Champions Golf Tour
PGA - Children's Miracle Network Classic Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, November 11th through Sunday, November 14th
SITE: Walt Disney World Resort (Magnolia, Palm Courses), Lake Buena Vista, FL
COURSE ARCHITECT: Joe Lee (1971), (1993 - redesign, Magnolia)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,516 (Magnolia Course)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 428 Yds10 - Par 5 526 Yds
2 - Par 4 417 Yds11 - Par 4 399 Yds
3 - Par 3 170 Yds12 - Par 3 169 Yds
4 - Par 5 542 Yds13 - Par 4 384 Yds
5 - Par 4 492 Yds14 - Par 5 592 Yds
6 - Par 3 231 Yds15 - Par 3 203 Yds
7 - Par 4 422 Yds16 - Par 4 450 Yds
8 - Par 5 614 Yds17 - Par 4 485 Yds
9 - Par 4 500 Yds18 - Par 4 492 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,816 Yds36 3,700 Yds
 
YARDAGE: 6,975 (Palm Course)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 495 Yds10 - Par 4 450 Yds
2 - Par 4 389 Yds11 - Par 5 552 Yds
3 - Par 3 165 Yds12 - Par 3 199 Yds
4 - Par 4 422 Yds13 - Par 4 364 Yds
5 - Par 4 403 Yds14 - Par 5 547 Yds
6 - Par 4 412 Yds15 - Par 4 426 Yds
7 - Par 5 532 Yds16 - Par 3 190 Yds
8 - Par 3 205 Yds17 - Par 4 397 Yds
9 - Par 4 373 Yds18 - Par 4 454 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,396 Yds36 3,579 Yds
 
Annual:  40th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 1-4 p.m. (et),
Defending Champion:  Stephen Ames (Not defending)
Runner-Up:  Justin Leonard, George McNeill
Tournament Record:  262 (John Huston, 1992; Duffy Waldorf, 2000)
54-Hole Record:  193 (Tim Simpson, 1990)
36-Hole Record:  127 (Chris DiMarco, 2002; Carl Pettersson, 2005;
  Justin Rose, 2006)
Course Record:  60 (Justin Rose, 2006 - Palm Course)
  61 (Payne Stewart, 1990 - Magnolia Course)
Total Purse:  $4,700,000
Shares:  1st Place - $846,000; 2nd Place - $507,600; 3rd Place - $319,600
 
2009 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Stephen Ames *270Mathias Gronberg272
Justin Leonard270Brian Davis273
George McNeill270D.A. Points273
Nick O'Hern271Zach Johnson274
Justin Rose271Carl Pettersson274

* - Won in Playoff

 
Past Children's Miracle Network Classic Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009*Stephen Ames (270) -- Justin Leonard, George McNeill
2008Davis Love III (263) -- Tommy Gainey
2007Stephen Ames (271) -- Tim Clark
2006Joe Durant (263) -- Frank Lickliter II, Troy Matteson
2005Lucas Glover (265) -- Tom Pernice, Jr.
2004Ryan Palmer (266) -- Vijay Singh, Briny Baird
2003Vijay Singh (265) -- Scott Verplank, Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink
2002Bob Burns (263) -- Chris DiMarco
2001Jose Coceres (265) -- Davis Love III
2000Duffy Waldorf (262) -- Steve Flesch
1999Tiger Woods (271) -- Ernie Els
1998John Huston (272) -- Davis Love III
1997*David Duval (270) -- Dan Forsman
1996Tiger Woods (267) -- Payne Stewart
1995#Brad Bryant (198) -- Hal Sutton, Ted Tryba
1994Rick Fehr (265) -- Craig Stadler, Fuzzy Zoeller
1993Jeff Maggert (265) -- Greg Kraft
1992John Huston (262) -- Mark O'Meara
1991Mark O'Meara (267) -- David Peoples
1990Tim Simpson (264) -- John Mahaffey
1989Tim Simpson (272) -- Donnie Hammond
1988*Bob Lohr (263) -- Chip Beck
1987Larry Nelson (268) -- Morris Hatalsky, Mark O'Meara
1986*Ray Floyd (275) -- Lon Hinkle, Mike Sullivan
1985Lanny Wadkins (267) -- Mike Donald, Scott Hoch
1984Larry Nelson (266) -- Hubert Green
1983Payne Stewart (269) -- Nick Faldo, Mark McCumber
1982*Hal Sutton (269) -- Bill Britton
1981Vance Heafner/Mike Holland (275) -- Chip Beck/Rex Caldwell
1980Danny Edwards/David Edwards (253) -- Gibby Gilbert/Dan Halldorson,
Mike Harmon/Barry Harwell,
Grier Jones/Dana Quigley
1979George Burns/Ben Crenshaw (255) -- Scott Bess/Dan Halldorson,
Jeff Hewes/Peter Jacobsen,
Sammy Rachels/D.A. Weibring
1978Wayne Levi/Bob Mann (254) -- Bobby Wadkins/Lanny Wadkins
1977Gibby Gilbert/Grier Jones (253) -- Steve Melnyk/Andy North
1976*Woody Blackburn/Bill Kratzert (260) -- Gay Brewer, Bobby Nichols
1975Jim Colbert/Dean Refram (252) -- Bobby Cole/Victor Regalado,
John Schlee/Curtis Sifford
1974Hubert Green/Mac McClendon (255) -- Sam Snead/J.C. Snead,
Ed Sneed/Bert Yancey
1973Jack Nicklaus (275) -- Mason Rudolph
1972Jack Nicklaus (267) -- Jim Dent, Bobby Mitchell, Larry Wood
1971Jack Nicklaus (273) -- Deane Beman

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Formerly called FUNAI Classic at Walt Disney World Resort (2003-06),
Disney Golf Classic (2002), National Car Rental Golf Classic (1998-2001), Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic (1985-97), Walt Disney World Golf Classic (1982-84), Walt Disney World National Team Championship (1974-81), Walt Disney World Open Invitational (1971-73).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
George McNeill---------------------mcmcT-2
Justin Leonard------------------mcT-6---T-2
Jeff Overton------------------mcT-6T-21T-11
Nicholas Thompson------------------T-68---mcT-11
Chris DiMarcoT-18T-322ndmcT-16mcT-43---T-52T-15
John Rollinsmc---T-6T-5T-49T-21T-17---T-33T-24
Daniel Chopra------------T-49T-21mcT-52mcT-29
Brian GaymcmcT-17mcT-41mcmcT-13mcT-36
Ryan Palmer------------WonT-3T-36T-74T-16T-40
Rickie Fowler---------------------------T-40
Tom Pernice JrmcT-21T-17T-18T-742ndmcT-41T-33T-52
Joe Durantmc---T-28T-45T-33T-32WonT-265thmc
J.B. Holmes------------------T-21T-9T-25mc
Heath Slocum---mcmcT-57mcT-13T-9T-9T-60mc
Davis Love IIIT-132ndT-17T-5------T-5---Wonwd
Steve Marino---------------------T-20T-3---
Stewart Cink---T-21mcT-2---T-32---T-13T-43---
Sean O'Hair---------------T-50T-30T-15------
Vijay SinghT-18T-6---WonT-2mcT-5---------
Aaron Baddeley---------T-63mc---------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Rickie Fowler
Darkhorse - Aaron Baddeley
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Luke Donald) - Finished tied for 3rd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Robert Allenby) - Finished tied for 21st
 
NOTES:
You better wield a hot putter this week and make plenty of birdies or you'll be setting your sights for the Magic Kingdom and the rest of the Disney attractions, as you will most assuredly miss the cut. The last 10 champions of the Children's Miracle Network Classic have posted 26-under, 23-under, 25-under, 23-under, 22-under, 23-under, 25-under, 17-under, 25-under-par and 18-under totals. The cut last year came at two-under par. The purse increased $100,000 from last year to $4.7 million, with the winner receiving $846,000.

This is the final official event of the Fall Series and PGA Tour season. With that in mind, players will try to jockey for position in the top 125 of the money list in attempts to retain their PGA Tour cards for 2011. Troy Matteson currently resides on the No. 125 bubble, $12,989 ahead of Briny Baird. Matteson's card, however, is already secure for 2011 due to his victory at the 2009 Frys.com Open. There are 128 players in the field, including four of the top-50 players in the world - Rickie Fowler (28), Sean O'Hair (32), Stewart Cink (44) and Jeff Overton (50).

Last year, Stephen Ames parred the second playoff hole to topple George McNeill and Justin Leonard for his fourth PGA Tour victory and second in three years at this championship. Ames fired a final-round 64 to come from three shots back to finish at 18-under-par 270.

Leonard was in the final group and appeared to be in good shape to win in regulation. He had 17 feet at the closing hole for birdie and the win. He struck his putt and about two feet from the hole pumped his fist, but the ball hit the hole and lipped out. The trio headed back to the 18th and Leonard and Ames found the fairway, while McNeill was in the trees on the right. Neither Leonard nor Ames hit great approaches and McNeill's second came up short of the putting surface. McNeill pitched to four feet. Leonard's 65-foot birdie putt came up an eye-opening 13 feet short. Ames lagged his 35-footer inside three feet. Leonard missed his par putt short as well and had to hope his fellow playoff combatants would fall. Neither did. McNeill and Ames converted their par putts, said goodbye to Leonard and headed to the par-three 15th to continue the playoff. McNeill hit a good tee ball on to the right fringe almost 15 feet from the stick. Ames hit his 30 feet short of the hole and lagged his birdie try inside two feet. He tapped in before McNeill hit his birdie putt to apply the pressure. McNeill must have felt it because he knocked his birdie putt to win almost five feet past the cup. His par putt coming back stayed above ground which gave Ames PGA Tour win No. 4. Ames will not be on hand to defend his title due to a back injury.

Ames, at 45 years old, became the eighth player over the age of 40 to win this event, joining Raymond Floyd (44 - 1986), Larry Nelson (40 - 1987), Brad Bryant (40 - 1995), Vijay Singh (40 - 2003), Joe Durant (42 - 2006), Ames (43 - 2007) and Davis Love III (44 - 2008).

In 2008, Love fired an eight-under 64 in the final round to come from behind and win. Love finished the championship at 25-under 263 and collected his 20th career victory on the PGA Tour. That magic win total earned him a lifetime exemption on tour. The win was Love's first since the 2006 Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. Love won by a single stroke over Tommy Gainey.

Ames closed with a four-under 68 in the final round of 2007 to fend off Tim Clark and win by a single stroke. Ames completed the championship at 17-under-par 271. The winning total of 271 was the highest winning score since Tiger Woods won in 1999.

Justin Rose set a new course record on the Palm Course in 2006 in the first round with a 60, breaking the previous mark of 61 held by Mark Lye (1984) and Carl Pettersson (2005). Rose finished in fourth place, five shots back of Durant.

In 2005, Lucas Glover fired a seven-under 65 in the final round to break through for his first PGA Tour win. Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, holed out from a greenside bunker for birdie on the 72nd hole to complete the event at 23-under-par 265. Glover became the 16th player in the history of this event to earn his first PGA Tour title in Orlando. Glover, at 25 years old, became the youngest player to win since Woods captured the title in 1999 at 23.

In 2004, Ryan Palmer came from five strokes back in the final round and rolled to a three-stroke win. Palmer closed with a 10-under 62 to finish at 22-under-par 266 for his first PGA Tour title. Palmer joined Hal Sutton, Woods and Jose Coceres as the only PGA Tour rookies to win this event. Sutton captured the 1982 event, Woods won in 1996 and Coceres in 2001.

Bob Lohr and Tim Simpson are the only players to win wire-to-wire, Lohr in 1988 and Simpson in 1990. David Duval, the 1997 winner, won in a playoff, parring the first extra hole for the win and in doing so, became the first player in PGA Tour history to win playoffs in consecutive weeks. The week before, Duval won the Michelob Championship in a playoff over Duffy Waldorf and Grant Waite. Ames, Woods, Tim Simpson, Larry Nelson and John Huston are the only two-time winners of this tournament, while Jack Nicklaus is a three- time champion. Nelson also has the largest final-round comeback in tournament history, making up a six-stroke deficit in 1987 to defeat Morris Hatalsky and Mark O'Meara by one stroke after a 63 on Sunday.

The final two rounds will be played on the Magnolia course after rotating the first two rounds on both the Magnolia and Palm layouts. Twelve of the last 15 Walt Disney tournaments have been decided either by a playoff or by one stroke. Since 1982, there have been 16 one-stroke wins and five playoffs.

Tom Pernice, Jr. set the Children's Miracle Network Classic all-time 72-hole putting record with just 95 total putts over four days in 2005. The previous low at this event was 101 by Payne Stewart in 1984 and Jim Furyk in 2003. Pernice needed just 19 putts in the third round, including 15 one-putts, one off the PGA Tour record.

The PGA Tour will be in Florida in three weeks for the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, where Troy Merritt captured the 2009 event. Some of the best players in the world will be in California that same week for the Chevron World Challenge, where Jim Furyk won last year.

11/09 17:20:12 ET

As of November 9, 2010, at 05:20 PM ET