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CHAMPIONS - Insperity Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Friday, May 4th through Sunday, May 6th
SITE: The Woodlands Country Club (Tournament Course), The Woodlands, Texas
COURSE ARCHITECT: Robert von Hagge and Bruce Devlin (1978),
         Carlton Gipson (1996, renovation)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,002
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 520 Yds10 - Par 4 421 Yds
2 - Par 4 371 Yds11 - Par 4 417 Yds
3 - Par 3 158 Yds12 - Par 4 377 Yds
4 - Par 4 413 Yds13 - Par 5 533 Yds
5 - Par 4 456 Yds14 - Par 3 190 Yds
6 - Par 5 573 Yds15 - Par 5 521 Yds
7 - Par 4 414 Yds16 - Par 3 175 Yds
8 - Par 3 221 Yds17 - Par 4 382 Yds
9 - Par 4 418 Yds18 - Par 4 442 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,544 Yds36 3,458 Yds
 
Annual:  9th
Television:  Golf Channel - Friday -- 7:30-9:30 p.m. (et) - taped,
  - Saturday -- 6:30-9:30 p.m. (et) - taped,
  - Sunday -- 7-9:30 p.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Brad Faxon
Runner-Up:  Tommy Armour III
Tournament Record:  191 (Bernhard Langer, 2007)
36-Hole Record:  127 (Bernhard Langer, 2007)
Course Record:  63 (Fred Couples, 2010; Michael Allen, 2011)
18-Hole Record:  62 (Bernhard Langer, 2007 - Augusta Pines)
Total Purse:  $1,700,000
Shares:  1st Place - $255,000; 2nd Place - $149,600; 3rd Place - $122,400
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Brad Faxon #134Tom Lehman137
Tommy Armour III135Mark Calcavecchia138
Eduardo Romero136Chien Soon Lu139
Olin Browne137Peter Senior139
Jay Haas137Six players at140

# - Weather Shortened

 
Past Insperity Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011#Brad Faxon (134) -- Tommy Armour III
2010Fred Couples (199) -- Mark Wiebe
2009John Cook (205) -- Jay Haas, Bob Tway
2008Bernhard Langer (204) -- Lonnie Nielsen
2007Bernhard Langer (191) -- Mark O'Meara
2006#Jay Haas (128) -- Bruce Lietzke, Tom Purtzer
2005Mark McNulty (200) -- Gil Morgan
2004*Larry Nelson (202) -- Hale Irwin

* - Won in Playoff

# - Weather Shortened

NOTE:Formerly called Administaff Small Business Classic (2004-10)

Top Contenders in the Field
Player20042005200620072008200920102011
Brad Faxon---------------------Won
Tom Lehman---------------T-4T-9T-4
Jay Haas---T-5WonT-4T-6T-2T-24T-4
Olin Browne---------------T-7T-35T-4
Mark Calcavecchia------------------T-307th
Peter Senior------------------T-24T-8
Fred Couples------------------WonT-10
Brad Bryant---4thT-23---T-20---T-3T-10
John Cook---------T-36T-39WonT-5T-10
Corey Pavin------------------T-5T-10
Joey Sindelar------------T-13T-26T-42T-10
David Frost---------------T-10T-9T-16
Loren Roberts------T-16---T-6T-26T-9T-16
Bernhard Langer---------WonWonT-4T-13T-16
Keith FergusT-19T-25T-39T-24T-39T-14T-13T-16
Tom JenkinsT-19T-12T-10T-6T-47T-62T-24T-16
John Huston---------------------T-16
Jeff Sluman---------T-1212thT-30T-30T-24
Michael Allen---------------------T-24
Mark Wiebe---------T-24---T-102ndT-27
Dan Forsman------------T-20T-4T-3T-27
Mark O'Meara---------2ndT-62T-23T-42T-27
Russ Cochran---------------T-7T-13T-34
Hale Irwin2nd3rd---T-24T-35T-74T-21T-34
Mark McNultyT-23WonT-32T-18---T-50---T-34
Hal Sutton------------T-23T-30T-21T-45
Kenny Perry---------------------T-35
Larry NelsonWonT-56T-7---T-39T-42T-42---
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Michael Allen
Darkhorse - Bill Glasson
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Fred Couples and Jay Haas) - Finished tied for 6th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Sandy Lyle and Peter Senior) - Finished tied for 21st
 
NOTES:
The Champions Tour travels to Texas this week for the Insperity Championship at The Woodlands. Golf legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino will join Don January, Miller Barber, Gene Littler, David Graham and Dave Stockton in an 18-hole event on Saturday after the final tee time of the regular tournament. The format will be a three-man scramble with the Big Three of Nicklaus, Palmer and Player playing together in the final threesome.

A stellar field is on hand, not to mention some local favorites, as well as players who have had success in the Lone Star state. The top 25 players on the money list are in the field, including money-leader Michael Allen, who is the only two-time winner on tour this season.

Allen leads the money list by $339,100 over Bernhard Langer, who has yet to win in 2012, but has four top-five finishes. Allen has won the last two events on tour, the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am of Tampa Bay and Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with partner David Frost).

Palmer made his last official tour playing appearance in Houston in 2006 at this event. Palmer won two times on the PGA Tour (1957, 66) and one unofficial Champions Tour event in 1984 (Doug Sanders Celebrity Pro-Am) in Houston.

Trevino leads all active Champions Tour players in the number of career tour victories in the state of Texas with seven (three PGA Tour, four Champions Tour). Tom Watson has won six times in the Lone Star State (five PGA Tour, one Champions Tour), while Palmer has six PGA Tour titles in the state of Texas. Ben Crenshaw, Bruce Lietzke and Nicklaus all won four times on the PGA Tour in Texas, while Chi Chi Rodriguez claimed four Champions Tour titles in the Lone Star State.

Last year, Brad Faxon was declared the winner when heavy rain forced the cancellation of the final round. The tournament was shortened to 36 holes and Faxon, the second-round leader, earned his first Champions Tour victory in only his sixth start on the over-50 circuit. Faxon's seven-under 65 in the second round was enough to give him the title at 10-under 134. Faxon became the first Champions Tour player to earn his maiden victory in a rain-shortened event since Leonard Thompson in 1998.

In 2010, Fred Couples fired a 29 on the back nine in the final round that turned a two-stroke deficit into a seven-shot victory. Couples finished with a nine-under 63 on the final day and got through 54 holes at 17-under 199. It was Couples' fourth victory of 2010, but his first in seven months. He joined Jay Haas and Bob Charles as the only players to win in Houston on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.

In 2008, Langer used a pair of back-nine birdies in the final round to hold on for victory and a successful title defense. Langer finished the championship at 12-under 204 thanks to a final-round, three-under 69 and won by two strokes over second-round co-leader Lonnie Nielsen. Langer was the only player in the field to fire three rounds in the 60s and pocketed $255,000 to vault past Haas and into first place on the Champions Tour money list, where he wound finish the year.

Langer shot rounds of 62-65-64 in 2007 to cruise to an eight-shot victory over Mark O'Meara for his first Champions Tour victory. He closed the tournament with 34 consecutive bogey-free holes. Langer finished with an overall score of 25-under 191 to smash the tournament scoring record by nine shots and match the Champions Tour record for a 54-hole score. He also broke the course record with a 62 in the first round and established a new 36-hole mark at 127. Langer's win came in only his fourth start on the Champions Tour.

The Champions Tour heads to Michigan in three weeks for the first Champions Tour major of the year, the Senior PGA Championship at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, where Tom Watson will defend his title.

05/01 16:20:04 ET

As of May 1, 2012, at 04:20 PM ET

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