Fred Couples to play in Grand Blanc; Ally Challenge field finalized

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, officially joined The Ally Challenge field Friday.

Long a favorite of golf fanatics, Fred Couples has joined the field for next week's inaugural Ally Challenge at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc.

The Ally Challenge made the official announcement Friday, shortly before releasing the full field — with the exception of next week's four Tuesday qualifiers.

A roster of 78 players is in the field for the Champions Tour's debut in Grand Blanc, including nine of the top 10 players in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. The list includes the likes of Darren Clarke, John Daly, Chris DiMarco, Jay Haas, Lee Janzen, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Rocco Mediate, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O'Meara, Kenny Perry, Vijay Singh and David Toms.

It's among the most star-studded fields on the 50-and-older tour this year, a nod to the respect so many of the players have for Warwick Hills, long home to the PGA Tour's Buick Open.

More:Detroit Golf Club tells members it won't lose money on PGA Tour event

Also in the field is Lake Orion's Tom Gillis, a Champions Tour rookie who finished tied for third in both starts on the tour, earning $250,000. The longtime PGA Tour player received a sponsor's exemption into the field. 

Grandville's Tom Werkmeister, another Champions Tour rookie who has qualified for the past two tournaments, didn't receive a sponsor's exemption into the Ally despite his local connections, so he will attempt to qualify Tuesday.

Despite playing a limited Champions Tour schedule, it's been known for quite some time that Couples, 58, planned to play in the Ally Challenge; it was made official Friday. He won 15 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1992 Masters — one of his 10 top-10 finishes at Augusta. He's won 13 times on the Champions Tour.

The Ally Challenge is Sept. 14-16, and the purse is $2 million.

Here's the complete field:

Ames, Stephen

Andrade, Billy

Armour III, Tommy

Austin, Woody

Blake, Jay Don

Broadhurst, Paul

Brooks, Mark

Browne, Olin

Bryant, Bart

Byrum, Tom

Calcavecchia, Mark

Clarke, Darren

Couples, Fred

Daly, John

Dawson, Marco

Day, Glen

DiMarco, Chris

Dunlap, Scott

Durant, Joe

Estes, Bob

Forsman, Dan

Franco, Carlos

Frost, David

Gamez, Robert

Garwood, Doug

Gillis, Tom

Glasson, Bill

Goodes, Mike

Goydos, Paul

Haas, Jay

Hallberg, Gary

Hamilton, Todd

Hart, Dudley

Hoch, Scott

Huston, John

Janzen, Lee

Jobe, Brandt

Johnson, Kevin

Jones, Kent

Kelly, Jerry

Langer, Bernhard

Lehman, Tom

Lowery, Steve

Lyle, Sandy

Maggert, Jeff

Mayfair, Billy

McCarron, Scott

McKenzie, David

Mediate, Rocco

Mize, Larry

Montgomerie, Colin

O'Meara, Mark

Parel, Scott

Parnevik, Jesper

Pate, Steve

Pavin, Corey

Pernice Jr., Tom

Perry, Kenny

Petrovic, Tim

Quinn, Fran

Roberts, Loren

Sauers, Gene

Short, Jr., Wes

Sindelar, Joey

Singh, Vijay

Sluman, Jeff

Smith, Jerry

Tanigawa, Ken

Toledo, Esteban

Tolles, Tommy

Toms, David

Triplett, Kirk

Verplank, Scott

Waldorf, Duffy