The Champions Tour’s ACE Group Classic opens play today in Naples, Fla., at The Club at TwinEagles and its Jack Nicklaus/Jack Nicklaus II co-designed Talon Course. TwinEagles is playing host to the event for the seventh time since the tournament’s inception in 1988.
This week’s event brings 28 of the top 30 players on the Champions Tour, including nine of the top 10 from the 2012 money list, to the picturesque but challenging Talon Course, which weaves through 1,100 acres of pristine preserves and lakes. The field also features six World Golf Hall of Fame members.
“This year’s field is really one of the strongest we’ve had to date,” said Tournament Director Lesley Baker. “The Talon Course at TwinEagles has been a great course … Defending champion Kenny Perry set a Champion Tour record here last year. But apart from the great golf, fans will see we’ve added some great tournament experiences for them to enjoy as well.”
The event was first hosted at The Club at TwinEagles from 2002 to 2006, and then made a return to the venue last year. The Talon Course at the Club at TwinEagles consistently ranks among Florida’s top courses. It features all of the trademarks of Nicklaus Design, including length, strategic approaches, and undulating greens. Bunkering and mounding also come into play, and there are several sparkling lakes sprinkled throughout its 7,193 yards. It is a challenging but fair layout that makes you think – heavily emphasizing shot strategy and course management.
The Ace Group Classic is among 17 PGA Tour-sanctioned events played on Nicklaus Design courses in 2013.
This year’s field includes eight past champions of The Ace Group Classic: Allen Doyle (1999), Scott Hoch (2008), Hale Irwin (1997, 2002), Bernhard Langer (2011), Gil Morgan (1998, 2001), Loren Roberts (2006, 2009), Craig Stadler (2004), and Perry, the defending champion. Newcomers participating in the ACE Group Classic for the first time are Rocco Mediate (who won last week’s Allianz), Steve Elkington, Bart Bryant, Duffy Waldorf and Gene Sauers.
The ACE Group Classic field also includes:
|Allen, Michael||Armour III, Tommy||Bean, Andy|
|Blake, Jay Don||Brooks, Mark||Browne, Olin|
|Bryant, Bart||Bryant, Brad||Calcavecchia, Mark|
|Chapman, Roger||Cochran, Russ||Cook, John|
|Crenshaw, Ben||Daley, Joe||Doyle, Allen|
|Elkington, Steve||Faxon, Brad||Fleisher, Bruce|
|Forsman, Dan||Frost, David||Funk, Fred|
|Gallagher, Jr., Jim||Gilder, Bob||Glasson, Bill|
|Goodes, Mike||Haas, Jay||Hallberg, Gary|
|Harris, John||Hoch, Scott||Hulbert, Mike|
|Huston, John||Irwin, Hale||Jacobsen, Peter|
|Jones, Gene||Kite, Tom||Koch, Gary|
|Langer, Bernhard||Lehman, Tom||Levi, Wayne|
|Lin, Chie-Hsiang||Lowery, Steve||Lu, Chien Soon|
|Lyle, Sandy||Magee, Andrew||McNulty, Mark|
|Mediate, Rocco||Mize, Larry||Morgan, Gil|
|Mouland, Mark||Nelson, Larry||O’Meara, Mark|
|Pate, Steve||Pernice Jr., Tom||Perry, Kenny|
|Purtzer, Tom||Quigley, Dana||Roberts, Loren|
|Rutledge, Jim||Sauers, Gene||Senior, Peter|
|Sigel, Jay||Simpson, Scott||Sindelar, Joey|
|Sluman, Jeff||Stadler, Craig||Strange, Curtis|
|Sutton, Hal||Thorpe, Jim||Toledo, Esteban|
|Triplett, Kirk||Tway, Bob||Waldorf, Duffy|
|Weibring, D.A.||Wiebe, Mark||Wood, Willie|