Lee Janzen Wins 2015 ACE Group Classic!

Lee Janzen made a clutch 8-foot birdie on the 54th hole to tie Bart Bryant and then took advantage of a miscue by Bryant on the first playoff hole to win the ACE Group Classic. Bryant had posted a 16-under-par score of 200 and led Janzen by one stroke as Janzen headed to No. 18. After hitting his 9-iron from 140 yards to eight feet he drained his putt to force a playoff. After each hit their drives in the playoff, Bryant’s second hit railroad ties in front of 18 and caromed into the water opening the door for Janzen. Janzen then hit his 7-iron to 40 feet and two putted for the win.

With his victory, Lee Janzen wins a Tour event for the first time since the 1998 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, a span of 16 years, 7 months, 25 days. This was his 413th start since his victory and that includes all three Tours.

His victory also earns him a berth in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai for the next two years as well as 240 Charles Schwab Cup points and the $240,000 first prize.

Janzen has won in Naples previously. He teamed with Rocco Mediate, a teammate at Florida Southern, to win the 2002 Franklin Templeton Shootout which was held at Tiburon Golf Club.

This was Janzen’s eighth start on the Champions Tour and he wins the event at age 50 years, 5 months, 18 days. His previous best finish was a T6 at last year’s Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

By winning on Sunday, Lee Janzen kept an impressive streak alive. The winner of The ACE Group Classic has now come out of the final grouping in each of the last 15 years. The last time it didn’t happen was in 2000 when Lanny Wadkins needed a final-round 64 to rally from three strokes back and eventually triumphed in a playoff.

Lee Janzen becomes the 12th player to have won The ACE Group Classic in his first attempt. He joins Gary Player (1988), Lee Trevino (1990), Hale Irwin (1997), Allen Doyle (1999), Lanny Wadkins (2000), Craig Stadler (2004), Mark James (2005), Loren Roberts (2006), Fred Couples (2010), Kenny Perry (2012) and Kirk Triplett (2014).

Janzen is also the fourth player to win his first Champions Tour title in Naples: Allen Doyle (1999), Lanny Wadkins (2000) and Fred Couples (2010) are the others.

Bart Bryant tied the tournament-course record when he finished with a 10-under-par 62 on Sunday. Larry Mize set the mark in 2012 and it was later matched by Kenny Perry and Bernhard Langer. Bryant’s 62 matched his career low on the Champions Tour. He originally posted a 62 at the 2013 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and he later matched it at the 2014 Shaw Charity Classic.

Bart Bryant made an eagle on the par-4 opening hole, sinking a 9-iron from 148 yards.

Greg Kraft enjoyed a nice finish in his Champions Tour debut. Kraft, who open qualified earlier in the week, closed with a 4-under-par 68 to finish T18.

Bernhard Langer, who was T5 after two rounds, withdrew prior to the start of Sunday’s final round due to a family matter.

Colin Montgomerie bid to go wire-to-wire in this event ended when he finished with an even-par 72 and dropped to fifth place.

Gene Sauers has now posted 17 consecutive rounds par/better dating back to the 2014 season. He shot a 1-under-par 71 on Sunday.

The most difficult hole on Saturday was No. 2 with an average score of 3.300 (+.300). There were just two birdies – Jose Coceres and Grant Waite.

With his T10 finish Tom Byrum earned a berth in the upcoming Tucson Conquistadores Classic for a player not otherwise exempt.

There were 22 rounds in the 60s and 46 players finished below par on Sunday and the field averaged 71.893 for the event. A year ago the average was  71.738.

Final Results:

1 Bart Bryant -16 70 68 62 200

Lee Janzen -16 68 65 67 200

3 Esteban Toledo -14 69 67 66 202

4 Scott Dunlap -13 69 67 67 203

5 Colin Montgomerie -12 66 66 72 204

6 Kevin Sutherland -11 72 67 66 205

7 Marco Dawson -9 69 71 67 207

Olin Browne -9 71 66 70 207

9 Michael Allen -8 69 70 69 208

10 Jeff Sluman -7 73 69 67 209

Tom Byrum -7 74 67 68 209

Paul Goydos -7 69 70 70 209

Jeff Maggert -7 72 65 72 209

14 Tom Pernice Jr. -6 75 67 68 210

Brad Bryant -6 71 69 70 210

16 Roger Chapman -5 75 66 70 211

Sandy Lyle -5 70 70 71 211

18 Greg Kraft -4 71 73 68 212

Jose Coceres -4 70 73 69 212

Jerry Smith -4 71 72 69 212

Rocco Mediate -4 72 70 70 212

John Cook -4 72 69 71 212

Tommy Armour III -4 67 72 73 212

Stephen Ames -4 71 67 74 212

25 Brian Henninger -3 70 74 69 213

Fuzzy Zoeller -3 71 72 70 213

Rod Spittle -3 71 71 71 213

Jay Haas -3 73 68 72 213

29 Jeff Hart -2 71 73 70 214

Frank Esposito -2 73 70 71 214

Gene Sauers -2 72 71 71 214

Larry Mize -2 76 72 66 214

Duffy Waldorf -2 73 68 73 214

Kirk Triplett -2 68 72 74 214

Gary Koch -2 72 67 75 214

36 Gil Morgan -1 74 71 70 215

Joey Sindelar -1 73 73 69 215

Mark O’Meara -1 71 72 72 215

Mike Goodes -1 71 75 69 215

Mark Brooks -1 72 70 73 215

Wayne Levi -1 74 68 73 215

David Frost -1 71 70 74 215

43 Bob Tway E 71 75 70 216

Jay Don Blake E 74 73 69 216

45 Dan Forsman +1 70 75 72 217

John Riegger +1 71 75 71 217

Chien Soon Lu +1 73 70 74 217

Corey Pavin +1 74 73 70 217

Scott Hoch +1 73 69 75 217

Sonny Skinner +1 77 71 69 217

51 Wes Short, Jr. +2 69 76 73 218

Gary Hallberg +2 74 72 72 218

Billy Andrade +2 73 74 71 218

Bob Friend +2 76 71 71 218

Steve Pate +2 78 70 70 218

56 Bob Gilder +3 71 73 75 219

Bobby Wadkins +3 69 75 75 219

Blaine McCallister +3 75 72 72 219

John Huston +3 73 75 71 219

John Harris +3 73 76 70 219

Loren Roberts +3 73 78 68 219

Jim Rutledge +3 77 74 68 219

63 Jeff Coston +4 73 72 75 220

Mark Wiebe +4 76 72 72 220

65 David Eger +5 75 73 73 221

Steve Lowery +5 81 69 71 221

67 Bill Glasson +6 76 71 75 222

Peter Senior +6 76 72 74 222

Dana Quigley +6 78 73 71 222

70 Russ Cochran +7 74 76 73 223

71 Peter Jacobsen +8 77 73 74 224

Hale Irwin +8 76 77 71 224

73 Craig Thomas +9 78 74 73 225

Curtis Strange +9 76 77 72 225

Tom Purtzer +9 73 83 69 225

76 Brad Faxon +11 74 75 78 227

77 Nolan Henke +15 80 77 74 231

78 Hal Sutton +16 80 75 77 232

79 Ben Crenshaw +17 78 78 77 233

80 Grant Waite +18 78 82 74 234

WD Bernhard Langer -7 71 66 137


Wednesday Pro-Am Results

WEDNESDAY, February 11 – See Full Results Below 

AM – 7:45am Shotgun

1st Place (51)– Sonny Skinner: Hanna Brauberger (1st Tee), Wade Schaller (1st Tee), Eric Famiglietti (SAS Championship Sweepstakes), Crystal Russ (SAS Championship Sweepstakes)

2nd Place (51)– Jeff Hart: Ernie Schaub, George Mason, Curt Edwards, Bob Fauls

3rd Place (52)– Mike Goodes: Kelly Kinsella, Tim Bucci, Michael Horbath, Dwayne Trawer

Closest to the pin (#2): Stuart Cochrane

Long Drive (Men): Bruce Pecard

Long Drive (Women): Hannah Brauberger


PM – 1:00pm Shotgun

1st Place (51)– Estaban Toledo: Casey Weidenmiller, Robert Weidenmiller, Wes Weidenmiller, Rich Yovanovich

 2nd Place (53)– Greg Kraft: Jim Lamb, David Reading, Mike Stephens, Erich Tines

3rd Place (53)– Bobby Wadkins: Joe Casey, Bob Roth, Brian Duffy,Ted Doolittle

Closest to the pin (#2): Dan McDonald

Long Drive (Men): Ted Doolittle

Long Drive (Women): Brenda Austinfeld



Morning Pro-Am
Professional Score First Name Last Name
Rocco Mediate 57 Alison Towlson
Mark Ryan
Ronald Rispoli
Gary Cooney
Peter Senior 59 Dwayne Hunt
Michael Lusk
John Gorte
James Lusk
Rod Spittle 62 Philippe Bacon
Timothy McAlindin
Kelly Pikor
Jamie Powell
Tommy Armour III 55 Matt Merna
Tom O’Chuida
John Bickel
Mike Elich
Jay Don Blake 55 John Alfieri
Tim Bunt
Mark Rusas
David Karr
Bill Glasson 58 Joe Connelly
Theo Guidry
Rick West
Robert Wolfe
Wayne Levi 56 Scott Meyer
Steve Pincus
Devin Beresheim
Paul Sparks
Mike Goodes 52 Kelley Kinsella
Tim Bucci
Michael Horvath
Duane Trower
Jose Coceres 63 Rob Poliseno
Thomas Cappellett
John Lafferty
Derek Jackson
Bob Friend 56 Steve Haney
Rich Moore
Rob McDonough
Tom Lenihan
Craig Thomas 59 David Patterson
Joseph Clabby
Michael Warren
James Traikovich
Roger Chapman 59 Brian Witzmann
Mitchell Schmidt
Troy Mulder
Lawrence Parks
Tom Purtzer 56 Ross Bertossi
Mike Andersen
Kent Teeters
Tony Tam
Hal Sutton 57 Chris Maleno
Thomas Kim
Brian Mullen
Andres Llop
Gary Koch 61 Rick Dudley
Bob Parr
Shel Johnson
Gary Chensoff
Larry Mize 52 Rusty Shriner
Joe Fisch
Rick Fahey
Beau Ogden
Gary Hallberg 57 Adam Piatt
Trey Ward
Rusty Whitley
Rick Johnston
Mark Wiebe 56 Charles Brooks
Pat Markowski
Joe Ianuzzi
Keith Schlosser
Brad Bryant 54 Frank Murray
Ed Zaccaria
Bill Hazelton
Michael Costonis
Steve Lowery 55 Jon Jay
Rick Rainville
Michael Saadeh
Keith Otto
John Harris 59 Sam Homsy
David Fitzwater
Galen Mantell
Matt Beer
Corey Pavin 60 Jeff Kleiber
Cora Klena
Derrick Ayres
Rocky Patel
Sonny Skinner 51 Hanna Brauburger
Wade Schaller
Eric Famiglietti
Crystal Russ
John Riegger 52 Jim Martin
Stuart Cochrane
Iain Mossman
Bruce Pecaro
Steve Pate 55 Lee Friedel
Michael Axelrod
Stu Kaufman
Dennis Beran
Bob Tway 56 Mark Vroman
Kyle Land
David Lee
Walt Jeffress
Fuzzy Zoeller 59 Bill Barker
Bob Brunjes
Irwin Novack
Tom Wilkinson
Jeff Hart 51 Ernie Schaub
George Mason
Kurt Edwards
Bob Fauls
Afternoon Pro-Am
Professional Score First Name Last Name
Peter Jacobsen 56 Brian Dowd
Stephen Truono
Stephen Baney
Michael O’Halleran
Lee Janzen 57 John Keogh
John Fletcher
Ken Gould
Jim Bennett
Joey Sindelar 60 John Lupica
Henrik Slipsager
Ron McGee
Mike Sorge
Bob Gilder 59 Larry Lombardo
Joe Rego
George Turner
Charles Scott
Dan Forsman 55 Tim Rau
Don McLaughlin
John Drew
John Mayfield
Bart Bryant 60 Jim Shevlin
Gretchen Van Parys
Raymond Alletto
Bruce Jones
Grant Waite 57 Bill Garrigan
John Jennings
Joel Cavaness
James Drinkwater
Loren Roberts 53 Bruce Kessler
Steve DeCarlo
Matt Nichols
Tim Turner
Blane McCallister 56 Jeff Lang
Ken Koreyva
Stephen Moors
Charles Baxter
Gil Morgan 60 Joe Vasquez
Terry Mayotte
Eric Stieritz
Danny Pack
John Huston 54 Dean Andrighetto
Jim Conroy
Bob Greenebaum
Dan McDonnell
Bobby Wadkins 53 Joe Casey
Rob Roth
Brian Duffy
Ted Doolittle
Frank Esposito 55 Derek Talbott
Frank Lattal
David Finnis
Duncan Ellis
Jeff Coston 61 Bob Meyer
Edward Magliaro
Brenda Austenfeld
Hugh Mooney
Jerry Smith 58 Jim Norman
Joseph Messina
Alex Wells
Maureen Caviston
Brad Faxon 56 Gina Lupica
Jan Lyon
Linda Tucker
Bob Lupica
Tom Byrum 53 Alan Heuer
Jack Collage
Don Boudreau
Louis Sfreddo
Dana Quigley 53 Andy Bush
Rich Pehlke
Tom Schoewe
Matt Stephens
Mark Brooks 56 Mark DeVoe
Bob Florio
Pete Weidner
Tom Guthrie
Nolan Henke 57 Tom Hutchinson
Ed Gilligan
Greg McDuffie
Leo Maurusi
Esteban Toledo 51 Casey Weidenmiller
Robert Weidenmiller
Wes Weidenmiller
Rich Yovanovich
Stephen Ames 57 Matt Massei
Larry Conner
Jim Davis
Jim Goodnight
Kevin Sutherland 57 Gunther Reese
Dan Light
Alan Gerstein
David Chrystian
Greg Kraft 53 Jim Lamb
David Reading
Mike Stephens
Erich Tines
Scott Hoch 55 Greg Rubel
Denis Brady
John Briggs
John Head
David Eger 59 Gary Buffington
Kevin Knapp
Jeff Savage
Ryan Longo
Paul Goydos 60 Tad Wise
Steve Knight
Craig Stevens
David Lange
Jim Rutledge 56 Dave McDonough
Paul Greenberg
Chris Chocola
Kevin Birck

Golf to Paradise – First Tee Champions Challenge

The First Tee of Northwest Arkansas, The First Tee of West Michigan, The First Tee of Roanoke and The First Tee of The Triangle will be represented by teams of two players each in in the Golf To Paradise—First Tee Champions Challenge Playoff on February 9. The top two teams from the 18-hole competition will advance to the Golf To Paradise—First Tee Champions Challenge on February 10. The two qualifying teams will join The First Tee of Naples/Collier and The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia in the Champions Challenge, a four-hole team competition pairing each team with a Champions Tour player.

Player Bio’s of all the First Tee Chapters competing in this years challenge.

The First Tee of Naples/Collier

Emily Black Bio:

Emily Black (Naples)Emily Black is currently at the ACE level in the First Tee and is a junior at Naples High School with a 4.0 GPA. She had the life-changing opportunity to play in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach last year and has attended the Advanced PLAYer Academy at Wake Forest University. Her favorite core value is sportsmanship because it makes the game of golf a fun experience every time she steps onto the course. She plans to pursue a college education and is interested in environmental science and engineering.

Sydney Shrader Bio:

Sydney Shrader (Naples)

My name is Sydney Shrader, I am a junior at Saint John Neumann High School, and I am a part of the Ace group in the First Tee. My grade point average is 4.0 and my goal is to play golf in college. One of my favorite core value has always been sportsmanship and I was lucky enough to display my sportsmanship when I was selected to go to Washington, DC to play in a pro am at congressional. I played with a new pro, Patrick Rogers, who gave me many pointers, and helped me realized how much I actually love the game of golf. The first tee has given me so many opportunities, and Im proud to be a part of the program.


The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia

Jack R. Hirsh Bio:

Jack R. Hirsh

Jack is enrolled as an ACE level participant at The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia and has been playing golf since he was 8 years old. Through his involvement with The First Tee, he has been able to lower his handicap from a 22 down to an 3.9. Jack competes in many different events including the International Junior Golf Tour, The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour, as well as events hosted by The First Tee including the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley. Currently a Junior in high school and has been a Junior Coach for 5 years. Jack will be the Captain of his High School Golf Team in his senior year.

Justin Murray Bio:

Justin Murray

Justin Murray joined The First Tee in summer of 2007 when he was just nine years old. In the past 7 years, Justin has progressed through The First Tee’s Certification Levels and is currently working towards his ACE Level Certification. His understanding of the Life Skills has allowed him to become a very confident golfer as well as a well-rounded young man. Through the Nine Core Values, The First Tee has been instrumental in helping him become a better person by applying those values to golf and daily life. One of Justin’s favorite core values is Perseverance. Perseverance has been a building block in his life. Presently, he has two career goals: First, to major in Aviation in college; and Secondly, to become a professional golfer after college. In 2012, Justin was part of the 1st place NJSIAA State Team and Tournament Champions, named NJ Star Ledger’s Boy Golf Team of 2012. Later that July, he finished as a semifinalist in match play in the New Jersey Sectional Golf Association Y.E. Dear Junior Boys Championship. In 2014 Justin was selected to play in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. Justin plays on the Philadelphia PGA Section Junior Tour where he currently ranks 2nd.

The First Tee of Northwest Arkansas 

Wade Schaller Bio:

Wade Schaller - NWA

Wade Schaller is a senior Varsity golfer at Bentonville High School. Wade has been a member of the First Tee of Northwest Arkansas since 2009, and has been active in the program both as a coach and as a student. “The First Tee was my first experience with golf as a lifestyle and not just a sport. They have turned pre-shot routines and scorecards into daily reminders to give everything the best we have with integrity and honesty.” In school, Wade is active in many clubs and organizations of which he is very proud to be a member of. In college, Wade is hoping to earn his BBA, and go onto law school so that he can one day work in corporate litigation.

Hanna Brauburger Bio:

Hanna Brauburger - NWA

Hanna Brauburger is a Senior at Bentonville High School, and has been starting on the varsity team since freshman year. She started at The First Tee in 2006, began coaching in 2009 and still continues to coach the kids today. “It’s rewarding as a coach to see kids enjoy a sport like golf that teaches respect, integrity, and all the good things that they’ll need for the rest of their lives. The First Tee has done so much for me, I’ve done things I would have never had the opportunity to experience, much less imagine doing.” Hanna also enjoys baking and cooking, singing in the church and school choir, and editing the school announcements for her school. She looks forward to attending Henderson State University in the Fall on a golfing scholarship.


 The First Tee of The Triangle 

Holly McCann Bio:

Holly_McCann_First Tee

Holly McCann , a 14 year Ace Participant from the First Tee of the Triangle, lives in Raleigh, NC.   She has been a member of First Tee since she was 8 years old and played her first under par round in their summer tournament series when she was nine.   Holly loves being part of the First Tee Program because the atmosphere is supportive and fun.  Holly is also a very good student who scored a perfect 800 on the SAT Math section when she was 12 years old.  Holly enjoys giving back to the community and she been running a free Math tutoring program for other first tee participants and volunteering as a coach in their summer camps for the past two years.  Holly continues to play tournament golf is a current member of the NC Girls’s All State first team and qualified and played at the US Girls Junior last summer.

Connor Moore Bio:

connor grad

Connor Moore, 14, lives in Durham, NC.  He has been involved with the First Tee of the Triangle for the past five years.  This past year, as an ACE level participant, he gained experience volunteering as a junior coach for a First Tee Little Linksters class.

When he is not teaching younger, aspiring golfers about the Nine Core Values of the First Tee, he focuses on his academics.  As an honor roll student, he is looking forward to playing high school golf this year.  Ultimately, he hopes to combine his love for golf and academics to become an academic all American golfer at the collegiate level.

While Connor considers himself a native Californian (he was born in Palo Alto, CA and lived for several years in Southern California), he has acclimated very well to the beautiful mountains and beaches of North Carolina!


The First Tee of Roanoke Valley

Callie Montgomery Bio:

Callie Montgomery (Rono.Valley)

Callie Montgomery is from Hardy, Virginia.  She is a sophomore at Franklin Co High School where she plays for the varsity golf team.  Callie has been involved with The First Tee of Roanoke Valley since 2010 and has been interested in golf since she was 5.  Her future goal is to attend college to further her career in golf.

John Hatcher Ferguson Bio:

John Hatcher Ferguson (Rono.Valley)

I am a 15 year old freshman at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, VA. I live in Franklin County which is known as, “The Moonshine Capital of the World.” I live with my parents, my 13 year old brother, and 7 year old sister, who are also golfers.   I have been playing golf since the age of 3, and I have been participating in The First Tee of Roanoke Valley since the age of 7. In addition to golf and baseball, I enjoy working at the family sawmill on weekends and days off from school. I also have my own hand-split fatwood kindling business. I like to go support my school athletics program and cheer. I also enjoy hiking, riding my dirt bike and four-wheeler on family land and timber tracks.

I made the junior varsity golf team as an 8th grader and was a member of the Varsity golf team this fall as a freshman.  This fall, I was nominated to 1st team All-District and All-Conference and 2nd team All-Regional.

The First Tee of West Michigan 

Andrew DeYoung Bio:

Andrew DeYoung - West Michigan

Age: 17

School: Kenowa Hills High School

Joined The First Tee: 2011

Background: A passionate golfer before The First Tee, Andrew has matured from an 8th grader looking for adult direction to a leader in our program as a high school junior.  Much of his growth is attributed to his recent trip to the Perfect Sense Digital Pro-Am at Congressional CC in Washington D.C. this past July.  Andrew was one of only 10 throughout the country to be accepted.  Andrew has played 2 years of high school golf, and is also his high school hockey team’s starting goalie.  He also caddies and works bag drop at a local country club.

Elias Aouad Bio:

Elias Aouad - West Michigan

Elias Aouad

Age: 17

School: East Grand Rapids High School

Joined The First Tee: 2011

Background:  Elias never touched a golf club before the fall of 2011 at The First Tee.  By the end of his first six-class session, he knew he wanted to try out for his high school golf team in the spring.

After working hard all winter on mechanics, Elias made his high school golf team as a freshman.   Elias has always been a hard worker, and has participated with The First Tee year-round for the past four years.  He graduates this spring, and is attending college to pursue a career in computer networking.



Happening during the ACE Group Classic

Friday, February 13
2:00pm – 5:00pm

Location: The TwinEagles Club
11725 TwinEagles blvd. Naples, FL 34120

*Parking on-site $20, general parking at Collier fairgrounds for $7 with shuttles running every 15 minutes

As soon as the last putt drops on Friday, live music from the Craig Singleton and the Big City Band will begin and continue throughout the rest of the afternoon.  All ticketed spectators over 21 are welcome to join Happy Hour at the Michelob ULTRA 19th hole or purchase a $10 Friday FanFest ticket which gives  you samples of 10 of the 33 craft beer or wine and 3 food samples from local restaurants Boston Beer Garden, Bokampers, Fish Crazy, fire & Rice and Stevie Tomato’s. Friday FanFest will be from 2-5pm on the tournament grounds. 

Friday FanFest tickets are available here or by calling the Tournament Office at 239.593.3900.

Featured Restaurants: 

BBG Logo ai [Converted] copy   PrintFire & Rice

Fish CrazyIMG951061


FanFest Look 1

Stryker Signs on as Newest Sponsor of the ACE Group Classic

stryker_lock_combinedCommunity: Stryker Health Walk and Mobility Zone will be both educational and fun for fans at the 2015 tournament

Competition: Stryker Ambassadors Fred Funk and Hal Sutton announced in the field

NAPLES, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2015) – ACE Group Classic tournament officials announced Stryker, the Official Joint Replacement Products of the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour, as a new partner for the 2015 tournament today. The tournament is being held February 10-15 at the TwinEagles Club in Naples, Fla.

“The partnership with Stryker is the perfect fit for our event and fan base.  With their help, we will provide fans with health conscious, fun and interactive experiences onsite in the Stryker Mobility Zone and the Stryker Health Walk Program,” said Tournament Director Gail Graham.

Stryker Orthopedics will showcase the Stryker Mobility Zone, a joint-health destination at the ACE Group Classic providing consumers with education about the latest options for hip and knee pain.  Located adjacent to the driving range, the Stryker Mobility Zone will feature local physicians providing free hip and knee assessments. Tournament goers will have the chance to interact with onsite physicians, and learn firsthand how Fred Funk and Hal Sutton saved their careers from joint pain.

The Stryker Health Walk will start and finish at the Stryker Mobility Zone where each spectator that visits will be provided a free pedometer courtesy of Stryker to track their steps during their day at the ACE Group Classic. “Our hope is that fans will be inspired by the distance walked at the event and begin to use the pedometer in their everyday lives leading to a healthier, more active lifestyle,” said Bill Huffnagle, President of Stryker.

In conjunction with today’s announcement, tournament officials also announce that Stryker Ambassadors Fred Funk (nine-time Champions Tour and eight-time PGA Tour winner) and Hal Sutton (14-time PGA Tour winner and former Ryder Cup Captain) have committed to play in the 2015 ACE Group Classic. Further field announcements will follow.

For more information, visit www.theacegroupclassic.com or call the Tournament Office at 239.593.3900.




Twitter @ACEGroupClassic


About the ACE Group

The ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers.  With operations in 53 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients.  ACE Limited, the parent company of the ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found at: www.acegroup.com.

About The TwinEagles Club
TwinEagles is conveniently located just 6 miles east of I-75 off Immokalee Road in Naples.  Additional information on this premier community and club can be found at: www.twineagles.com.

About the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB

Whether travelers are looking for a romantic escape or family getaway, Florida’s Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the western portion of the Everglades – has an array of vacation options year-round. With more than 30 miles of soft, white sand beaches, a thriving arts and culture scene, distinctive dining, great golf and the best of outdoor adventure, the Paradise Coast is truly a destination with it all.

For more information about the Paradise Coast, call 800-688-3600 or visit www.ParadiseCoast.com. Follow the destination on Twitter @ParadiseCoast and on Facebook at

About Octagon

Octagon, (IPG: NYSE) is the world’s largest sponsorship consulting practice, managing and influencing some $3 billion in sponsorship-related spending annually.  Octagon also is a pioneer and leader in athlete & personality representation and management.  With more than 800+ employees worldwide, Octagon works with hundreds of blue-chip corporate clients and more than 800 athletes & personalities clients and manages more than 5,000 events per year.  Octagon’s Events & Hospitality team operates six professional golf tournaments, a professional bass fishing tournament and numerous first-class corporate hospitality events. To learn more about Octagon, visit: www.octagon.com

About the Champions Tour

Collectively, the Champions Tour has the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game, with many of its 32 members in the World Golf Hall of Fame competing regularly in its events. The Tour also counts numerous other major championship winners among its members. The Champions Tour is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. The Champions Tour’s primary purpose is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, protect the integrity of the game and generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays. Points earned in official Charles Schwab Cup events in 2014 determined Bernhard Langer as the Charles Schwab Cup champion, the season-long competition designed to recognize the Champions Tour’s leading player. The Commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Greg McLaughlin is President of the Champions Tour. The PGA TOUR’s website is pgatour.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Follow the Champions Tour at facebook.com/ChampionsTour and on Twitter @ChampionsTour.




The Golf Writers Association of America recently announced Bernhard Langer as its Senior Player of the Year. Langer, 57, earned 90 percent of the vote. Two major championship wins were amongst the five titles he claimed in 2014. He also won the season-long Charles Schwab Cup. Rory McIlroy won Male Player of the Year and Stacy Lewis was voted Female Player of the Year. It marks the second award for each player. The winners will be honored at the 43rd ISPS HANDA GWAA Annual Awards Dinner presented by The PGA of America, PGA TOUR and USGA on April 8 in Augusta, Ga.

The USGA recently announced that Barbara Nicklaus is the recipient of the 2015 Bob Jones Award. Jack Nicklauswon the award in 1975. They are the first married couple to receive the accolade. The Bob Jones Award is the USGA’s highest honor. It recognizes an individual who demonstrates the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by Jones, winner of nine USGA championships. Mrs. Nicklaus will be presented with the award at the 2015 U.S. Open Championship in June.

Mitsubishi Electric announced their first global, corporate, player sponsorship signing Miguel Ángel Jiménez. Jiménez, winner of the 2014 Greater Gwinnett Championship while making his Champions Tour debut, will wear the Mitsubishi Electric corporate logo on his golf shirt. Other players representing Mitsubishi Electric on the Champions Tour include Fred Couples, Fred Funk and Corey Pavin.



The season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai begins on January 19-25 at Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawai’i with an exclusive field of 40 players including defending champion and 2014 Charles Schwab Cup winner Bernhard Langer.


Thursday, January 22, the day before the first official round of the 2015 Champions Tour season, is significant as it marks 35 years since the SENIOR TOUR was formally approved by the Tournament Policy Board of the PGA TOUR.


This week’s Sony Open in Hawaii on the PGA TOUR features Champions Tour professionals Fred Funk, Paul Goydos, Davis Love III, Kenny Perry and Vijay Singh in the field. Goydos won in Hawaii in September last year at the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship for his first Champions Tour victory.



Since the inception of the season-long Charles Schwab Cup competition in 2001, Bernhard Langer is the only player to win the season-opening event at Hualalai and go on to win the Charles Schwab Cup at the end of the same season. Langer achieved this feat in 2014. Langer will also have the opportunity to become the first player to follow a Schwab Cup-winning season with a victory at Hualalai if he successfully defends his title at the 2015 Mitsubishi Electric Championship.



5 – Five World Golf Hall of Fame members have won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai since it moved to the Hualalai Golf Course in 1997. Bernhard Langer (2014, 2009) and Hale Irwin (2007, 1997) have claimed the title twice, along with Tom Watson (2010), Tom Kite (2002) and Larry Nelson(2001).


Although it is longer than 18 other courses on the Champions Tour, the par 72, 7,107-yard Hualalai Golf Course, home to the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, ranked as the easiest course on Tour in 2014. The average score was 2.902 strokes under par each round.



“Be decisive. A wrong decision is generally less disastrous than indecision.” – Bernhard Langer.



FS Hualalai ‏@FSHualalai Jan 10 Signs are up!! We are ready and waiting ‘FORE’ the @ChampionsTour! #MitsubishiElectric#MEC#lavagolfpic.twitter.com/IWiMTsseGc


Tournament in China as Charles Schwab Cup Enters 15th Year

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Following a year filled with record-breaking performances, the Champions Tour announced today the tournament schedule for the 2015 Champions Tour season.

The most notable changes for the 2015 schedule are the introduction of the Tucson Conquistadores Classic (March 16-22) at Omni Tucson National Resort Catalina Course and the Pacific Links China Championship (Sept. 14-20) relocating to Tianjin, China. The 27 Club, a Pacific Links property, will host the event on a course developed by 27 major champions, including Champions Tour professionals Mark O’Meara, Fred Couples and Tom Watson. Each professional designed their favorite elements into each hole to reflect the unique character of their individual games.

The 2015 schedule features 26 tournaments in three countries outside of the United States (Canada, England and China) and 17 different states for a total purse of more than $53 million. Of the 26 tournaments, exactly half feature total purses of more than $2 million.

The official 2015 season will begin on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai (Jan. 19-25), where the Champions Tour’s version of the Tournament of Champions will feature recent tournament winners and other notable players. The first full-field event, the Allianz Championship, will be played in Boca Raton, Fla. the week of Feb. 2-8.

Several date changes for established tournaments also impact the 2015 Champions Tour schedule. The Toshiba Classic, traditionally contested in March, moves to the penultimate event of the season (Oct. 26-Nov. 1). The Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge (April 20-26) returns to its original date after being played in early June in 2014. The two Canadian tournaments, played in consecutive weeks in 2014, are now separated by one month with the Shaw Charity Classic (Aug, 3-9) moving two weeks earlier and the Quebec Championship to be played the first week of September (Aug. 31-Sept. 6),

The Champions Tour also returns to the Boston area for the first time since 2008 with the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship (June 8-14) relocating from Pittsburgh to Belmont CC. The Donald Ross-designed course will host the major championship for one year.

The host venues for all five major championships in 2015 are:

Shoal Creek, Birmingham, Ala. Regions Tradition (May 11-17)

Pete Dye Course, French Lick Resort, French Lick, Ind. Senior PGA Championship (May 18-24) Belmont CC, Boston, Mass. Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship (June 8-14).

Del Paso CC, Sacramento, Calif. U.S. Senior Open (June 22-28) Sunningdale GC, England. Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex (July 20-26)

The 2015 season will conclude with the Charles Schwab Cup Championship (Nov. 2-8) which returns to the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. for the second consecutive year.

The Charles Schwab Cup, won for the second time by Bernhard Langer in 2014, enters its 15th year as the successful season-long, points-based competition to determine the Champions Tour’s leading player. The program rewards consistency and awards points for top-10 finishes at all official tournaments. Double points are awarded at the five major championships and to all 30 players at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Langer set several all-time records during the Champions Tour’s 2014 season, most notably his 13-stroke margin of victory at the Senior Open Championship and the all-time record $3,074,189 he earned in a single season which helped secure the Jack Nicklaus Award as Player of the Year for a record fourth time. Also of note was Kevin Sutherland’s record-low round of 13-under 59 in the second round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open during his rookie year.

Official events will be televised nationally in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the Tour’s exclusive cable-television partner that reaches some 80 million homes in the United States. Three events will have network coverage on the weekend (NBC: Senior PGA Championship; ESPN: Senior Open Championship; FOX: U.S. Senior Open all four rounds). Champions Tour telecasts are distributed internationally in Canada, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australasia, and Latin America through various distribution partners. The events air live, tape-delayed or in a highlights-package format in excess of 205 countries and territories, reaching more than 145 million households.

The Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament-Final Stage (Dec. 1-4) will be conducted at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona at the conclusion of the 2015 season.



# # #


Bernhard Langer receives the Jack Nicklaus Award as the 2014 Champions Tour Player of the Year. Langer is the first player to win the Jack Nicklaus Award four times, also claiming the trophy in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Scott Dunlap was named the 2014 Champions Tour Rookie of the Year.

Peter Senior estimates it’s the first time in 30 years that he has missed the three big events in his native Australia. Senior, who finished No. 44 on the money list this year, has been hampered by a torn left shoulder muscle and is taking two months off during the Australian summer to repair the damage.


It was announced last week that Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Wales will again host the Senior Open Championship in 2017. This year, Bernhard Langer posted an all-time Champions Tour record with a 13-stroke win over Colin Montgomerie at the Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl.


Jack Nicklaus is slated to receive Congress’ highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal. Legislation authorizing the award for Nicklaus cleared Congress last week and now awaits the signature of President Barack Obama. Past recipients include Arnold Palmer, Rosa Parks, Joe Louis and Neil Armstrong. Nicklaus received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. He will join Palmer as the only golfers to get both awards.


The team of Stewart & Connor Cink will attempt to defend their PNC Father/Son Challenge this week in Orlando. The field of 20 teams includes 14 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.


After an eight-year hiatus, Johnny Miller will play with his son Andy in the PNC Father-Son Challenge. In 2006, Miller teamed with son Scott and in 2000, he and son John Jr. lost in a playoff at the event.

Champions Tour major winners David Frost and Colin Montgomerie are in the field for this week’s European Senior Tour MCB Tour Championship along with recent Champions Tour Qualifying Tournament graduates Jerry Smith, Rick Gibson and Cesar Monasterio.


4 - Raymond Floyd, Larry Nelson, Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino will all make their 17th appearances in the PNC Father-Son Challenge. They are the only four players to have participated in each of the previous 16 tournaments.



Andy Miller, who will join his World Golf Hall of Fame father Johnny at the PNC Father-Son Challenge, was a four-time All-American at Brigham Young University. He also played on the 2000 U.S. Palmer Cup team and turned professional later that year. In 2002, Miller won the State Farm Open on the Web.com Tour after Monday-qualifying. In 2003, he earned his PGA TOUR card at Qualifying School. Current Champions Tour rookies Paul Goydos and Woody Austin were also successful in advancing from the Qualifying School that year.



“I truly have a tough time without competing. If I’m out there just playing, I don’t enjoy it. I have to compete. Once I’m done competing, I may never pick up a club ever again.” – Frank Esposito, winner of the 2014 Champions Tour Qualifying Tournament, enjoys the pressure of competition.


PNC Father/Son ‏@PNCFatherSon “One of the unique things about the tournament is that you get to see the similar traits between each father and son.” ~ Mark O’Meara


Kirk Triplett Earns The ACE Group Classic Title

ACE 14 Triplett WinsNAPLES, Fla. (FEB. 16, 2014)Kirk Triplett (67-67-66= -16) earned The ACE Group Classic title in his first appearance at The TwinEagles Club after calming sinking a six-foot par putt on the final hole win. With a potential three-man playoff in the works, missed par putts from defending champion Bernard Langer and Duffy Waldorf opened the door for Triplett to claim his third Champions tour victory and the $240,000 winner’s check.

“In my career I’ve never won out here on this side of the world. I’ve got a couple wins at Pebble and Tucson and Reno and L.A. I’m a West Coast guy through and through, so to win on this Bermuda grass is I think a little bit of a minor miracles for me,” joked Triplett in his post tournament interview.

The dramatic finish on 18 proved fitting as it was the most difficult hole for the week with an average score of 4.383 (+.383). Triplett’s shot sequence on 18 started with a drive that left him at 175 yards out but also placed him in a divot.  He hit a 6 iron just pin high left; ending with a six-foot putt which was two-thirds of was uphill and downhill. Staying in a strong mental game came in clutch once out of the divot and lining up to take his final putt.

 “Sometimes you’re playing these tournaments and you’re not in contention but you have a good last round and you get there with three or four holes to go,” Triplett said, “It is such a shock to be playing with the lead your get really nervous. But since the middle of yesterday I’ve been playing on the leader number, you know, so you kind of get in that mode of it’s not life or death.”

Not only was No. 18 the most difficult for the event, but it was also the toughest to birdie with just 13 in the tournament and only two during the final round with birdies from Jeff Sluman and Scott Dunlap.

Triplett’s win earned him 240 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race. Waldorf finished second for the second consecutive week. After losing in a playoff to Michael Allen last week, Waldorf saw his chances slip away during the final round when he made a bogey on his 54th hole, leaving him T2 with Langer and Olin Browne. For their efforts, they each earn $117,116 in official prize money.

For the fifteenth time in the 27 years of the Champions Tour event, the winner was decided by either a playoff or a single stroke.

Congrats to Kirk Triplett

2014 The ACE Group Classic
(The 3rd of 25 Charles Schwab Cup events on the 2014 Champions Tour)

Naples, Florida
February 16, 2014
The TwinEagles Club (Talon Course)
Par/Yards: 72/7,193
Final-Round Notes – Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weather: Mostly sunny and pleasant with highs in the mid-70s with NNW winds at 5-1
Final Results:
1. Kirk Triplett 200/-16
T2. Bernhard Langer 201/-15
Duffy Waldorf 201/-15
Olin Browne 201/-15
5. Jay Haas 204/-12
T6. Michael Allen 206/-10
Colin Montgomerie 206/-10

Kirk Triplett sank a six-foot par putt on the final hole to avoid a four-way playoff and claim his third Champions Tour title by one stroke over Bernhard Langer, Duffy Waldorf and Olin Browne. Playing one group in front of Triplett, Langer and Waldorf, Browne missed a birdie opportunity to move into a share of the lead with the trio at 16-under. The drama then switched to the final group. After Waldorf and Langer missed par putts, Triplett calmly sank his winning putt to end the drama. Waldorf’s bogey was especially frustrating since he had played bogey-free golf all afternoon, while Langer had grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie on No. 17. Waldorf, Langer and Browne all tied for second at 15-under.

The win was Triplett’s third on the Champions Tour. He won the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach in both 2012 and 2013 and it marks the third year in succession he has won at least one event.

The victory was worth $240,000 for Triplett as well as earning him 240 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race.

The victory also extended Triplett’s eligibility for the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai through 2016.

Kirk Triplett string of bogey-free holes ended at 68 when he made a bogey on No. 5 on Sunday. His streak had started at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in his previous start. However, in his last 90 holes, Triplett has made just two bogeys (No. 8 in 2nd rd. in Hawaii and No. 5 today).

It’s been a productive two weeks for the two Nevada-Reno products on the Champions Tour. Michael Allen claimed the Allianz Championship last week and Triplett was the winner on Sunday in Naples. Both played golf for the Wolf Pack and are members of that school’s athletic Hall of Fame.

Duffy Waldorf finished second for the second consecutive week. After losing in a playoff to Michael Allen last week, Waldorf saw his chances slip away on Sunday when he made a bogey on his 54th hole, leaving him T2 with Olin Browne and Bernhard Langer. He has posted six consecutive rounds in the 60s this year and seven dating back to the end of the 2013 season. It was his fourth runner-up finish in 31 starts on the Champions Tour.

Jay Haas and Jim Rutledge posted the low rounds on Sunday, each shooting an 8-under-par 64. Haas finished fifth overall and it was his third successive top-five finish this year. He was fourth at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai and T5 a week ago at the Allianz Championship. Rutledge’s effort helped him vault from a T42 on Saturday to a T11 finish.

Peter Senior rebounded from a slow start. After an opening-round 75 on Friday, Senior followed with rounds of 69-65 to move from a T63 to a T11.

Jay Don Blake earned $5,280 with his T48 finish and surpassed the $10 million mark in all-time earnings.

A week after winning the Allianz Championship in a playoff with Duffy Waldorf, Michael Allen followed with a T6 finish on Sunday.

Bill Andrade posted his first top-10 finish on the Champions Tour when he finished T8 on Sunday. It was just his second start since turning 50 earlier this year. He was T46 last week at the Allianz Championship.

Hal Sutton, who withdrew during his opening round on Friday, was released from an area hospital on Sunday after undergoing a heart procedure. Sutton said he plans to resume practicing this week and expects to play when the Champions Tour resumes next month (March 14-16) at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, CA.

Once again the winner of The ACE Group Classic came out of the final grouping making it 14 straight years. The last time it didn’t happen was in 2000 when Lanny Wadkins needed a final-round 64 to rally from three strokes back and eventually triumphed in a playoff.

With Kirk Triplett’s one-stroke victory, 15 of the 27 ACE Group Classics have been decided by either a playoff or one stroke.

In an effort to help raise awareness for American Heart Health Month, The ACE Group Classic and NCH Healthcare Systems encouraged all spectators to wear red on Friday of tournament week. Through the participation of hundreds of fans, players and tournament staff, their efforts helped support a donation of $20,000 to NCH Healthcare System Foundation.

On Saturday each of the day’s SUBWAY® restaurants Putt for Dough winners got to compete on the 18th green for a chance to take home $50,000! Although all participants fell short of the $50,000 grand prize, Ralph DePrisco from Brooklyn, NY won free SUBWAY® for a year for having his 10-foot putt land one foot from the hole. To have claimed the $50,000 prize, participants would have had to make a 10-foot, a 30-foot and a 50-foot putt. Since no player made the 10-foot putt, DePrisco was the winner as the closest of the participants.

Kirk Triplett, Duffy Waldorf and Olin Browne all posted three consecutive rounds in the 60s.

Bogey-free rounds:
R1 – Bernhard Langer (64), Olin Browne (66), Kirk Triplett (67), Michael Allen (68), and Jay Don Blake (70).
R2 – Kirk Triplett (67) and Duffy Waldorf (68)
R3 – Jay Haas (64), Wes Short, Jr. (67), Tommy Armour III (69), and Steve Elkington (67)

Scoring Averages at the par-72 The TwinEagles Club (Talon Course) thru three rounds:

Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
36.275 35.300 71.575
36.563 36.275 72.838
35.325 35.475 70.800 71.738

A total of 31 players posted rounds in the 60s and 49 finished below par on Sunday. In the previous two rounds there were a combined 27 rounds in the 60s and 68 sub-par rounds.

The most difficult hole for the event was No. 18 with an average score of 4.383 (+.383), while No. 3 was the easiest at 4.504 (-.496). There were 9 eagles and 118 birdies.

Not only was No. 18 the most difficult for the event, but it was also the toughest to birdie with just 13 in the tournament and just two on Sunday -– Jeff Sluman and Scott Dunlap. A year ago it was the second-most-difficult finishing hole on the Champions Tour (4.339). Only Royal Birkdale (Senior British Open) was harder.