The Champions Tour heads to the Arizona desert for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at historic Phoenix Country Club.
Bernhard Langer, the season-long points leader, and winner of the first two legs of the playoffs, enters Phoenix as the No. 1 seed, and will be seeking to capture his fourth consecutive Charles Schwab Cup.
Paul Goydos will return to defend his 2016 title in the exclusive 36-player field. At No. 22, however, he will need to repeat as champ, and get all kinds of help to capture his first Schwab Cup.
Tournament: Charles Schwab Cup Championship
Course: Phoenix Country Club
Where: Phoenix, Arizona
Distance: Par 71 / 6,763 yards
Architect(s): Harry Collis (1901); Tom Lehman / John Fought (2002)
Winning Share: $440,000
Format: 36 players, 54 holes, No cut
2016 Winner: Paul Goydos
The Charles Schwab Cup Championship is the final event of the season on the PGA Tour’s Champions Tour. It was formerly known as the Senior Tour Championship.
Mike Hill was the inaugural champion, winning at Dorado Beach’s (P.R.) East Course in 1990, and repeating in 1991. Other multiple winners include Ray Floyd (1992, 1994), Tom Watson (2000, 2005), Jim Thorpe (2003, 2006, 2007), and John Cook (2009, 2010).
Up until 2015, the top 30 money winners during the season would make up the field.
In 2016, it became the final stage of a three-tournament playoff – the equivalent of the FedExCup Tour Championship on the PGA Tour, where preceding playoff tournaments reduce the field (72 to 54 to 36) each week until the championship finale.
RECENT TOURNAMENT WINNERS
2016: Paul Goydos
2015: Billy Andrade
2014: Tom Pernice Jr.
2013: Fred Couples
2012: Tom Lehman
RECENT CUP WINNERS
2016: Bernhard Langer
2015: Bernhard Langer
2014: Bernhard Langer
2013: Kenny Perry
2012: Tom Lehman
The host course for the senior tour’s championship is Phoenix Country Club. The venerable course was the original host of the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Open in 1932 and went on to serve as the tournament site through 1986 until TPC Scottsdale assumed the role.
Several players competing this week played at Phoenix CC when the venue hosted the Phoenix Open. Corey Pavin finished runner-up in 1984 and T4 in 1985. Bernhard Langer finished T7 in 1986.
Designed by Harry Collis in 1901, the course was redesigned in 2002 by the team of Tom Lehman and John Fought.
TV & ONLINE COVERAGE
Paul Goydos posted a final-round 66 to complete a wire-to-wire win at the 2016 Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Following an opening-round 8-under 62, Goydos carded scores of 67 and 66 to win by two shots clear of Bernhard Langer at Desert Mountain Resort’s Cochise Course.
With the win, Goydos finished third in the final Charles Schwab Cup standings and earned a $300,000 bonus on top of his $440,000 tournament-winning check.
Langer, meanwhile, posted a Sunday-round 64 to capture his third straight Charles Schwab Cup, and fourth overall (2010, 2014-2016).
Colin Montgomerie finished with a 68 to claim solo third, and second place in the Schwab Cup for the third year in a row, good for a $500,000 bonus.
FINAL TOURNAMENT RESULTS 2016
1 Paul Goydos (-15) $440k
2 Bernhard Langer (-13) $250k
3 Colin Montgomerie (-11) $210k
FINAL CUP RESULTS 2016
1 Bernhard Langer $1m
2 Colin Montgomerie $500k
3 Paul Goydos $300k
Langer, the four-time Schwab Cup winner, once again headlines. The 60-year old German star enters the final round of the playoffs having captured both of its opening legs: Dominion Energy Charity Classic and Powershares QQQ Championship.
As unfair as it seems, however, with a resetting of points, any of the top 5 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings can win the Cup with a victory in Phoenix.
Following a runner-up at the Powershares, Miguel Angel Jimenez moved to No. 4 and supplanted Jerry Kelly (No. 6) in the top 5, while Scott McCarron (No. 2), Kenny Perry (No. 3) and Kevin Sutherland (No. 5) remained locked in.
These five players are guaranteed to win the $1M Charles Schwab Cup with a victory. Langer, with 2,000 points, can win it without a victory, as long as no one in the top 5 takes it.
1. Bernhard Langer (2,000 points)
2. Scott McCarron (1,800 points)
3. Kenny Perry (1,600 points)
4. Miguel Angel Jimenez (1,440 points)
5. Kevin Sutherland (1,280 points)
These five players are still mathematically alive but have varying degrees of realistic chances. Jerry Kelly (No. 6) for instance could still win it with a victory, coupled with Langer finishing no better than 3rd, while Fred Couples (No. 10) would need a win, plus have Langer finish no better than 5th; McCarron no better than 4th; Perry and Jiminez no better than 3rd; and Sutherland no better than T2.
6. Jerry Kelly (1,120 points)
7. Colin Montgomerie (960 points)
8. Brandt Jobe (800 points)
9. Vijay Singh (640 points)
10. Fred Couples (480 points)
Credit: Getty Images, PGA Tour Media