Sunday, November 7, 2010
John Cook wins at TCP Harding Park in Champions Tour Final stop. Bernhard Langer captures overall Schwab Cup Title.
It was a battle to the final hole between John Cook and San Mateo's Michael Allen, but the Champions Tour player from So. Cal prevailed. Bernard Langer however left no doubt that he would capture the overall Charles Schwab Cup for season long excellence. After 3 days of excellent weather, today's final round at Harding was an adventure, including over and hour rain delay of the round. Michael Allen who fired a course record 61 yesterday dueled Cook to the final hole and had a chance to send the event into sudden death. Allen missed his 12 footer for birdie, while Cook drained his 14 footer for par to capture the win by 2 shots, his 5th Champions Tour triumph. The Schwab points race was down to two players also when the seasons' final Champions Tour stop began at Harding Park, but Fred Couples' balky back prevented him from making the charge he needed to overtake Bernhard Langer, who captured his 1st Schwab Cup $1 million bonus and no doubt will 3 peat as "Player of the year" on the Champions Tour. Langer finished tied for 3rd, 5 shots behind Cook. Today's 4 under par 67, minus 17 for the week at Harding Park by John Cook completed his wire to wire victory on the course his mentor, Ken Venturi gained much of his fame. Cook pocketed $440,000 for the victory, plus a $300,000 annuity for finishing third in the points race behind Couples and Langer. Michael Allen and Russ Cochran rounded out the top 5.
Michael Allen wants a PGA tour win after shattering the course record at TPC Harding Park at Champions tour Schwab Cup Championship
He's never won on the PGA tour. He leads the world in Tour School tournaments to earn his PGA tour card, but the Champions Tour player who grew up in San Mateo thinks he's never played better than now, in his early 50's. His late life success on the links has boosted his desire to finally score that elusive victory on the main tour. He's won on every other tour, but plans to keep on trying to beat the World's best. Michael Allen has come close on the PGA tour, says it's not out of the question following his record breaking 10 under par 61 carded today at Harding Park. His 10 birdie round beat the previous best score by 3 strokes.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Fred Couples will finish 2nd in the Schwab Cup points race to Bernhard Langer, as Couple plays with a back and hip that is killing him
The most popular player on the Champions Tour is Fred Couples. He's won four times this season and earned enough Schwab Cup points along the way to stand in second place heading into the final event at TCP Harding Park in San Francisco. Couples would have needed to win this week and have Bernhard Langer finish worse than fourth, but now 10 shots off Michael Allen's lead with his aching back, Freddy is resigned to just finish the tournament Sunday and take a long rest.
San Mateo's Michael Allen has never won on the PGA tour and toiled through 15 Tour School qualifying tournaments along the way trying to earn his card, but now in his 50's is finding his stride on the Champions tour. Today at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Michael Allen shattered the course record by 3 shots, carding 10 birdies without a bogey for a 10 underpar 61. Granted, soggy fairways resulted in lift, clean and place rules placed in effect, but Allen's sensational round was off the charts. His near flawless performance vaulted him atop the leader board after 3 rounds of the Schwab Cup Championships. John Cook who led after the first two rounds is a shot back, with David Frost 2 off the pace. Michael Allen has been a member of the Olympic Club since age 14, and even though he left San Mateo for the Arizona desert 20 years ago, he still maintains his membership at that famed course a mile south of here, which will be the site for the 2012 U.S. Open. Allen's 61 is the best score in Champions Tour history, and he still plays on the PGA tour for the under 50 set. Sunday's final round might be played in wind and rain as forcast.
Friday, November 5, 2010
John Cook eagled the drivable par 4 16th, and own a one shot lead halfway through the Schwab Cup at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco
He captured last year's Schwab Cup finale at Sonoma, and is in position to repeat after 36 holes at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Tom Kite and Tom Lehman are a single shot back with 3 others 2 strokes behind including Fred Funk who double bogeyed #18. Today's round again was played with lift, clean and place rules thanks to soggy fairways, but the greens remained perfect. Cook's 69 leaves him at 9 under par 135 at the halfway point. "The Prince of Pebble" Mark O'Meara had today's best round, a 6 under 65. The tournament within this tournament is for the overall Schwab Cup Title and a $1 million bonus. Bernhard Langer of Germany is the Schwab Cup points leader with only one challenger for that trophy... but Fred Couples remains a distant second, needing to win this Schwab Cup event and find Langer finishing no better than a tie for 4th. Heading into Saturday, Freddy is 2 shots behind Langer and 5 off the lead held by John Cook. Only the top 30 Champions Tour points leaders gained entry into the field at TCP Harding Park.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
He grew up as Southern California surfer, but met his mentor Ken Venturi at age 14 year and it changed his life. Cook became a Cal State amateur Champion, won multiple times on the PGA Tour, and now on the Champions circuit is tearing it up. He captured last years Schwab Cup season finale at Sonoma, and today shot a 7 under 64 to own the first round lead at Harding Park. Cook can not win the overall Championship however, as Bernhard Langer and Fred Couples are the only players with enough points to capture the $1,000,000 bonus. The German star Langer moved closer to the title today with an ace on #3, and firing a 67 compared to Couples 69. Fred must win this season ending event and have Bernard fail to finish in the top 5 to capture the Charles Schwab Championship honor, won by Loren Roberts last year. Soggy fairways allowed players to touch their balls with aided today's low scoring with the greens in ideal shape. The first group tees off at 10am Friday at Harding Park, with John Cook in the final pairing at noon.