Planet Golf — 09 November 2017 by Candace Oehler
Langer hot heading into Schwab Cup

PHOENIX, AZ — With the first two PGA TOUR Champions playoff victories under his belt, 60-year old Bernhard Langer is now laser-focused on winning the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, and/or an unprecedented fourth consecutive Charles Schwab Cup (fifth total).

The tournament, taking place November 10-12 at historic Phoenix Country Club, features the top 36 players on the Charles Schwab Cup points list.  Langer, a World Golf Hall of Famer, has dominated all season, winning a third of the 21 events he played.  Those seven wins and 16 top-ten finishes cemented his place at the top of the money list heading into the final event of the season.

Under the format instituted last year, points are reset prior to the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, giving all 36 players in the field a mathematical chance of winning the Charles Schwab Cup with a victory at the event.  Those rounding out the top five – Scott McCarron, Kenny Perry, Miguel Angel Jimenez, and Kevin Sutherland – have an even better chanc at the Cup, depending on where they place.

Langer, the reigning Cup holder, has never won the Championship and is not a huge fan of the points reset, noting that, “Somebody could win the first 25  tournaments, then finish second in the Schwab Cup tournament and still not win the Schwab Cup.  It seems a bit odd, but that’s how it is right now.”

What is not at all odd is that, as usual, Langer is the one to beat.  He jokes that his fellow competitors tell him that they’re passing the hat around to pay him disappearance money.

“I tell them, ‘You have to up that a little if you want me to disappear.’ So far, I haven’t seen a big enough check to disappear yet.”

What’s old is new again – After three consecutive years in north Scottsdale’s scenic Desert Mountain Club | Cochise Course, the Championship has moved to Phoenix Country Club, the oldest private club in the metro Phoenix area.  Opened in 1920, PCC hosted the Phoenix Open from 1932-1986.  The list of champions is impressive, and includes Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Jimmy Demeret, Ken Venturi, Arnold Palmer, and Ben Crenshaw.  The traditional, flat, tree-lined course with views of downtown skyscrapers is a stark contrast to the panoramic mountain vistas and elevation changes that characterized Desert Mountain.  But the more convenient location and walkability of PCC may draw many more spectators than previous years.

 

Fan Zone – Nobody will go hungry or thirsty! Options include the Michelob Ultra Pop-Up Bar; Taste of Schwab, presented by The Vig, with local Phoenix restaurants; 19th Hole sponsored by 19 Crimes Winery; Four Peaks Brewery Beer Garden.

Military – Complimentary tickets are offered for all Active Duty, Military Reserve and National Guard Service members, Military retirees, Veterans and their dependents. They are invited to visit the Patriots Outpost benefiting Birdies for the Brave, near the 12th green.

Music – Country music star Jerrod Niemann headlines a concert taking place on the first tee after the conclusion of play on Friday.  The concert is open to all tournament ticket holders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Candace Oehler’s deep dive into sports media began several decades ago when she won a trip from Seattle to Mariners spring training in Arizona. Noting that non-English-speaking Latino ball players received little, if any, media coverage, she fluently/en español became a pioneer in Spanish sports media, and eventually became known affectionately throughout the Latino MLB community as “La Veterana.” Candace has written for team publications and MLB.com; hosted her own radio show on several Spanish-language stations; served as producer/reporter/engineer for the Mariners’ inaugural season of Spanish radio broadcasts; and has been a reporter for MLB Network Radio the past 10 years. She was invited to Venezuela by future Hall-of-Fame shortstop Omar Vizquel to cover rebuilding efforts and accomplishments of his charitable foundation following the devastating 1999 mudslides; worked in Puerto Rico for former Major Leaguers Joey Cora and Carlos Baerga managing fundraising events; and was the only female in the raucous locker room when the hometown favorite Licey Tigers won the 2004 Caribbean World Series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Candace was introduced to the game of golf in 1992 by members of Seattle’s historic Fir State Golf Club, who had approached her to manage their (then) little fundraising tournament hosted by a shy, gangly 15-year old Tiger Woods. Candace co-managed the annual event for nearly 20 years, working with hosts that included Ken Griffey, Sr., Birdie Griffey, Mike Cameron, Nate McMillan, Warren Moon, and Dale Ellis. She became secretary of the club and the Fir State Junior Golf Foundation, and got totally, completely hooked on golf, learning to play on a set of Redbirds given to her by the club (apparently they considered her mother’s Patty Bergs a bit antiquated). She has since traded up to another set of Redbirds and a much more user-friendly golf environment in Arizona. And, once a prolonged stint on the DL is over, she can’t wait to get back on the course and continue lowering her current 21-handicap to ….?

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