Pooley defeated Tom Watson in a five-hole playoff at the U.S. Senior Open two weeks ago with a birdie on the 18th hole.
Allen Doyle won the Ford Senior Players last year on the first hole of a playoff with Doug Tewell. Doyle forced sudden death with a 35-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole.
Doyle shot a 5-under 67 and won his second major. The playoff was just the second in Ford tournament history.
Tewell, who shot a 66, saw his chances for victory slip away on the extra hole when his tee shot went wide left and landed in wetlands. Tewell bogeyed the playoff hole, and Doyle parred
Jack Nicklaus, the record-setting winner of the 1990 Ford Senior Players Championship, has indicated he will play in this years 20th anniversary Championship. Nicklaus was extended a tournament invitation by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem in conjunction with the Championships sponsoring organization, Senior Players Championship Charities, Inc.
Nicklaus shot a tournament record 27-under-par 261 in the 1990 Championship, the first year it was played in Michigan at the Dearborn Country Club. The TPC of Michigan was designed by Nicklaus and opened for play in August, 1990.
Jim Thorpe won the first major this year, The Countrywide Tradition, while Fuzzy Zoeller won the Senior PGA and Pooley the Senior Open.
The 78-player field will include the 76 leading players on the Ford Senior Players Championship points list, which is a compilation of official money earned on the Senior PGA Tour beginning with last years Championship and concluding at last week's AT&T Canada Senior Open Championship.
Five new initiatives will be in place at this week's event, aimed at offering glimpses of what goes on behind the scenes and inside the ropes at a Senior event. They include Caddie for a Day, Honorary Observers, Gallery in the Fairway and Quality Care Stage.
The 'Behind the Tour Tour' will give contest winners a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes at a Senior PGA Tour event. Winners will see, among other things, the broadcast center where the tournament telecast originates, the scoring trailers where scores and statistics are sent electronically to on-course scoreboards and the Internet, the media center where newspaper and television reporters interview players and prepare their reports.
Winners in the 'Caddie for the Day' promotion will caddie for pros during three holes of the pro-am.
Four winners each day will be designated 'Honorary Observers.' These fans will follow a selected group 'inside the ropes' and be afforded an unobstructed view of play.
On Saturday and Sunday, fans will be allowed to walk the final three fairways with the last group. And the final initiative will be the Quality Care Stage at which player interviews, live radio broadcasts and other activities will take place throughout the week. The Quality Care Stage will be located adjacent to the first tee and 18th fairway.
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