Fresh off five wins in 2001, Larry Nelson is set for his first defense at the Hualalai Golf Club. The Marietta, Ga., resident fired a final-round 66 to edge out Jim Thorpe last year by a single stroke at 19-under-par 197, while Ed Dougherty and Bruce Fleisher finished tied for third.
Thorpe will no doubt be looking for a bit of revenge in the season-opener, as will others such as Dougherty, Fleisher, Tom Kite, Dana Quigley, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Hale Irwin and Allen Doyle.
The qualifying criteria for this $1.5 million event includes players having won: 1) Senior Tour major championships from the past five years (97-01), and 2) official Senior Tour-regular season events from the last two years (00 and 01).
On the line for the select field is a healthy first-place paycheck worth $258,000. Also, this is the first event of the second edition of the season-long Charles Schwab Cup, a points-based race with a $1 million annuity payoff for the winner at the end of the year.
Doyle won the inaugural Cup in 01, and like a true champion, donated the entire sum to charity.