Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Jewel of a Course Draws Seniors Back Senior Players Championship

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Jewel of a Course Draws Seniors Back Senior Players Championship

Article excerpt

Some of the biggest names in golf from recent decades are still competing at a high level, they just do it on the Champions Tour -- formerly known as the Senior PGA Tour. That's why the popularity of the tour has steadily been on the rise.

Fans locally got a major taste of the tour last year when the Constellation Senior Players Championship was held at Fox Chapel Country Club. They apparently liked what they saw -- an estimated 55,000-60,000 of them attended the four day event.

That success at the gate, along with the popularity of the course -- Tom Watson called Fox Chapel an "unsung jewel" at the event last year -- is why Fox Chapel was chosen to be host for the event both this year and next. This year, the event will be held June 27-30.

The course may have become a more permanent home for the Senior Players Championship beyond two years had it not been for the fact that the U.S. Open is set to return to Oakmont -- right up the road - - in 2016 and the tour doesn't want to dilute corporate sales and sponsorships.

Also, Constellation, which has been a title sponsor for the Senior Players Championship since 2007, signed a deal to remain the title sponsor through 2017.

Although ticket sales were strong last year, a big reason that the event will return is because Fox Chapel's course received rave reviews from many of the players last year.

"People should wake up and realize what a great golf course this is, because that's what it is," Watson said last year.

Fox Chapel had a limited window to get ready for the 2012 tournament, but this year will be the second time through for local organizers and that should make for an even better operation and event.

"We're proud of our golf course and the response it received from the best players on the Champions Tour this past summer and are excited to serve as host venue for the Constellation Senior Players through 2014," said Fox Chapel Golf Club President Arthur M. Scully lll in a news release. "Fox Chapel Golf Club made a tremendous debut in 2012 and we look forward to even better events in 2013 and 2014, as well as investing the proceeds of the tournament into several wonderful charities that positively impact the lives of children and adults in Western Pennsylvania. …

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