CHAMPIONS - Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, October 7th through Sunday, October 10th
SITE: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, Potomac, Maryland
COURSE ARCHITECT: Edmund Ault/Thomas Clark and Associates (1986),
         Ed Sneed (PGA Tour player consultant), PGA Tour
         (redesign - 2005), Stephen Wenzloff and Jim Hardy (2007)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 7,136
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 440 Yds10 - Par 5 560 Yds
2 - Par 5 619 Yds11 - Par 4 470 Yds
3 - Par 3 225 Yds12 - Par 3 168 Yds
4 - Par 4 440 Yds13 - Par 4 360 Yds
5 - Par 4 365 Yds14 - Par 4 299 Yds
6 - Par 4 484 Yds15 - Par 4 490 Yds
7 - Par 4 452 Yds16 - Par 4 412 Yds
8 - Par 4 467 Yds17 - Par 3 222 Yds
9 - Par 3 198 Yds18 - Par 4 465 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,690 Yds35 3,446 Yds
 
Annual:  28th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 1-3 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 12:30-3 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Jay Haas
Runner-Up:  Tom Watson
Tournament Record:  261 (Jack Nicklaus, 1990)
54-Hole Record:  197 (Jack Nicklaus, 1990)
36-Hole Record:  131 (J.C. Snead, 1992)
18-Hole Record:  63 (Jim Colbert, 1995; Hubert Green, 2002; Tom Kite, 2003)
Total Purse:  $2,700,000
Shares:  1st Place - $405,000; 2nd Place - $237,600; 3rd Place - $194,400
 
2009 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Jay Haas267Bernhard Langer274
Tom Watson268Phil Blackmar275
Loren Roberts273Fred Funk275
Mark Wiebe273Four players at276
John Cook274
 
Past Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Jay Haas (267) -- Tom Watson
2008D.A. Weibring (271) -- Fred Funk
2007Loren Roberts (267) -- Tom Watson
2006Bobby Wadkins (274) -- Jim Thorpe
2005Peter Jacobsen (273) -- Hale Irwin
2004Mark James (275) -- Jose Maria Canizares
2003Craig Stadler (271) -- Tom Kite, Jim Thorpe, Tom Watson
2002Stewart Ginn (274) --- Jim Thorpe, Hubert Green, Mike McCullough
2001*Allen Doyle (273) -- Doug Tewell
2000Ray Floyd (273) -- Larry Nelson, Dana Quigley
1999Hale Irwin (267) -- Graham Marsh
1998Gil Morgan (267) -- Hale Irwin
1997Larry Gilbert (274) -- Isao Aoki, Bob Dickson, Jack Kiefer, Dave
Stockton
1996Ray Floyd (275) -- Hale Irwin
1995*J.C. Snead (272) -- Jack Nicklaus
1994Dave Stockton (271) -- Jim Albus
1993Jim Colbert (278) -- Ray Floyd
1992Dave Stockton (277) -- J.C. Snead, Lee Trevino
1991Jim Albus (279) -- Bob Charles, Dave Hill, Charles Coody
1990Jack Nicklaus (261) -- Lee Trevino
1989Orville Moody (271) -- Charles Coody
1988Billy Casper (278) -- Al Geiberger
1987Gary Player (280) -- Chi Chi Rodriguez, Bruce Crampton
1986#Chi Chi Rodriguez (206) -- Bruce Crampton
1985Arnold Palmer (274) -- Lee Elder, Gene Littler, Miller Barber,
Charles Owens
1984Arnold Palmer (276) -- Peter Thomson
1983Miller Barber (278) -- Gene Littler

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Formerly called Ford Senior Players Championship (1993-2006), Mazda
Presents The Senior Players Championship (1991-92), Mazda Senior Tournament Players Championship (1987-90), Senior Tournament Players Championship (1983-86).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Jay Haas---------------T-18T-3T-176thWon
Tom WatsonT-18T-8---T-2---T-3T-172nd---2nd
Loren Roberts------------------T-3WonT-21T-3
Mark Wiebe---------------------T-7T-43T-3
Bernhard Langer---------------------T-13T-7T-5
John Cook------------------------T-7T-5
Fred Funk------------------T-11T-32ndT-7
Mark O'Meara---------------------T-31T-32T-9
Keith Fergus------------T-46T-39T-38T-7T-47T-13
Morris Hatalsky------T-33T-35T-16T-11T-11T-54T-47T-13
Andy Bean------------T-18T-27T-22T-13T-11T-15
Hale IrwinT-43rdT-6T-12T-92nd---T-7T-27T-15
Gary Hallberg------------------------73rdT-15
Mark James------------WonT-49T-11T-46T-32T-22
Jeff Sluman---------------------T-17T-3T-24
Mike Goodes------------------------T-16T-24
Larry NelsonT-2T-31T-829thT-51T-5T-50wdT-39T-24
Fuzzy Zoeller------T-10T-23T-58T-59T-9T-7T-65T-24
David Frost---------------------------T-24
Eduardo Romero---------------------T-7T-7T-31
Don Pooley------T-22T-40T-13T-18T-11T-23T-27T-34
Scott Simpson------------------T-17T-3T-21T-37
Russ Cochran---------------------------T-41
Tom Purtzer------T-17T-5T-54T-37T-7T-23T-43T-43
R.W. Eaks---------T-40---T-68T-56T-46T-65T-43
Tom Kite6thT-10T-10T-2T-7T-39T-9T-25T-21T-47
Bobby Wadkins------T-12T-40T-34T-37WonT-25T-1873rd
D.A. Weibring------------T-13T-5T-22T-5Wonwd
Mark Calcavecchia------------------------------
Fred Couples------------------------------
Tom Lehman------------------------------
Corey Pavin------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Bernhard Langer
Darkhorse - Mark Calcavecchia
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Russ Cochran) - Finished tied for 72nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Tom Jenkins) - Finished tied for 9th
 
NOTES:
Although most players focus on the U.S. Senior Open, the Senior PGA Championship and the Senior British Open as the top majors on the Champions Tour, the Senior Players Championship certainly takes no back seat to that trio. Started in 1983, the Senior Players is the fourth-oldest event on the Champions Tour schedule. This is the final major of 2010, with Tom Lehman capturing the Senior PGA Championship in May, Bernhard Langer winning the Senior British Open and U.S. Senior Open in July, and Fred Funk winning the JELD-WEN Tradition in August.

Last year, Jay Haas birdied the last two holes in the final round en route to a course-record-tying six-under 64 and a come-from-behind victory over Tom Watson at this event. Haas earned his third senior major title at 13-under 267 for the one-stroke victory over Watson. The championship was staged at Baltimore Country Club.

Haas and Watson were tied at 11-under par until Watson sank a 30-footer for birdie at the 15th hole to move one ahead. Haas, who played in the group ahead of Watson, rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the 17th to knot the two atop the leaderboard. At the very demanding closing hole, Haas found the fairway off the tee. He had 195 yards and hit a six-iron right of the flagstick, but the slope ran the ball inside three feet. Haas converted the short birdie putt to move one ahead, then waited as Watson had to play 18. The third-round leader hit a costly drive into the right rough off the final hole. Watson did all he could to get the ball just short of the putting surface. Watson needed to hole his pitch to force a playoff with Haas. Watson's ball ran 15 feet past on left side and the title was Haas' after an amazing Sunday 64.

In 2008, D.A. Weibring claimed his first career major at the age of 55 with a two-under 68 in the final round that gave him a one-shot victory. Weibring held off Funk for his fifth Champions Tour victory. It all came down to a pair of clutch putts for Weibring -- a nine-footer for par at the 17th that he thought he'd missed until it went in, and a 48-footer he lagged to inches at the 18th to save another par. He finished at nine-under 271, one shot ahead of Funk. Weibring's 72-hole score of nine-under-par 271 was the highest score in relation to par to win this event since Jim Albus won in 1991 with a score of nine-under-par 279.

Loren Roberts rolled off four straight birdies on the front nine in the final round of 2007 to pull away and win by six strokes over Watson. Roberts, who lost a five-shot lead in the final round at this event in 2006, carded rounds of 67-66-67-67 to finish the tournament at 13-under-par 267. Roberts won a major title on the Champions Tour for the third year in a row with his win here in 2007. He joined Hale Irwin, Miller Barber, Raymond Floyd and Gary Player in accomplishing this feat. Irwin and Barber won a major championship five consecutive years. Funk joined this group in August by winning the JELD- WEN Tradition to claim a major title for the third straight year.

In 2005, Peter Jacobsen fired a six-under 66 in the final round to win. He finished at 15-under-par 273. Irwin finished one stroke back at 14-under-par 274. It was Jacobsen's second major championship, as he won the U.S. Senior Open in 2004. Jacobsen's first two victories on the Champions Tour were both major championships. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Jacobsen and Mike Reid are the only players to accomplish this feat.

Raymond Floyd completed the largest come-from-behind win in the history of the event when he came from six strokes back to edge both Larry Nelson and Dana Quigley in 2000. In the history of the tournament, only six players in 27 events have opened with a round in the 70s and gone on to win, including Jacobsen in 2005 (70). Palmer, who fired an even-par 72 in 1984, is the only player to not shoot under par in the opening round and still win the tournament. Palmer opened with an even-par 72, then followed with three consecutive sub-70 rounds to defeat Peter Thomson by three strokes.

There have been just two playoffs in the previous 27 Senior Players Championships. In 2001, Allen Doyle defeated Doug Tewell and in 1995 J.C. Snead defeated Nicklaus with a birdie on the first extra hole.

This tournament has been a favorite among "rookies" on the Champions Tour. Chi Chi Rodriguez (1986), Nicklaus (1990), Jim Albus (1991), Dave Stockton (1992), Craig Stadler (2003) and Jacobsen (2005) all won in their first appearances in the championship.

From 1990 through last year's event, the first-round leader or co-leader of this event has gone on to win just five times -- and only three times has that happened since 1991 (Larry Gilbert in 1997; Doyle in 2002; Roberts in 2007). Second-round leaders or co-leaders have claimed seven of the last 20 tournaments. Leaders or co-leaders after 54 holes have won 11 of 20 times since 1990. Palmer is the only player in tournament history to go wire-to-wire for his victory. Palmer did so in 1985, when he was an 11-stroke victor over four players at the Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland, Ohio. Roberts led wire-to-wire in 2007, but shared the first-round lead with four other players.

This is the first year that the tournament will be held at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. Baltimore Country Club hosted the event from 2007 to 2009. The TPC of Michigan hosted this tournament from 1991 to 2006. The tournament was held at Canterbury Country Club in Cleveland the first four years, followed by the TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida and Dearborn Country Club in Michigan.

Floyd, Stockton and Palmer are the only players to win this event twice, while Palmer is the only player to win this event two straight years (1984-85).

The Champions Tour heads to Texas in two weeks for the Administaff Small Business Classic, where John Cook captured the event last year.

10/05 13:25:28 ET

As of October 5, 2010, at 01:25 PM ET

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