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

DATES: Thursday, June 28th through Sunday, July 1st
SITE: Fox Chapel Golf Club, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
COURSE ARCHITECT: Seth Raynor (1923), Brian Silva (2001)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 6,710
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 418 Yds10 - Par 4 431 Yds
2 - Par 5 483 Yds11 - Par 4 408 Yds
3 - Par 3 199 Yds12 - Par 4 450 Yds
4 - Par 4 485 Yds13 - Par 4 409 Yds
5 - Par 4 342 Yds14 - Par 3 156 Yds
6 - Par 3 205 Yds15 - Par 4 344 Yds
7 - Par 4 295 Yds16 - Par 4 422 Yds
8 - Par 4 475 Yds17 - Par 3 231 Yds
9 - Par 4 383 Yds18 - Par 5 574 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,285 Yds35 3,425 Yds
 
Annual:  30th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 1-3 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 2:30-5 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Fred Couples
Runner-Up:  John Cook
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
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Fred Couples *273Tommy Armour III277
John Cook273Chip Beck277
Peter Senior274John Huston277
Tom Lehman275Bernhard Langer277
Mark O'Meara276Jeff Sluman277
Hal Sutton277

* - Won in Playoff

 
Past Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011*Fred Couples (273) -- John Cook
2010*Mark O'Meara (273) -- Michael Allen
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
Player2002200320042005200620072008200920102011
Fred Couples------------------------wdWon
John Cook------------------T-7T-565th2nd
Tom Lehman---------------------------4th
Jeff Sluman---------------T-17T-3T-244thT-6
Mark Calcavecchia------------------------wd12th
Kenny Perry---------------------------T-13
Russ Cochran---------------------T-41T-5T-15
Brad Bryant---------T-16T-7T-46T-7T-5371stT-15
Michael Allen------------------------2ndT-17
Olin Browne---------------------T-34T-11T-17
Tom KiteT-10T-2T-7T-39T-9T-25T-21T-47T-16T-17
Mark Wiebe---------------T-7T-43T-3T-33T-17
Corey Pavin------------------------T-57T-17
Gary Hallberg------------------73rdT-15T-25T-23
Loren Roberts------------T-3WonT-21T-33rdT-28
Tom Watson---T-2---T-3T-172nd---2nd66thT-28
Jay Haas---------T-18T-3T-176thWonT-20T-32
Morris HatalskyT-33T-35T-16T-11T-11T-54T-47T-13T-31T-37
Bobby WadkinsT-12T-40T-34T-37WonT-25T-1873rdT-52T-37
Eduardo Romero---------------T-7T-7T-31T-33T-40
Hale IrwinT-6T-12T-92nd---T-7T-27T-15T-41T-45
Scott Simpson------------T-17T-3T-21T-37T-43T-45
D.A. Weibring------T-13T-5T-22T-5WonwdT-20T-51
Craig Stadler---WonT-18T-30T-32T-37wdT-47---59th
Peter Jacobsen---------WonT-45------------T-72
Fred Funk------------T-11T-32ndT-7T-16---
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Tom Lehman
Darkhorse - Brad Bryant
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Fred Funk) - Finished tied for 15th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Russ Cochran) - Finished tied for 3rd
 
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 third major of 2012, with Roger Chapman capturing the Senior PGA Championship in May and Tom Lehman winning the Regions Tradition three weeks ago. Money leader Michael Allen has finished in the top-11 in his last 7 Champions Tour events. He also finished tied for 56th at the U.S. Open Championship.

Tom Watson is expected to play this week for the first time since withdrawing from the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am in April with wrist injury. Watson has never won this event, but has finished second three times.

Greg Norman is teeing it up for the first time on the Champions Tour since 2009. He missed the cut at the Mayakoba Golf Classic on the PGA Tour in February in his last event played.

Last year, Fred Couples finally won his second major championship after 19 years. Couples defeated John Cook with a birdie on the third extra hole to win the Senior Players Championship. It was Couples' first major on the Champions Tour, and his only major victory on the PGA Tour came at the 1992 Masters.

Couples joined Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd as the only players to win the Players Championship on the PGA Tour and the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship.

In 2010, Mark O'Meara two-putted for par on the first playoff hole to defeat Allen. O'Meara was the only player with four rounds in the 60s. It was his first individual win on the Champions Tour.

D.A. Weibring claimed his first career major at the age of 55 in 2008 with a 2-under 68 in the final round that gave him a one-shot victory. Weibring held off Fred Funk for his fifth Champions Tour victory. He finished at 9-under 271, one shot ahead of Funk.

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 Tom Watson. Roberts, who lost a five-shot lead in the final round 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. Roberts, Hale Irwin, Miller Barber, Raymond Floyd, Gary Player, Funk and Lehman are the only players to accomplish this feat. Irwin and Barber won a major championship five consecutive years.

In 2005, Peter Jacobsen fired a 6-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 29 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.

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 has gone on to win just five times -- and only three times has that happened since 1991 (Larry Gilbert in 1997; Allen Doyle in 2002; Roberts in 2007). Second- round leaders or co-leaders have claimed 8 of the last 22 tournaments. Leaders or co-leaders after 54 holes have won 13 of 22 times since 1990. Palmer is the only player to go wire-to-wire for his victory. Palmer did so in 1985, when he was an 11-stroke victor over four players at Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland, Ohio. Roberts led wire-to-wire in 2007, but shared the first-round lead with four other players.

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

The Champions Tour heads to California next week for the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, where Jeff Sluman captured the event last year.

06/26 16:41:46 ET

As of June 26, 2012, at 04:42 PM ET

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