CARY, N.C. – Monday qualifying and pro-am play highlighted the start of the 15th edition of the Champions Tour’s SAS Championship at Prestonwood Country Club on Monday.
Jay Don Blake’s group won the Monday Pro-Am on the tournament course, while groups led by defending tournament champion Kirk Triplett and Mark Wiebe finished in second and third place respectively.
The tournament’s Open Qualifier was played at Wilson Country Club with Dick Mast and Scott Parel each carded a 68 to lead the field.
Skip Kendall and Mike Hulbert scored matching 69’s, while Greg Kraft carded a 70.
The field for this year’s SAS championship was finalized last Friday, highlighted by five World Golf Hall of Famers and 15 winners from the 2015 season.
“If you look at the statistics of our field to date it really is one of the strongest fields we’ve ever had,” tournament director Jeff Kleiber said.
“With the tie between Monty and Maggert in the season-long points race, a great group of former champions returning and new names that are establishing themselves as contenders on the Champions Tour, the week will be a great milestone in our event history.”
Twenty-seven of the top 30 players on this year’s money list will be in town, including Charles Schwab Cup co-leader Jeff Maggert, who will make his SAS Championship debut along with major champion Ian Woosnam, and Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik.
Other first timers to Prestonwood include Champions Tour winners Scott Dunlap and Jerry Smith, plus PGA Tour winners Scott Verplank, Nolan Henke, Carlos Franco, and Scott McCarron.
A number of tournament champions are in the field, including Triplett, two-time champion Russ Cochran (2010, 2013), Kenny Perry (2011), Tom Pernice Jr. (2009), Wiebe (2007), Craig Stadler (2004), and World Golf Hall of Fame members Hale Irwin (2005) and Bernard Langer (2012).
Other World Golf Hall of Famers scheduled to compete include Sandy Lyle and Tom Kite.
Fans looking to follow notable locals in the field can follow Scott Hoch, Mike Goodes, Jim Thorpe, Neal Lancaster and Gary Hallberg, who will all be teeing it up when Championship play begins at 10 a.m. on Friday.
Notes: Lancaster and Hallberg received tournament sponsor exemptions in addition to Steve Jones, P.H. Horgan III, and Peter Senior…Practice rounds will take place on Tuesday, but are closed to the public…The two-day SAS Pro-Am tournament will be played on Wednesday and Thursday and open to the public to watch with gates opening at 8 a.m.
2015 SAS Championship
Monday Pro-Am Results
1st Place: Pro: Jay Don Blake – Russel Bell, Jullie Campbell, Dick Domann, Kerry Dougherty
2nd Place: Pro: Kirk Triplett – Sam Difranco, Staley Gentry, Brian Reid, David Tomick
3rd Place: Pro: Mark Wiebe – Donald Gintzig, David Hoover, Jim Palombaro, John Piatzkowski
Ladies Long Drive: #3 Margaret Pentrak
Men’s Long Drive: #13 Colin Jostus
Closest to the Pin: #15 John Pistkowski