The Champions Tour makes its return to Canada on Friday when the Montreal Championship tees off at Club de golf Fontainebleau in Blainville, Que., with a field that includes 24 of the top 28 in the Charles Schwab points race.
Included in that field will be 45-time Champions Tour winner Hale Irwin, 2010 Senior PGA champ Tom Lehman, American Ryder Cup champion Corey Pavin and Loren Roberts, who just won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
The announced field has accounted for 252 total Champions Tour victories and 312 total PGA Tour wins – a combined total of 564 victories across both tours.
Mark Calcavecchia is making his second start on the Champions Tour this week after recently turning 50 and just a year after he set a PGA Tour record by reeling off nine consecutive birdies at last year’s RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont.
Calcavecchia is hoping for a triple play as far as Canadian championships go. If he won the $270,000 U.S. winner’s share in Montreal, it would be his third win in Canada after winning the 2005 Canadian Open at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver and the 1997 Greater Vancouver Open.
Calcavecchia isn’t the only Champions Tour rookie in the Montreal field. He’ll be joined by fan favourite Fred Couples who won three of his first four starts on the Champions Tour this year.
Dave Barr of Kelowna, B.C., is playing on an exemption and has said he’s hoping for a strong showing this week or he may pass on the Champions Tour qualifying school later this year. Meanwhile, Jim Rutledge of Victoria is coming off a tie for 14th and another high finish could serve him well in an upcoming tour reshuffle.
Barr and Rutledge will be joined in the field by renowned Quebec professionals Yvan Beauchemin and Daniel Talbot. The Montreal Championship will be televised on the Golf Channel and RDS.
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