'It's going to be exciting,' O'Meara said Thursday. 'I have played golf now for 26 years on the PGA TOUR and now I have the opportunity to move over to the Champions Tour. I get to compete with a lot of great players that I grew up admiring and certainly played with when I first joined the tour. I haven't been too excited about my game the last three years or so, but my juices are flowing right now.'
O'Meara, who turned 50 on Jan. 13, has 16 PGA TOUR titles, including the 1998 Masters and British Open.
Wind and 40-degree temperatures were expected Friday on the TPC Tampa Bay.
'The wind is a big factor,' said Tom Watson, coming off a 19th-place finish Sunday in the PGA TOUR's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
'If you have major winds it brings in a big element of doubt. And your club selection, your putting, every club in the bag. We play in enough wind, but when it is this strong, it really throws some curves at you.'
Scott Simpson, paired with Bill Murray in the pro-am competition, said it's a matter of simply ignoring the weather.
'It is bleak in many ways,' Simpson said. 'It's going to be cold, we know that. I just hope it warms up a little bit.'
Jerry Pate won the 2006 tournament, birdieing the final hole for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke victory over Hale Irwin, Mark James and Morris Hatalsky. Last week, James won the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton.
Nick Price is making his second Champions Tour start. He tied for 20th last week.