The first major of the Champions Tour season is upon us, with the 31st annual Regions Tradition. For the fourth year in a row, the tournament will be hosted at Greystone Golf & Country Club.
The field will feature 34 of the top-36 players in the current Charles Schwab Cup standings, headlined by defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez and two-time winner Bernhard Langer.
Here’s some more on what to expect at this week’s Regions Tradition.
Title Sponsor: Regions Financial Corporation
Dates: May 9-12
Course: Greystone Golf & CC, Founders
Where: Birmingham, Alabama
Distance: 7299 yards, par 72
Architect: Bob Cupp (1991)
Field/Format: 78 players, 72-hole stroke play, no cut
Winning Share: $360,000
Defending Champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez
Top Betting Favorites: Steve Stricker, Bernhard Langer, Scott McCarron, Jerry Kelly, Kevin Sutherland, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Vijay Singh, Scott Parel, Colin Montgomerie
TV Schedule & Links
Rd 1: Thu 11:00 am-2:00 pm
Rd 2: Fri 11:00 am-2:00 pm
Rd 3: Sat 02:00 pm-5:00 pm
Rd 4: Sun 02:00 pm-5:00 pm
All coverage via GOLF Channel.
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The ‘Tradition’ was first played 29 years ago, and since its inception, has always been contested as a major event on the Champions Tour. It became the fourth major on the then Senior PGA Tour in 1989.
The Senior PGA Championship (PGA of America) and the U.S. Senior Open (USGA) were the original two majors when the PGA Tour’s senior circuit launched in 1980. Three years later the Senior Players launched (1983), making it a trio of majors for the burgeoning tour. Then six years later, the Tradition was launched in Scottsdale, Arizona.
In 2003, the Champions Tour adopted the Senior (British) Open Championship as its fifth major.
From its inception, through 2001, the tournament was held in the state of Arizona at the Desert Mountain’s Cochise course, with Don Bies capturing the inaugural trophy. Jack Nicklaus followed with back to back wins in 1990 and 1991, and the Golden Bear followed that up with two more Traditions in 1995 and 1996.
In 2002, it was moved to Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club (Prospector course) near Gold Canyon (AZ). And the following year, in 2003, the event relocated to Oregon for an eight-year run – the first four tournaments at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha, and the final four at the Crosswater Club in Sunriver, South of Bend.
In 2010, it moved to its current locale, in the state of Alabama, with the first five editions contested at Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club, southeast of Birmingham. It moved to the nearby Greystone Golf and Country Club in 2016, and is held on the recently renovated Founders Course.
Unlike the U.S. Senior Open, Senior PGA Championship, and the Senior Open Championship, the Tradition and Senior Players are not recognized as a major by the European Senior Tour, and is not part of that tour’s official schedule. Additionally, the Tradition is the only senior major where the winner does not earn an exemption into some kind of regular PGA Tour or European Tour event.
History: Tournament Names
2011-18 Regions Tradition
2003-10 JELD-WEN Tradition
2000-02 The Countrywide Tradition
1997-99 The Tradition presented by Countrywide
1992-96 The Tradition
1989-91 The Tradition at Desert Mountain
History: Recent Winners
2017 Miguel Angel Jimenez
2017 Bernhard Langer
2016 Bernhard Langer
2015 Jeff Maggert
2014 Kenny Perry
2013 David Frost
2012 Tom Lehman
2011 Tom Lehman
Miguel Angel Jimenez posted a final-round 70 at Greystone Golf and Country Club to capture the Regions Tradition – the season’s first major on the Champions Tour.
Following a third-round 6-under-66, Jimenez entered Sunday holding a three-shot lead, but after a bogey on the par-5 15th hole, the Spaniard’s lead had dwindled to just one.
The flamboyant 54-year old bounced back nicely, though, with a birdie on No. 16, and a final gain on 18 to sign for a 2-under par 70, good for a four-day score of 19-under par 269, three clear of a chasing pack which included Gene Sauers (69), Joe Durant (69), and Steve Stricker (70) – who all finished T2 at 16 under.
Final Top 5
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1 Miguel Angel Jimenez -19 (-2)
2 Gene Sauers -16 (-3)
2 Joe Durant -16 (-3)
2 Steve Stricker -16 (-2)
5Jeff Maggert -15 (-8)
5 Duffy Waldorf -15 (-6)
5 Scott McCarron -15 (-5)
The field in Alabama this week includes 34 of the top-36 players in the current Charles Schwab Cup standings, including eight who have already won this season: Tom Lehman (Mitsubishi Electric Championship), Bernhard Langer (Oasis Championship), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Chubb Classic), Kirk Triplett (Hoag Classic), Kevin Sutherland (Rapiscan Systems Classic), Scott Hoch and Tom Pernice Jr. (Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf) and Scott McCarron (Mitsubishi Electric Classic, Insperity Invitational).
Joining past champions Jimenez (2018), Lehman (2011, 2012), and Langer (2016, 2017) will be five additional former Regions Tradition winners: Fred Funk (2008, 2010) David Frost (2013), Tom Kite (2000), Jeff Maggert (2015) and Kenny Perry (2014).
The tournament’s top-three betting favorites are Steve Stricker (6-1), Langer (8-1), and McCarron (8-1)
Bet on the 2019 Regions Tradition at Bovada.
Credit: PGA Tour Champions Media Notes and Guide, Getty Images