CHAMPIONS - Regions Tradition Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, June 7th through Sunday, June 10th
SITE: Shoal Creek, Birmingham, Alabama
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jack Nicklaus (1977)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,197
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 401 yds10 - Par 4 419 yds
2 - Par 4 407 yds11 - Par 5 522 yds
3 - Par 5 520 yds12 - Par 4 454 yds
4 - Par 4 464 yds13 - Par 3 197 yds
5 - Par 3 190 yds14 - Par 4 382 yds
6 - Par 5 565 yds15 - Par 4 405 yds
7 - Par 4 444 yds16 - Par 3 213 yds
8 - Par 3 171 yds17 - Par 5 537 yds
9 - Par 4 462 yds18 - Par 4 444 yds
36 3,624 yds36 3,573 yds
Annual:  24th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 6:30-8:30 p.m. (et) - taped,
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 7:30-9:30 p.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Tom Lehman
Runner-Up:  Peter Senior
Tournament Record:  265 (Doug Tewell, 2001)
54-Hole Record:  199 (Gil Morgan, 1997)
36-Hole Record:  130 (Tom Watson, 2003)
18-Hole Record:  62 (Doug Tewell, 2001 - GC at Desert Mountain;
  Tom Watson, 2003 - The Reserve Vineyards and GC;
  Brad Bryant, 2009 - Crosswater Club at Sunriver)
Course Record:  65 (Mark Calcavecchia, Kenny Perry, Loren Roberts, 2011)
Total Purse:  $2,200,000
Shares:  1st Place - $330,000; 2nd Place - $206,400; 3rd Place - $158,600
2011 Finish
Tom Lehman *275Jay Haas279
Peter Senior275Kenny Perry279
Loren Roberts277Nick Price279
Michael Allen278Eduardo Romero279
Mark Calcavecchia279Tom Pernice, Jr.280

* - Won in Playoff

Past Regions Tradition Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011*Tom Lehman (275) -- Peter Senior
2010Fred Funk (276) -- Michael Allen, Chien Soon Lu
2009*Mike Reid (272) -- John Cook
2008Fred Funk (269) -- Mike Goodes
2007Mark McNulty (272) -- David Edwards
2006*Eduardo Romero (275) -- Lonnie Nielsen
2005*Loren Roberts (273) -- Dana Quigley
2004Craig Stadler (275) -- Allen Doyle, Jerry Pate
2003Tom Watson (273) -- Gil Morgan, Jim Ahern, Tom Kite
2002*Jim Thorpe (277) -- John Jacobs
2001Doug Tewell (265) -- Mike McCullough
2000*Tom Kite (280) -- Tom Watson, Larry Nelson
1999#Graham Marsh (136) -- Larry Nelson
1998Gil Morgan (276) -- Tom Wargo
1997Gil Morgan (266) -- Isao Aoki
1996Jack Nicklaus (272) -- Hale Irwin
1995*Jack Nicklaus (276) -- Isao Aoki
1994*Ray Floyd (271) -- Dale Douglass
1993Tom Shaw (269) -- Mike Hill
1992Lee Trevino (274) -- Jack Nicklaus
1991Jack Nicklaus (277) -- Jim Colbert, Jim Dent, Phil Rodgers
1990#Jack Nicklaus (206) -- Gary Player
1989Don Bies (275) -- Gary Player

* - Won in Playoff

# - Weather Shortened

Note:Formerly called The Tradition at Desert Mountain (1989-91); The
Tradition (1992-99), The Countrywide Tradition (2000-02); JELD-WEN Tradition (2003-10).

Top Contenders in the Field
Tom Lehman---------------------T-8T-4Won
Peter Senior------------------------T-382nd
Loren Roberts---------WonT-14T-4T-7T-5T-153rd
Michael Allen------------------------T-24th
Mark Calcavecchia------------------------T-4T-5
Jay Haas---------T-23T-20T-14T-3T-17T-10T-5
Eduardo Romero------------WonT-14T-18T-11T-18T-5
Nick Price------------------------T-38T-5
Kenny Perry---------------------------T-5
David Frost------------------------T-2111th
Chien Soon Lu------------------------T-2T-12
Jeff Sluman------------------T-31T-11T-29T-12
Mark McNulty---------8thT-46WonT-25T-25---T-16
Fred Funk---------------11thWonT-5WonT-18
Mike Goodes------------------2ndT-17T-29T-18
Corey Pavin------------------------T-29T-18
Brad Bryant---------T-16T-14T-21T-253rdT-34T-18
Tom PurtzerT-7T-16T-29T-27T-4T-36T-25T-31T-2524th
John Cook------------------T-142ndT-6T-25
Keith Fergus------T-36T-56T-9T-6T-31T-17T-43T-25
Bruce Vaughan---------------T-56T-41T-3145thT-25
Mark Wiebe------------------T-18T-41T-6T-28
Andy Bean------T-4T-538thT-27T-48T-27T-25T-35
Mike Reid------T-45T-9T-39T-18T-41WonT-47T-35
David EgerT-64T-46T-59T-63T-36T-30T-14T-21wdT-35
Tom JenkinsT-13T-60T-19T-5T-14T-30T-7T-47T-38T-43
Hale Irwin6thT-1013thT-42T-32T-52T-41T-38T-50T-45
Jim ThorpeWonT-7T-14T-67T-36T-40T-18T-31---T-49
Dan Forsman------------------T-3940th53rdT-53
Fred Couples---------------------------T-63
Bernhard Langer------------------T-7T-17T-10---
Craig Stadler---T-10WonT-23T-14T-30T-41T-21T-10---
Russ Cochran---------------------T-41T-18---
Larry Mize---------------------4thT-25---
Roger Chapman------------------------------
Kirk Triplett------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Bernhard Langer
Darkhorse - Kirk Triplett
Last Week's Pick to Win (Peter Senior) - Finished tied for 37th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Brad Bryant) - Finished tied for 37th
The second major of the 2012 Champions Tour season is upon us, as the 24th Regions Tradition takes center stage. The top-33 players on the money list are in the field this week, including money leader and two-time winner Michael Allen. Roger Chapman captured the first major of the season in his only event played this year, the Senior PGA Championship. Chapman is in the field this week.

Allen currently leads the money list with $1,011,882 in earnings, $271,450 ahead of Bernhard Langer. Allen has seven top-10 finishes this year on the Champions Tour and one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour. He has finished 2nd and 4th at this event the last two years. Allen qualified for the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, which will take place next week. Langer has yet to win in 2012, but has seven top-10 finishes, including two second place finishes.

The field includes 66 players who have won 440 career PGA Tour titles, including 21 major championship winners. The field also includes 28 players who have won majors on the Champions Tour and six members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

This is the second year that this tournament is being held at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Alabama. The previous four years were held at Crosswater Club at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon. The Golf Club at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona hosted the first 13 years. The Prospector Course at Superstition Mountain in Arizona was the venue in 2002, while the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha, Oregon hosted from 2003-06. The event previously was held in August prior to moving to May in 2011 and June this year.

Shoal Creek hosted the 1984 and 1990 PGA Championships, won by Lee Trevino and Wayne Grady. Fred Couples, who is playing this week, was in the top-20 at both tournaments, finishing runner-up to Grady in 1990. Shoal Creek was also the site for the 1986 U.S. Amateur and 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur.

Hale Irwin, the Champions Tour's all-time victory leader with 45 titles, will try to join Jack Nicklaus as the only other player to claim a fourth different major. An Irwin victory at this year's tournament would also tie him with Nicklaus for the most senior majors (eight) and at 67, he would also become the Champions Tour's oldest winner. Nicklaus won four Traditions (1990-1991, 1995-996), a pair of U.S. Senior Opens (1991, 1993), the 1990 Senior Players Championship and the 1991 Senior PGA Championship. Irwin has won four Senior PGA Championships (1996-1997, 1998, 2004), a pair of U.S. Senior Opens (1998, 2000) and the 1999 Players Championship. He was the runner-up to Nicklaus in the 1996 Tradition.

Nicklaus won this event four times, finished second once and has nine top-10 finishes in his 12 appearances. Nicklaus was the first player to win the same Champions Tour event four times, with his last career victory coming here in 1996. It also marked his 100th professional win. Of Nicklaus' 10 career Champions Tour wins, eight have been majors.

Last year, Tom Lehman parred the second playoff hole to defeat Peter Senior. Lehman shot rounds of 67-71-68-69 to finish with Senior at 13-under-par 275. Lehman collected his fifth Champions Tour win and third of 2011. It was his second major championship on the Champions Tour to go with the 2010 Senior PGA Championship. He is still looking for his first win of 2012.

In 2010, Fred Funk closed with a three-under 69 in the final round to win by a single stroke over Allen and Chien Soon Lu. Funk, who also won this crown in 2008, finished at 12-under-par 276. Funk hit 54 of 56 fairways for the week and did not make a bogey on the back nine in all four rounds. The win marked the third straight year in which Funk had won a major championship title. The victory went with those at this event in 2008 and the 2009 U.S. Senior Open. Loren Roberts was the last to win a major in three straight years, and he did so from 2005-07.

Eduardo Romero picked up his first Champions Tour win as he won with a birdie on the first playoff hole over Lonnie Nielsen in 2006. Romero posted the low round of the week with his seven-under 65 in the final round. Romero joined Nicklaus, Tom Kite and Roberts as those who made this event their first Champions Tour win. Romero's five-stroke comeback on the final day was the largest in tournament history. Romero, from Argentina, became the second international player to win this title, joining Australian Graham Marsh (1999). He joined Roberto De Vicenzo as the only players from Argentina to win a senior major and joined De Vicenzo and Vicente Fernandez as the only players from Argentina to win on the Champions Tour.

The Champions Tour moves to Canada in two weeks for the Montreal Championship, where John Cook will defend his title.

06/05 16:53:09 ET

As of June 5, 2012, at 04:53 PM ET
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