Fred Couples to play in Grand Blanc; Ally Challenge field finalized
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.
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:
Armour III, Tommy
Blake, Jay Don
Pernice Jr., Tom
Short, Jr., Wes