WATCH ABOVE: Some lucky amateur golfers got to hit the course Wednesday with some champions tour golfers playing in the Shaw Charity Classic. Lisa MacGregor reports.
Fred Couples hasn’t played much golf in recent months, but he’ll still be the biggest draw in a field of legends at this week’s Shaw Charity Classic, which kicks off on Friday.
Couples won the Champions Tour event last year in a dramatic playoff over Billy Andrade. Despite continuing back problems, Couples is back to battle this year, but he’s up against some stiff competition, including some of the game’s biggest names. Unfortunately past champion Rocco Mediate withdrew from the field, but there are still a number of bright lights that golf fans will want to check out:
Arguably the greatest Ryder Cup player of all-time, the Scotsman has made a huge impact since joining the Champions Tour last year. With nine Top 10 finishes in 13 events this year, including a win at the Senior PGA Championship, Montgomerie is a favourite this week. Occasionally dour in the past, Montgomerie seems to have embraced his second coming on the Champions Tour and seems to have made himself a fan favourite in the process.
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Though he’s past 50, the Spaniard is still ranked among the Top 100 golfers on the planet. With a win on the Champions Tour this year, and a victory on the European Tour last year, golf’s most interesting man continues to play very well, regardless of his age, finishing in a tie for 10th at the Scottish Open in July. He was fourth at the Senior British Open at Sunningdale and is likely to be a factor this week in Calgary.
The defending champion has played very little since the Masters in April, but has two Top 10 finishes on the Champions Tour since returning from resting his nagging back. With his average drive still near 300 yards, Couples, 56, is remains one of the game’s biggest stars and draws. Expect large galleries watching him at Canyon Meadows this week.
Ames, who spent much of the past two decades in Calgary, now lives in Vancouver. At 51, he’s only played once on the PGA Tour this year, but has three Top 10 finishes on the Champions Tour this season. One of the game’s best ball strikers and the ultimate feel player, Ames is one of the founders of the Shaw Charity Classic.
At 51, Austin continues to play on the PGA Tour, splitting his time with the Champions Tour. He had a strong finish at the Shaw Charity Classic last year, and has five Top 10 finishes in nine starts on the Champions Tour this year, including a Top 5 finish at the Senior British Open.