CHAMPIONS - Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Friday, January 23rd through Sunday, January 25th
SITE: Hualalai Golf Course, Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jack Nicklaus (1995)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,107
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 397 Yds10 - Par 5 566 Yds
2 - Par 4 434 Yds11 - Par 4 416 Yds
3 - Par 4 422 Yds12 - Par 3 167 Yds
4 - Par 5 526 Yds13 - Par 4 387 Yds
5 - Par 3 205 Yds14 - Par 5 519 Yds
6 - Par 4 392 Yds15 - Par 4 428 Yds
7 - Par 5 551 Yds16 - Par 4 440 Yds
8 - Par 3 222 Yds17 - Par 3 164 Yds
9 - Par 4 461 Yds18 - Par 4 410 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,610 Yds36 3,497 Yds
 
Annual:  32nd
Television:  Golf Channel - Friday/Saturday -- 7:30-10:30 p.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 7-10 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Bernhard Langer
Runner-Up:  Fred Couples, Jeff Sluman
72-Hole Tournament Record:  279 (Bruce Crampton, 1992; Jack Nicklaus, 1994)
54-Hole Tournament Record:  191 (Loren Roberts, 2006)
36-Hole Record:  127 (Don Pooley, 2006; Russ Cochran, 2011)
Course Record:  61 (Loren Roberts, 2006)
Total Purse:  $1,800,000
Shares:  1st Place - $309,000; 2nd Place - $187,000; 3rd Place - $133,000
 
2014 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Bernhard Langer194David Frost201
Fred Couples197Mark O'Meara201
Jeff Sluman197Tom Lehman202
Jay Haas199Tom Pernice Jr.202
Rocco Mediate200Two players at203
 
Past Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2014Bernhard Langer (194) -- Fred Couples, Jeff Sluman
2013*John Cook (199) -- David Frost
2012Dan Forsman (201) -- Jay Don Blake
2011John Cook (194) -- Tom Lehman
2010Tom Watson (194) -- Fred Couples
2009Bernhard Langer (198) -- Andy Bean
2008Fred Funk (195) -- Allen Doyle
2007Hale Irwin (193) -- Tom Kite, Jim Thorpe
2006Loren Roberts (191) -- Don Pooley
2005*Dana Quigley (198) -- Tom Watson
2004Fuzzy Zoeller (196) -- Dana Quigley
2003Dana Quigley (198) -- Larry Nelson
2002Tom Kite (199) -- John Jacobs
2001Larry Nelson (197) -- Jim Thorpe
2000George Archer (207) -- Lee Trevino, Graham Marsh, Hale Irwin,
Dana Quigley
1999John Jacobs (203) -- Jim Colbert, Ray Floyd
1998Gil Morgan (195) -- Gibby Gilbert, Hale Irwin
1997Hale Irwin (209) -- Gil Morgan
1996John Bland (207) -- Jim Colbert
1995*Jim Colbert (209) -- Jim Albus
1994Jack Nicklaus (279) -- Bob Murphy
1993Al Geiberger (280) -- Jim Dent
1992Al Geiberger (280) -- Bruce Crampton, Chi Chi Rodriguez
1991Bruce Crampton (279) -- Frank Beard
1990George Archer (283) -- Bruce Crampton, Bobby Nichols
1989Miller Barber (280) -- Dale Douglass
1988#Dave Hill (211) -- Miller Barber, Al Geiberger
1987*Don January (287) -- Butch Baird
1986Miller Barber (282) -- Arnold Palmer
1985Peter Thomson (284) -- Don January, Dan Sikes
1984Orville Moody (288) -- Dan Sikes

# - Rain Shortened

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Previously called MasterCard Championship at Hualalai (2006-08),
MasterCard Championship (1997-2005), Senior Tournament of Champions (1995-96), Mercedes Championships (1994), Infiniti Senior Tournament of Champions (1991-93), MONY Senior Tournament of Champions (1984-90).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2005200620072008200920102011201220132014
Bernhard Langer---------T-3WonT-9T-16T-153rdWon
Fred Couples---------------2ndT-1611th4thT-2
Jeff Sluman------------T-4T-22T-4T-520thT-2
Jay Haas---T-3T-5T-33rdT-1715thT-7T-94th
Rocco Mediate---------------------------5th
David Frost------------------T-8T-312ndT-6
Mark O'Meara---------------T-11T-8T-27T-14T-6
Tom Lehman---------------4th2ndT-128thT-8
Tom Pernice, Jr.---------------T-27T-13------T-8
Fred Funk------T-28Won------T-16---T-14T-10
Russ Cochran------------------T-4T-157thT-12
Kirk Triplett------------------------T-5T-14
Loren Roberts---Won4th7thT-8T-13T-24T-22T-2118th
John Cook---------6thT-6T-22WonT-3WonT-19
Esteban Toledo---------------------------T-19
Hale IrwinT-3T-21WonT-30T-115thT-3041stT-9T-24
Tom Watson2ndT-5T-9T-8T-15Won3rdT-7T-23T-24
Michael Allen---------------3rdT-8T-3T-32T-28
Corey Pavin---------------T-136thT-18T-9T-30
Olin Browne---------------------T-12T-26T-30
Kenny Perry---------------------T-31T-5T-34
Scott Dunlap------------------------------
Miguel A. Jimenez------------------------------
Colin Montgomerie------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Bernhard Langer
Darkhorse - Davis Love III
 
Last Week's Pick to Win - Dec. 13-14 (Vijay and Qass Singh) - Finished T-3
Last Week's Darkhorse - Dec. 13-14 (Mark and Shaun O'Meara) - Finished 5th
 
NOTES:
The 2015 Champions Tour gets under way this week with the first event of the season in the Aloha State, the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. The field is comprised of players who have won a Champions Tour major championship within the last five seasons or a Champions Tour co-sponsored and approved tournament in the last two years, plus sponsor exemptions.

Seven players will make their first trips to Hualalai for this tournament - Scott Dunlap, Paul Goydos, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Davis Love III, Jeff Maggert, Colin Montgomerie and Wes Short, Jr.

Hualalai Golf Club, which will be hosting the tournament for the 19th straight year, was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The East Course at Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort in Puerto Rico had been the site for two years, while La Costa Country Club in California hosted the first 11 years.

This is the first of 26 official events in the season-long competition for the Charles Schwab Cup. Bernhard Langer won the Cup last year for the second time, having previously hoisted the trophy in 2010; Kenny Perry won the Cup in 2013; Tom Lehman won the Cup in 2011 and 2012; Loren Roberts won the Cup in 2007 and 2009; Jay Haas won the Cup in 2006 and 2008; Tom Watson won the Cup in 2003 and 2005; Hale Irwin won the Cup in 2002 and 2004; and Allen Doyle won the inaugural competition in 2001.

Last year, Langer birdied five straight holes down the stretch in the final round to race past Fred Couples and win by three strokes. Langer and Couples, the second round co-leaders, were tied with Jeff Sluman late in the final round, but the German decisively put the tournament away, reeling off five consecutive birdies from the 13th. He parred the last for a final-round, 8- under 64, finishing the event at 22-under 194 and wrapping up his 19th Champions Tour victory. Langer went onto win four more times in 2014 and now has 23 Champions Tour victories, which is tied for fifth place all-time.

In 2013, John Cook birdied the second playoff hole to defeat David Frost. Cook, who also won this tournament in 2011, secured his ninth Champions Tour victory.

In 2011, Cook rallied from three shots back with an 8-under 64 in the final round and finished at 22-under 194 to win. Cook, who had just one bogey the entire tournament, captured his sixth career Champions Tour victory and first at Hualalai Golf Club. He was unstoppable on the back nine on the final day, shooting a 6-under 30 to blow past the field en route to a drama-free win. It was the first time since 2005 that the winner did not come from the final pairing.

The win in 2011 marked Cook's second straight win after capturing the 2010 season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship. He became the first player since Gil Morgan in 1997-98 to win the season-opening event after claiming the last official tournament the previous year.

In 2010, Watson and Couples staged a classic battle in the final round, and it was Watson, who birdied the final two holes, that walked away with the title. Watson fired a 7-under 65 to better Couples by a single stroke. Watson ended at 22-under 194. Watson became the fourth wire-to-wire winner in tournament history, joining Peter Thomson (1985), John Jacobs (1999) and Tom Kite (2002).

Irwin fired rounds of 66-62-65 in 2007 to cruise to a 5-shot victory over Jim Thorpe and Kite. He finished at 23-under-par 193 for his 45th victory on the Champions Tour. Irwin became the oldest winner of this event at 61 years, 7 months and 18 days. George Archer was the previous oldest winner when he won in 2000 at 60 years, 3 months and 23 days. Archer was also the youngest winner of this tournament when he won in 1990 at 50 years, 3 months and 6 days. Irwin's win here in 2007 was his last on the Champions Tour. Irwin, Dana Quigley, Archer, Miller Barber, Al Geiberger, Cook and Langer are two-time winners, while Geiberger is the only player in tournament history to win two straight years (1992-93).

Irwin, the winner in 1997 and 2007 and a runner-up in 1998 and 2000, is making his 20th straight appearance, the longest current streak among Champions Tour players. He is the all-time money leader at this event with $1,197,588.

In 2006, Roberts fired a course-record, 11-under-par 61 in the final round to win. It was the first of four victories for Roberts in 2006 on the Champions Tour. Roberts' 25-under-par 191 total tied the lowest 54-hole score in Champions Tour history and the 25-under is the best score in relation to par in the history of the elder circuit. Langer tied Roberts' 25-under mark in 2007 at the Administaff Small Business Classic and David Frost also tied that mark in 2010 at the 3M Championship.

Only once has the winner of this event not finished in the top 31 on the money list at the end of the season (1994, Nicklaus - 34th). In the last 11 years, no winner has had a round of 70 or higher, and since the event moved to Hawaii in 1997 only one winner -- Irwin in 1997 -- has had a round over par (opening-round 73).

There have been only three players who have posted bogey-free tournaments at this event. D.A. Weibring in 2006 (T-3), Corey Pavin in 2011 (sixth) and Cook in 2013 (won).

The Champions Tour travels to Florida in two weeks for the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, where Michael Allen captured the 2014 event.

01/20 16:21:49 ET

As of January 20, 2015, at 04:22 PM ET

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