Constellation Senior PLAYERS Primer: History, TV, Field

The fourth major of the 2016-17 Champions Tour season is upon us, with the 35th-annual Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. For the first time it will be played at Caves Valley Golf Club just outside of Baltimore, Maryland.

 


History

The Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship (or simply the Senior PLAYERS Championship) is one of the five major championships on the Champions Tour. The inaugural event was played in 1983 at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio. Miller Barber took home the first trophy along with a $40,000 check after shooting a 10-under-par 278.

 
The tournament is the fourth-oldest event on the Champions Tour with only the Senior PGA Championship (78 years), Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge (40 years) and the U.S. Senior Open (38 years) older.

Some of the biggest names in golf have lifted the trophy at this long-running major championship, but no one has won it more times than Bernhard Langer who has taken home the last three titles (2014-2016). Other multiple winners include Arnold Palmer (1984, 1985), Dave Stockton (1992, 1994), and Raymond Floyd (1996, 2000).

One final tidbit: Only three players have won both the PLAYERS Championship and the Senior PLAYERS: Jack Nicklaus (1974, 1976, 1978, *1990), Raymond Floyd (1981, *1996, *2000), and Fred Couples (1984, 1996, *2011).
(* Denotes SENIOR PLAYERS Championship)


The Course

Designed by Tom Fazio in 1991, Caves Valley Golf Club is a par 72 championship track measuring a 6,942 yards. It is located in Owings Mills, Maryland, a suburb northwest of Baltimore. The course is known for its fast greens and is consistently rated as one of the top 100 golf courses in the country.

 
In 2002, it played host to the U.S. Senior Open where Don Pooley beat Tom Watson in a five-hole playoff.

Additionally, the course has hosted several major amateur events including the 1995 U.S. Mid-Amateur, the 2005 NCAA Men’s Championships, and the 2007 Palmer Cup.


The Field

Bernhard Langer will return to defend his title, with hopes of winning for the fourth consecutive year. He will be joined by six other past champions, including Mark O’Meara and Kenny Perry.

 
Perry, who won the U.S. Senior Open at Salem Country Club two weeks ago, will try to reproduce his 2013 season by winning the U.S. Senior Open and Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship in consecutive starts.

The field also includes Fred Funk, a Takoma Park (MD) native and University of Maryland alum. In all, the 78-player field features 49 of the top-50 players in the current Charles Schwab Cup standings.


Defending Champion

Bernhard Langer’s win last year marked the eighth time in Champions Tour history that a player won the same event three years in a row.

 
If he wins again this year, the four consecutive wins would be the second-longest streak in Tour history, trailing only Hale Irwin’s five straight titles at the Turtle Bay Championship (2000-2005; no event in 2004).


Recent Winners

2016 Bernhard Langer
2015 Bernhard Langer
2014 Bernhard Langer
2013 Kenny Perry
2012 Joe Daley
2011 Fred Couples
2010 Mark O’Meara


Field, By The Numbers

  • 7 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame (Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara, Jose Maria Olazabal, Vijay Singh, and 2017 inductee Ian Woosnam)
  • 61 PGA Tour winners with 334 total career victories
  • 53 Champions Tour winners with 217 total career victories
  • 20 players with a Champions major victory
  • 17 players with a PGA Tour major victory

TV Coverage

Golf Channel All Four Rounds
Round 1: Thursday 1:30-4 PM
Round 2: Friday 1:30-4 PM
Round 3: Saturday 3-6 PM
Round 4: Sunday 3-6 PM


The Skinny

Tournament: Constellation Senior PLAYERS Championship
Title Sponsor: Constellation Brands
Dates: July 13-16
Course: Caves Valley Golf Club
Where: Owings Mills, MD
Vitals: par-72, 6,942 yards
Architect: Tom Fazio (1991)
Format: 72 hole competition, 36 hole cut (top 72 and ties)
Purse: $2,800,000
Winning Share: $420,000
Website: PGATour.com/SeniorPlayers
Facebook: Facebook.com/SeniorPlayers
Twitter: Twitter.com/SeniorPlayers
Instagram: Instagram.com/SeniorPlayers


Jeff Smith

Jeff is a Producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is producing a digital documentary on the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.



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