Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Ahead... the Champions Tour

I guess it's appropriate that I spend the last post of the old year on the old guys.

The Champions Tour seems to be in pretty good shape. Golfweek published a list of the most obvious changes to the schedule just before Christmas. It also includes the venues for the majors, the most notable being the Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Michigan for the U.S. Senior Open and the Ailsa Course at Turnberry in Scotland for the Senior British Open.

Notably missing from the Golfweek list is the change to the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. That event will now be the Tampa Bay Pro-Am, and it will be hosted by the Tampa Bay Lightning. That's right, the NHL and the Champions Tour will be working together for charity. Several hockey players, Wayne Gretzky being the most notable, have already become associated with the Tour in one way or another. You can read about that change in this PGATOUR.com announcement, just released Friday.

I can't tell you much about new rookies from the PGA Tour for 2012. The main names I've been able to find so far (and recognized) are:
  • Kirk Triplett
  • Andrew Magee
  • Duffy Waldorf
  • P.H Horgan III
I would be surprised if there weren't some others, but I couldn't find an official list. Bear in mind that there are also new members that came through the Q-School, but I was just looking for previous Tour members.

As for what I expect in 2012? Simply put, more Couples, Lehman, Calcavecchia, Langer, Price, Cook, and Watson. These clearly aren't the only good players on the Tour, but they are the biggest draws... and they were all playing well at the end of the season. (Well, Langer was still getting it back together after thumb surgery, but it's just a matter of time.)

Unless something unforeseen happens, I don't expect things to change much for the Champions Tour in 2012... and that's probably a good thing. As I said, it looks to be in pretty good shape. For now, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Now you guys have a good time this New Year's Eve... and try not to get in any trouble, ok? We've got a whole new year of golf coming up!

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