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Fox Chapel welcomes Champions Tour to town

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011

It's not the regular Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, where the PGA Tour's best take aim at the world-famous island green.

But Fox Chapel Golf Club will offer a unique par-3 17th hole of its own when the top golfers on the Champions Tour come to town June 28 to July 1 for the Constellation Senior Players Championship.

It was announced Wednesday that Fox Chapel will host the 30th Players, which has been played in the fall for the past five years, but will move to the summer -- likely because of competing with football at that time of year.

It is one of the 50-and-older Tour's five majors.

Fox Chapel Golf Club's 17th hole can play between 175 and 230 yards and has a swale in the middle of the green, which is deeper than some bunkers on the course.

The hole is called "Biarritz."

Fox Chapel hasn't hosted an event like this since the women's Curtis Cup in 2003. The club also hosted a U.S. Senior Open qualifier in 2009.

"We are honored and excited to host the Constellation Senior Players Championship and to welcome many of the games greatest champions," club president Arthur Scully said in a news release. "We are also pleased that local charities will benefit from what we know will be a very well-received major golf tournament for the entire region."

Last year, fan favorite Fred Couples held off John Cook in a playoff to win the tournament, played at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y.

A field of 78 players will compete for the title and double points in the Tour's Charles Schwab Cup points race.

"We're very excited to bring the Champions Tour to Pittsburgh where the Nationwide Tour has proven success in operating the Mylan Classic, with Arnold Palmer as the Honorary Chairman," said Champions Tour president Mike Stevens. "We are confident Fox Chapel will provide a great test for our professionals and an exciting event for the fans."

The event will give local fans two pro events to watch in 2012. The Mylan Classic will return to Southpointe Golf Club in the fall.

The last senior major championship to be played in Western Pennsylvania was the 2005 Senior PGA Championship at Laurel Valley Golf Club in Ligonier.

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