Calling players on the Champions Tour veterans may be a bit of an understatement, but this 50+ crowd is doing more than getting Senior discounts and yelling at kids to get off their lawn.
As the PGA Tour season winds down, it's time to pay a little respect to the men that built the foundation for the current crop of Tour players.
It's not like the Champions Tour players are simply roaming the senior circuit while collecting Social Security checks. Fred Couples has played well in some major tournaments, and in AirWalks nonetheless. He did finish 6th at the Masters this year, not bad for someone who won his last and only major in 1992.
Couples is also coming off a win at the Administaff Small Business Classic at The Woodlands, shooting a 9-under 63 on Sunday to finish at -17, 7 strokes better than runner-up Mark Wiebe.
Kenny Perry, a Champions Tour rookie, has 19 career victories, and has made more money than any player in Tour history without a major championship win. As a "young gun" on the Champions Tour, Perry is in a great position to make some noise.
Tom Watson played what is believed to be his final British Open - a place where he has had some magic in the past - but started 2010 by winning the Mitsubishi Electronic Championship at Hualalai.
Everywhere you look, whether it's through the Champions Tour web site tournament results or the various news scrolls on golf web sites, there is one constant... there are some great golfers still pulling out wins and reliving some glory days on a different stage.
It's easy to overlook the Champions Tour with so much excitement on the PGA Tour, but I spent an hour sucked into the stats and news from the Champions Tour. Take a look at the statistics and rankings from the tour this year:
Bernhard Langer - 3,160; Fred Couples - 2,625; Russ Cochran - 1,590; Fred Funk - 1,555; John Cook - 1,466
And onto some stats, formatted the following way:
Champions Tour - Leader (Avg.)
PGA Tour - Leader (Avg.)
Langer - $2,407,189 ($209,739)
Matt Kuchar - $4,910,477 ($1,012,497)
Top 10 Finishes:
Langer - 13 (3)
Kuchar - 11 (2)
Couples - 293.2 (273)
Robert Garrigus - 315.4 (287.4)
Hale Irwin - 82.33 (70.3)
Joe Durant - 76.14 (63.44)
Greens in Regulation:
Dan Forsman, Langer, Larry Mize - 74.07 (65.20)
Durant - 72.12 (65.94)
Nick Price - 67.43 (53.24)
Dean Wilson - 67.70 (57.30)
Putts Per Round:
Couples - 28.17 (29.8)
Brent Snedeker - 27.97 (29.40)
Looking over the leaders in stats rankings, you can make a fair argument that golf fans probably know just as many if not more of the players at the top of the stat sheets. Plus, for a bunch of old guys, the Champions Tour players rate better in three categories (driving accuracy, greens in regulation, and scrambling), which says something.... though I'm not sure what.
The point is, there's a whole other league of golf out there to watch and throwing the legends a bone every once in awhile never hurts.
Just keep the golf balls off their lawn.