Tom Watson to join Regions Tradition field
FROM STAFF REPORTS
BIRMINGHAM – PGA TOUR champion Tom Watson committed to the Regions Tradition field April 3. Watson, the 2014 Ryder Cup captain and a World Golf Hall of Fame member, previously won the Regions Tradition in 2003 when it was held in Oregon.
“Watson is a legend of the game of golf, and we are excited to have him back at Shoal Creek this year for the Regions Tradition,” tournament director Liz Leckemby wrote in a release. “This year’s field is really shaping up to be our best and most competitive field ever. It will be fun for the fans to have so many champions and legends in one place for this major championship at Shoal Creek.”
Nine World Golf Hall of Fame members are expected to compete against defending champion David Frost in the Regions Tradition. Joining Watson are Fred Couples, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Larry Nelson, Nick Price and Curtis Strange.
Watson, who was last at Shoal Creek in 2011, has 39 PGA TOUR wins, was PGA TOUR Player of the Year six times, and five times the leading money winner. Several of his wins came at the expense of another champion of the Regions Tradition, Jack Nicklaus. Watson, who has eight major titles, is the sixth-ranked player with the most major championship victories, behind other greats Jack Nicklaus (18), Tiger Woods (14), Walter Hagen (11), Ben Hogan (9) and Gary Player (9).
Since playing on the Champions Tour, he has won 13 times, including five majors. In 2003, fulfilling a promise made to his late caddie, Bruce Edwards, Watson won the Regions Tradition, with a clutch up-and-down birdie on the final hole.
This year’s Regions Tradition, the first of five Champions Tour majors this season, takes place at Shoal Creek on May 14-18 with a purse of $2.2 million.
The field will comprise 81 players in a 72-hole stroke-play event. As one of the Champions Tour majors, the double Charles Schwab Cup points awarded to the top-10 finishers in the Regions Tradition will be a critical factor in determining the Charles Schwab Cup champion at the end of the season.
Shoal Creek is a proven venue that has previously hosted the 1984 and 1990 PGA Championship, the 1986 U.S. Amateur Championship, the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, along with the Regions Tradition the past three years. The 7,231-yard, par 72, Jack Nicklaus designed layout provides for an exciting competition as all of the stars on the Champions Tour will compete for the coveted title.
Some of the biggest names in golf, including World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd, Tom Kite and, of course, Tom Watson, are past champions of The Tradition.
Each of the four rounds of the Regions Tradition will be broadcast live on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable provider of the Champions Tour, reaching in excess of 205 countries and territories and more than 145 million households.
Players have until 4 p.m. May 2 to officially commit to the tournament. The final field will be published on RegionsTradition.com and PGATOUR.com.