Doyle Fleisher Go for Money Title at Senior Championship


Larry Nelson goes for his sixth win of the season, Allen Doyle goes for the money title, and the whole field goes for a nice paycheck when the Senior PGA Tour's top 30 players gather for the Senior Tour Championship this week at Oklahoma City, Okla.
The 31st player invited, Isao Aoki, is staying home in Japan. Aoki, who finished 27th on the money list, played in the Turtle Bay Championship in Hawaii Oct. 7 and headed to his homeland, deciding to forego the tournament at Gaillardia Golf & Country Club.
The top four at last week's SBC Championship are in the field. Nelson with a final-round 63 won the tournament, his fifth success of the year, outdistancing Gary McCord for a two-shot win. Bob Gilder and Doug Tewell finished third and fourth, respectively.
The $2.5 million purse features a first place windfall of $435,000, the largest in Senior PGA Tour history. The money title is a tight race between first-place Doyle and second-place Bruce Fleisher. Less than $150,000 separates the two, Doyle standing at $2,520,582, and Fleisher at $2,371,043.
Hale Irwin is clinging to third place with $2,058,422, with Nelson fourth at $1,981,436. Nelson's five wins leads the Seniors with the next highest victory number being three, that of Fleisher and Hale.
Irwin has played in only 25 events, fewest of the top four. Doyle has played in 33, Fleisher 30, and Nelson 27.
The top 31 are invited to Oklahoma City, but Aoki will not be replaced. Thirty-one have earned exemptions for the Tour next year. The Tour Championship offers official money and the PGA Tour doesn't want anyone knocked out of the Top 31 by the 32nd player. Last-place money at the Tour Championship is worth in excess of $20,000.
A 16-man field will compete in the Super Seniors category, but that list has been expanded because of the absence of Lee Trevino, who finished 10th on the list. Jimmy Powell, No. 17, will replace Trevino. Mike Hill leads the Super Seniors in money won with $261,888.
The tournament will run Thursday through Sunday with the Super Seniors (60 and over) played Thursday through Saturday.
Tom Watson is the defending champion.