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CHAMPIONS - Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Friday, April 23rd through Sunday, April 25th
SITE: The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort and Spa, Savannah, Georgia
COURSE ARCHITECT: Robert Cupp and Sam Snead (1999)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,087 (Legends) 6,742 (Raphael), 6,177 (Demaret)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 338/33838 yds 10 - Pa
2 - Par 4 427/38484 yds 11 - Pa
3 - Par 3 224/19971 yds 12 - Pa
4 - Par 5 533/53387 yds 13 - Pa
5 - Par 4 406/40649 yds 14 - Pa
6 - Par 4 438/40875 yds 15 - Pa
7 - Par 5 599/55877 yds 16 - Pa
8 - Par 3 172/16532 yds 17 - Pa
9 - Par 4 420/42043 yds 18 - Pa
--------------- --
36 3,557/3,411/356 yds 36 3,
 
Annual:  33rd
Television:  Golf Channel - Friday -- 12:30-2:30 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday -- 12-2 a.m. (et) - replay,
  CBS - Saturday/Sunday -- 1-3 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman
Runner-Up:  Jeff Sluman and Craig Stadler
72-Hole Team Record:  249 (Charles Coody and Dale Douglass, 1990)
54-Hole Team Record:  185 (Andy North and Tom Watson, 2008)
54-Hole Individual Record:  201 (Jay Haas, 2006)
36-Hole Team Record:  121 (Charles Coody and Dale Douglass, 1990;
  Andy North and Tom Watson, 2008)
36-Hole Individual Record:  132 (George Archer, 1993)
18-Hole Team Record:  58 (Al Geiberger and Harold Henning, 1991)
18-Hole Individual Record:  63 (Dale Douglass, 1993 - Barton Creek CC)
Course Record:  64 (Mark James, 2006)
Total Purse:  $3,500,000 ($2,700,000 for Legends)
Legends Shares:  1st Place - $450,000; 2nd - $265,000; 3rd - 216,000 (Per Team)
Raphael Shares:  1st Place - $120,000; 2nd - $74,000; 3rd - $50,000 (Per Team)
Demaret Shares:  1st Place - $80,000; 2nd - $44,000; 3rd - $33,000 (Per Team)
 
2009 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
B.Langer/T.Lehman *189D.Smyth/M.James192
J.Sluman/C.Stadler189A.Bean/J.Pate193
L.Roberts/M.Wiebe190M.O'Meara/N.Price193
J.Cook/J.Sindelar190F.Funk/S.Hoch194
T.Kite/G.Morgan192J.Jacobs/F.Zoeller194

* - Won in Playoff

 
Past Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009*Bernhard Langer/Tom Lehman (189) -- Jeff Sluman/Craig Stadler
2008Andy North/Tom Watson (185) -- Jeff Sluman/Craig Stadler
2007*Jay Haas (207) -- Tom Kite
2006Jay Haas (201) -- Peter Jacobsen, Craig Stadler
2005Des Smyth (208) -- Tom Jenkins
2004Hale Irwin (205) -- Gary Koch, Gil Morgan
2003Bruce Lietzke (206) -- David Eger, Dana Quigley
2002Doug Tewell (205) -- Bobby Wadkins
2001#Jim Colbert/Andy North (124) -- Bruce Fleisher/David Graham
2000Jim Colbert/Andy North (191) -- Bruce Fleisher/David Graham
1999Hubert Green/Gil Morgan (194) -- John Mahaffey/Tom Wargo
1998*Charles Coody/Dale Douglass (192) -- Hugh Baiocchi/David Graham
1997John Bland/Graham Marsh (192) -- Hubert Green/Gil Morgan
1996Mike Hill/Lee Trevino (198) -- Orville Moody/Jimmy Powell,
Jack Nicklaus/Gary Player,
Harold Henning/Chi Chi Rodriguez
1995Mike Hill/Lee Trevino (195) -- Gibby Gilbert/J.C.Snead
1994Charles Coody/Dale Douglass (188) -- Chi Chi Rodriguez/Jim Dent,
Bob Murphy/Jim Colbert
1993*Harold Henning (204) -- Don January, Tom Weiskopf
1992Mike Hill/Lee Trevino (251) -- Jim Colbert/Tommy Aaron
1991Mike Hill/Lee Trevino (252) -- Al Geiberger/Harold Henning
1990Charles Coody/Dale Douglass (249) -- Al Geiberger/Harold Henning
1989Al Geiberger/Harold Henning (251) -- Bob Charles/Bruce Devlin
1988*Bruce Crampton/Orville Moody (254) -- Tommy Aaron/Lou Graham,
Joe Jimenez/Mike Souchak
1987Bruce Crampton/Orville Moody (251) -- Butch Baird/Fred Haas,
Fred Hawkins/Bobby Nichols
1986Don January/Gene Littler (255) -- Jim Ferree/Charles Sifford
1985Don January/Gene Littler (257) -- Miller Barber/Gay Brewer,
Billy Casper/Lee Elder,
Bob Goalby/Sam Snead
1984Gay Brewer/Billy Casper (258) -- Miller Barber/Julius Boros
1983Roberto De Vicenzo/Rod Funseth (258) -- Jack Burke/Paul Harney
1982#Don January/Sam Snead (183) -- Gene Littler/Bob Rosburg,
Chin Shei-Ha/Bob Toski,
Bob Goalby/Roberto de Vicenzo
1981Gene Littler/Bob Rosburg (257) -- Peter Thomson/Kel Nagle
1980Tommy Bolt/Art Wall (187) -- Sam Snead/Don January
1979*Roberto De Vicenzo/Julius Boros (195) -- Tommy Bolt/Art Wall
1978Gardner Dickinson/Sam Snead (193) -- Kel Nagle/Peter Thomson

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Formerly called Legends of Golf (1978-79).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player20082009
B.Langer/T.Lehman---Won
J.Sluman/Stadler2nd2nd
J.Cook/J.SindelarT-4T-3
T.Kite/G.MorganT-11T-5
M.O'Meara/N.PriceT-7T-7
A.North/T.WatsonWonT-11
Hatalsky/PooleyT-7T-20
E.Romero/D.Watson---T-28
Roberts/S.SimpsonT-11---
M.Allen/C.Pavin------
Azinger/Blackmar------
F.Couples/J.Haas------
D.Forsman/D.Frost------
H.Irwin/L.Nelson------
L.Mize/H.Sutton------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Mark O'Meara and Nick Price
Darkhorse - Larry Mize and Hal Sutton
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Fred Couples) - Finished tied for 12th
Last Week's Darkhorse (David Peoples) - Finished tied for 60th
 
NOTES:
The event that spawned the creation of the Champions Tour, the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, takes center stage this week in Savannah, Georgia. The Legends started in 1978, two years before the Champions Tour came into being. The event is an official team competition with a format of two-man, better- ball, with the players on the winning team receiving a one-year exemption into all Champions Tour events with the exception of the major championships. Ken Green will be playing this week for the first time since losing his leg in a car accident last year. Green will be partnered with Mike Reid.

Last year, Tom Lehman rolled in a three-foot par putt on the second playoff hole to give himself and Bernhard Langer the victory at this event. Lehman, who became the 13th player in Champions Tour history to win his debut, and Langer defeated Craig Stadler and Jeff Sluman in a bizarre sudden-death playoff.

After a pair of long birdie putts forced a second extra hole, no one made birdie on the 18th hole at The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort and Spa. All four players had short par putts, but they looked easier than they were. Stadler was first and missed from seven feet for par. Langer had five feet to apply the pressure to Sluman, but the German also missed his easy par-saving putt. Their partners had very short par putts to extend the playoff and Sluman was up first. His four-footer never even touched the hole and now Lehman had three feet for the victory. The rookie on the elder circuit made his putt for the win. The teams finished regulation at 27-under-par 189. It was the second straight year that Sluman and Stadler finished runner-up.

Jay Haas made the first double eagle in tournament history last year when he holed his second shot on the par-five 11th hole with a three-wood from 272 yards. Haas and his partner Ben Crenshaw finished tied for 13th.

Gary Koch and Roger Maltbie won the Raphael Division last year for the second consecutive year. They finished at 16-under-par 128 for a two-stroke victory over Mike Hill and Lee Trevino. Bob Charles and Gary Player captured the Demaret Division, finishing at 18-under-par 126 for a one-shot win over Al Geiberger and Jimmy Powell.

In 2008, Tom Watson and Andy North fired an opening-round 59 and led wire- to-wire to hold off Sluman and Stadler for a one-shot win at this event. Watson and North completed the event at 31-under-par 185. Their total of 185 broke the old record of 187 that Tommy Bolt and Art Wall set in 1980. The event had been an individual stroke-play event for six years, but returned to its roots as a team event in 2008.

When Haas won in 2007, he became the first back-to-back winner of this event since it went to an individual competition in 2002. Haas defeated Tom Kite on the first playoff hole after rallying from a four-stroke deficit with eight holes to play. The playoff was the first ever in the stroke-play portion of the tournament.

Back in 2006, Haas poured in an eagle and three birdies on the back nine in the final round to pull away and win by five shots over Stadler and Peter Jacobsen. He closed with a five-under 67 to end at 15-under-par 201. Haas' total established a new 54-hole record for this event. The old mark of 204 was set in 1993 by Harold Henning, Don January and Tom Weiskopf.

The Legends division will play a 54-hole, two-man better-ball competition, while the Raphael (50-69 years old) & Demaret divisions (70+ years old) will play 36 holes. The Raphael and Demaret divisions will play for unofficial money. The Raphael Division is named for the late Fred Raphael, who passed away in 2001. Raphael got his start in the golf business when he developed the long-running Shell's Wonderful World of Golf series. Raphael died at the age of 80 after a long battle with liver cancer.

Doug Ford is the only player in the field this week who appeared in the first Legends of Golf in 1978. Ford is once again teaming with Billy Maxwell in the Demaret Division competition and will be making his 33rd appearance. Ford won 19 PGA Tour events, including the 1955 PGA Championship and 1957 Masters.

This event is the second oldest Champions event behind the Senior PGA Championship. The purse for this tournament the first year was $400,000, the largest in professional golf at the time. This event is also the longest- running televised golf tournament.

Mike Hill and Lee Trevino have won this tournament four times. Sam Snead and Don January posted the biggest winning margin in 1982, when they won by 12 strokes over three other teams. Snead, Roberto de Vicenzo, Gene Littler and Don January are the only players to win this event with two different partners.

Seventeen members of the World Golf Hall of Fame will play in the three different divisions at this week's event.The Hall of Famers committed are: Billy Casper, Bob Charles, Tony Jacklin, Tom Kite, Gene Littler, Bernhard Langer, Larry Nelson, Ben Crenshaw, Gary Player, Nick Price, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Hale Irwin, Curtis Strange, Hubert Green, Lanny Wadkins and Charles Sifford.

For the eighth straight year, the event will be held at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort and Spa, the ninth different venue in the 33-year history of the tournament. First played at Onion Creek CC in Austin, Texas, from 1978-1989, the tournament then moved across town to Barton Creek Country Club from 1990-1994. The event relocated to the Palm Springs, California-area from 1995-1997, playing the first two years at PGA West (Stadium), before moving to PGA West's Palmer Course in 1997. The Legends then moved for one year to Amelia Island in Florida for the 1998 tournament before relocating at the World Golf Village near St. Augustine, Florida from 1999-2002. The Slammer & Squire course hosted the tournament in 1999 and 2000 before it moved to the nearby King & Bear course for the 2001 and 2002 events.

The Champions Tour moves to Mississippi next week for the inaugural Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in Biloxi at Fallen Oak Golf Club, designed by Tom Fazio.

04/20 16:52:58 ET

As of April 20, 2010, at 04:53 PM ET

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