2010 in review: Top 10 Champions stories

Bernhard Langer

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1. Bernhard Langer rings the cash register

Never struggling on the Champions Tour (but also never fulfilling his goals) Langer won five times in 2010, including the British and U.S. Senior Opens and the Charles Schwab Cup.

2. Green makes his return

After a horrific car crash that cost Ken Green his right leg in 2009, the five-time winner made his return at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, finishing 26th with partner Mike Reid. Playing in only three events, Green proved to many that the loss of a leg does not have to be debilitating.

3. Freddie

Fred Couples has long been a fan favorite, but when he won consecutive events on both coasts early in 2010 the fanaticism grew to a fever pitch. Unfortunately for Couples he would not win again until late October, with many near misses along the way and very little fanfare.

4. The best left-hander since Bob Charles

In his second full season on the Champions Tour Russ Cochran won twice and recorded 11 top 10s. Along the way, the lefty from Paducah, Kent., moved into the ranks of the elite on the senior circuit.

5. A changing of the guard?

Langer was the dominant figure in 2010, but others made significant moves as well. With age a large factor in competitiveness on the Champions Tour, it seems the younger Couples, Cochran and Michael Allen are taking the places of Jay Haas and Loren Roberts.

6. Kenny Perry arrives

Perry has the length and skills to compete week-to-week on the PGA Tour, but his debut in late 2010 on the senior circuit likely will signal the beginning of his dominance in 2011. That’s if KP has the desire anymore.

7. British Open thrills

Just like in 2009 when Tom Watson came so very close to winning the Open Championship, Mark Calcavecchia in 2010 tried to hold up the mantle for the seniors at the Old Course. But a very determined South African and a third-round 77 dashed Calc’s hopes.

8. Breakthrough or aberration?

Mark O’Meara joined the Champions Tour in 2007, but it took until 2010 to record a victory. The first was at the Liberty Mutual Legends event, which may have counted as a breakthrough for the two-time major winner if he hadn’t won the final major of the year just outside Washington D.C.

9. Four and counting

John Cook has won each of his four years on the Champions Tour and with one win in 2010 at the season ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the Ohio native finished third on the money list behind Langer and Couples.

10. Winning his first in style

Gary Hallberg never lived up to the hype on the PGA Tour, but a final-round 61 at Rock Barn to catapult him past Couples and Langer was a bit of redemption for the former four-time All American. It was clearly the best final round on the Champions Tour in 2010.

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