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Senior Players Championship returning to Fox Chapel G.C. for the next two seasons

| Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, 2:47 p.m.

The top senior players in the world will take aim at Fox Chapel Golf Club the next two years, ensuring the return of major championship golf to western Pennsylvania.

The Champions Tour and Fox Chapel Golf Club have agreed to hold the Constellation Senior Players Championship at one of Pittsburgh's most venerable courses.

The deal officially will be announced today, and the tournament that was held this year at Fox Chapel for the first time and bridged June and July will be played June 27-30, 2013.

“This is a big step in the right direction for this tournament,” Constellation Senior Players Championship Chief Operating Officer Brian Goin said. “We feel it's important to stay put here and grow it.”

The tournament was, by all accounts, a success. The four rounds attracted nearly 55,000 people despite sweltering heat, and the course played to rave reviews from the players, especially Hall of Famer Tom Watson.

“This is a wonderful test,” Watson said July 1 after finishing 3-under par and tied for 20th. “It has its length in areas where you have to hit some critical shots, and it has some wonderful holes on it. The greens here require you to be in the fairway and hit the proper shots.”

Journeyman Joe Daley won for the first time on the Champions Tour, firing a 14-under 266 to finish first in the 2012 Senior Players Championship, and the event attracted a star-studded field.

Fred Couples, Tom Lehman and Greg Norman were among those who teed it up at Fox Chapel, and Couples led the tournament before a balky back betrayed him. Lehman took second.

Rocco Mediate is likely to be a part of the field this year, giving it local flavor. The Greensburg native, who turns 50 next month and will be eligible for the Champions Tour in 2013, has spoken glowingly of the layout at Fox Chapel, which played at 6,710 yards for the Senior Players Championship and requires precise approach shots as well as a steady putting stroke.

Three major championships will be played within 6 miles of each other in the next four years. The U.S. Open returns to Oakmont Country Club in 2016 for the ninth time.

Scott Brown is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com.

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