Tour Cruises to Royal Caribbean

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The Champions Tours first full-field event gets underway this week in Key Biscayne, Fla.
 
After experimenting with the Modified Stableford Scoring system for two years, the Royal Caribbean Classic will once again employee medal play scoring.
 
Tournament officials altered the scoring in 2000 and 01. Last year, they returned to the traditional method, and John Jacobs was glad they did.
 
Jacobs won the weather-shortened event by a stroke over Isao Aoki, Bruce Fleisher and Tom Watson. The tournament was reduced to 36 holes after rain washed out Fridays round.
 
As always, the free-swinging Jacobs made it interesting. He drove his tee shot into the water on the par-5 final hole, but saved par after hitting his 3-wood third shot from 265 yards just short of the green.
 
It was Jacobs fourth career Champions Tour victory, and the third time he had come from behind on Sunday to prevail.
 
Fleishers runner-up finish was a continuation of stellar play at the Crandon Park Golf Club. He won in 1999 and 2000 ' under both medal and Modified Stableford formats ' and tied for 11th in 2001.
 
Fleisher is the only player to repeat as champion in the 15 years of this event. Lee Trevino is the only other player to win twice, doing so in 1988 and 94.
 
In addition to Fleisher, Aoki should be considered among the favorites to win ' or at least contend.
 
The 60-year-old Japanese has finished runner-up three of the last four years.
 
This years purse is $1.45 million, with $217,500 going to the winner.
 
Related Links
  • Full coverage of the Royal Caribbean Classic
  • Champions Tour Finds a New Home on The Golf Channel