. Pate burst on to the golf scene with a win at the 1976 U.S. Open. His last title came at The PLAYERS Championship in 1982 when he famously jumped in the lake off the 18th green at the TPC at Sawgrass with then PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman and course architect Pete Dye. Pate's win in 2006 was dramatic, as he birdied the 18th hole to shoot a five-under 66 in the final round and win the title by one stroke at 11-under- par 202.

In 2005, Irwin won the weather-shortened event by one stroke over Morris Hatalsky and 2004 champion Mark McNulty. Rain throughout the weekend reduced the tournament to 36 holes and Irwin was forced to complete his second round on Monday. Irwin finished at eight-under-par 134 for his second victory of four in 2005 and gave him multiple wins for the 11th consecutive year, by far a Champions Tour record. It was the first time in event history that the tournament was shortened by weather.

In 2004, McNulty became only the 11th player in history to title in his first elder circuit start. Trailing by four shots after round one, McNulty, from Zimbabwe, fashioned rounds of 65-68 to post a one-shot victory over Larry Nelson. McNulty, who shot all three rounds in the 60s, became the first player to win in his first Champions start since 2001 when Bobby Wadkins captured the Long Island Classic. McNulty's three-day total of 200 tied the tournament mark set by Jim Colbert and George Archer in 1992 and equaled by Bruce Fleisher in 2000.

Fleisher has dominated this event, posting two wins, two seconds, a third, a fifth and a eighth while amassing $910,064 in earnings. Bob Charles, Jim Albus, Fleisher and Watson are the only two-time winners of this event. Charles won this tournament in 1989 and 1991, while Albus titled here in 1993 and 1998. Fleisher was victorious in 2000 and 2003, while Watson is the only player to win in consecutive years (2007-08). Dale Douglass and Charles are the only wire-to-wire winners of this tournament: Douglass in 1988 and Charles in 1991.

Twenty of the 22 winners of this tournament have posted under-par rounds on the final day of the event. Only Douglass shot an over-par score (74) in the final round and still managed to win. Price shot an even-par 71 in 2009 and won.

Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club hosted this event the first four years of its existence, while the TPC of Tampa Bay is hosting the tournament for its 19th straight year. There have been just two playoffs in the history of this event. In 1989, Charles defeated Jim Ferree, Harold Henning and Dave Hill with a birdie on the third extra hole. In 1992, Colbert bested Archer with a birdie on the fourth extra hole.

This event is famous for come-from-behind wins. In 13 of the 18 events held at the TPC of Tampa Bay, a player has come from off the pace in the final round to win. Only Dave Stockton, who was tied for the top spot after 36 holes in 1995, Nelson in 1999, Fleisher in 2000, McNulty in 2004 and Price in 2009 have gone on to claim this title after being in front to begin the final round. In 1994, Rocky Thompson rallied from seven strokes down to win thanks to a final- round 61, the lowest score recorded on the Champions Tour in the final round by a winner. Since the tournament moved to the TPC Tampa Bay in 1992, Watson (2008) is the only first-round leader who has gone on to win the event.

This tournament will also feature a unique celebrity and amateur component. Celebrities and amateurs will play alongside Champions Tour players in the first and second rounds, with a select number competing again in Sunday's final round. Celebrities scheduled to appear are: Ronde Barber, Derrick Brooks, Michael J. Fox, Vince Gill, George Lopez, Stone Phillips, Vinny Testaverde and Joe Theismann.

The Champions Tour travels to Savannah, Georgia next week for the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, where Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman captured the title in the team event last season.

04/13 18:00:00 ET

As of April 13, 2010, at 06:05 PM ET