The first will be a milestone for The Golf Channel, as it will play host to a major championship for the first time in the network's brief but storied history. The live, exclusive prime-time coverage of the JELD-WEN Tradition starts Thursday at 6:00 PM (ET).
The JELD-WEN Tradition also marks the Champions Tour's last, and for the first time, fifth major of the year. And as always, a strong field will be assembled to fight for the $2.2 million purse, complete with the winners of the year's first four majors - John Jacobs (Senior PGA Championship), Bruce Lietzke (U.S. Senior Open), Craig Stadler (Ford Senior Players Championship) and Tom Watson (Senior British Open).
Held for the first time at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club in Aloha, Ore., other past Tradition champions will also be on hand, such as Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd and the defending champion, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe won the title last year by edging out John Jacobs with a birdie on the first playoff hole.
Now in its 15th year, the JELD-WEN Tradition has had a repeat winner on three occasions - twice involving Nicklaus, in '90 and '91, then again in'95 and '96 and Gil Morgan, who took home the trophy in '97 and '98.
Nicklaus also holds the record for most wins in the event with four, with he and Morgan being the only two-time winners of the event.
Don Bies won the inaugural tournament over Gary Player back in 1989. Player also finished runner-up to Nicklaus the following year.
Eight players have already reached more than $1 million in earnings so far this year, with the 52-year-old Lietzke leading the way. Watson is close behind in the race for not only the money title, but Player of the Year honors as well.
The configuration of the course has been set up to feature three par-5s coming on the last four holes. The tournament has gone into extra holes in two of the last three years, the above mentioned Thorpe last year and Tom Kite winning over Watson and Larry Nelson on 2000.
The Golf Channel will carry each round live, starting Thursday at 6:00 PM ET and finishing at 9 PM.