Two Weeks Until Champions Arrive
Bobby Wadkins takes title in Florida.
Bobby Wadkins won his fourth career Champions Tour title over the weekend at the ACE Group Classic in Naples, Fla., in dramatic fashion. Wadkins went into the final hole, the Par-5 18th at Quail West Golf Club, tied with Allen Doyle. Facing a 13-footer for birdie, Wadkins drilled the putt, while Doyle made par. The birdie putt gave Wadkins, who opened the tournament with a 64 on Friday, a final round total of 4-under 68 and 15-under 201 score. Doyle finished at 14-under. Eduardo Romero and Mike Reid tied for third at 13-under, while Mark O’Meara, playing in only his second Champions Tour event, and Loren Roberts were next in line at 12-under. Wadkins won his first Champions Tour event in 2001, his first season on the circuit. He then went winless until claiming two titles last year, including the Ford Senior Players Championship.
UP NEXT ON THE CHAMPIONS TOUR:
The ACE Group Classic ended a three-week stretch in Florida for the Champions Tour players. Following a one-week break this week, the attention will turn to Southern California for back-to-back events, including the AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club, March 12-18. The tour makes a stop in Newport Beach before heading to the Santa Clarita Valley for its annual stop.
THE NAME GAME:
Of the golfers referenced above, all are scheduled to play in the AT&T Champions Classic at this time except Mark O’ Meara. Bobby Wadkins finished in a tie for 17th last year, while Allen Doyle was tied for 11th in last year’s event, which included a final round 69. Mike Reid finished in 63rd position, and Eduardo Romero did not compete last year. Loren Roberts had the best finish of the group, as he tied for seventh place. As a side note, Lanny Wadkins will join his brother Bobby at this year’s Classic. Lanny tied for 28th in last year’s event.
DID YOU KNOW?:
-309 different players have participated in the AT&T Champions Classic. Those 309 players have taken 277,877 strokes in 3,872 rounds.
-Gil Morgan is the youngest winner of the AT&T Champions Classic at 50 years, 0 months and 11 days.
-Jim Colbert is the oldest winner of the AT&T Champions Classic at 60 years, 0 months and 2 days.
-J.C. Snead is the only player not to make a bogey during the 54-hole AT&T Champions Classic. Despite not making a bogey, Snead still finished 10th in 1994.
-John Bland (South Africa) and Des Smyth (Ireland) are the only AT&T Champions Classic winners not born in the United States.
-There has yet to be a double-eagle made in the AT&T Champions Classic.
GIL MORGAN ON VALENCIA CC:
“I think its demanding in the fact it has a lot of length in places. Due to the tree-lined features of that golf course, it really demands shotmaking. The greens have always been difficult to putt because you have to put your ball in certain places to really have a good run at birdie. I really like the definitive features of the golf course. It really gives you an idea of where you need to place your ball. It’s really more of an old, traditional style golf course,” Gil Morgan, winner of the 2004 event at Valencia Country Club, and runner-up last year to Tom Kite and in 2003 to Tom Purtzer. Morgan also won in 1996 and 1997 when the event was played at Wilshire Country Club.
Tickets for this year’s 54-hole stroke play event are available for purchase online at www.attchampionsclassic.com with a variety of ticket packages available. Tickets, which start as low as $15, can also be purchased by calling 661-260-1897. A third option is to purchase a ticket through one of the Champions for Charity partners, including the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Special Olympics Southern California/Santa Clarita Chapter, Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging Senior Center, the Santa Clarita Food Pantry, Girl Scouts, First Tee-Pasadena, Canyon High School Boys Golf, Hart High School Girls Golf, Valencia High School Boys Golf, Laynes Legacy, Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita, AT&T Champions Classic Beneficiary and the SCV Youth Project.