Champions Tour announces 2012 schedule

Fred Couples during the Senior Players Championship.

Fred Couples during the Senior Players Championship.

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The 2012 Champions Tour schedule has been released, with seven new tournament venues and several date changes coming as part of the announcement.

The official 2012 season begins on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai (Jan. 16-22), with the first full-field event coming three weeks later at the Allianz Championship (Feb. 6-12), in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Regions Tradition, played at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Ala., will move from the early May date it previously occupied to the week of June 4-10. The Insperity Championship (April. 30-May 6), played at The Woodlands in Houston, Texas, will depart its traditional October timeslot and take over the spot vacated by Regions Tradition.

La Vallee du Richelieu Golf Club (Vercheres Course) will host The Montreal Championship (June 18-24), after two years at Club de golf Le Fontainebleau.

The Constellation Senior Players Championship (June 25-July 1), played in the fall for the last five years, moves to the last week of June. Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh, Pa., will host the championship, being contested for the 30th time.

The Dick’s Sporting Goods Open (Aug. 13-19) moves from June to August to allow the En-Joie Golf Course more time to recover after sustaining major flooding damage when Tropical Storm Lee caused the Susquehanna River to overflow at record levels earlier this year and almost completely cover the course. En-Joie Golf Course, in Endicott, N.Y., has hosted the event since its inception in 2007 and had previously hosted the PGA Tour’s B.C. Open from 1972 to 2006.

Yet to be finalized on the 2012 schedule are the events to be played in Asia in September. As of the date of this schedule announcement, Champions Tour officials were in final discussions with representatives in South Korea on the renewal of the event that was played in that country the past two years. Officials are also in discussions with representatives in Japan and China with the hope of bringing new events on the Champions Tour to those countries. Announcements are expected after the first of the year.

The season will conclude with the Charles Schwab Cup Championship (Oct. 29-Nov. 4,) which moves from TPC Harding Park in San Francisco to the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Jack Nicklaus-designed course returns to the Champions Tour schedule having previously hosted the Tradition from 1989-2001.

The host venues for the five major championships in 2012 are:

The Golf Club at Harbor Shores (Mich.); Senior PGA Championship; May 21-27

Shoal Creek (Ala.); Regions Tradition; June 4-10

Indianwood Golf & Country Club (Mich.); U.S. Senior Open; July 9-15

Turnberry (Ailsa Course), Scotland; Senior British Open; July 23-29

Fox Chapel Golf Club (Pa.); Constellation Senior Players Championship; June 25-July 1

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