Tour Returns Sooner than Later


Don Pooley didnt have to wait a full year before having the opportunity to defend his title in the Allianz Championship (Live on TGC at 5:00 p.m. ET, Fri.'Sun.; re-air at 9:00 p.m.). Thats because the event, which was played in late-August in 2003, was moved to mid-May this year.
Following a week off, the Champions Tour resumes action at the Glen Oaks Country Club (par 71, 6,879 yards) in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Pooley is also making his return as he is playing in his first tournament since the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, four weeks ago.
Hopefully, for Pooleys sake, he can find a way to keep some form of momentum from the Legends, where he earned his best finish of the season, a tie for fourth.
Last years victory in Iowa was easily the highlight of Pooleys season ' and hes still looking for such a marked occasion this year.
Pooley won the 2002 U.S. Senior Open en route to finishing 17th on the money list with over $1.15 million. He dropped to 38th in earning last season, finishing in the top 10 only three times, compared to eight in 02. This year, he has a pair of top-10s, but the closest hes come to a win is a share of the lead after the first round of the SBC Classic.
This is the fourth installment of the Allianz Championship. Jim Thorpe won the inaugural event in 2001. Bob Gilder prevailed the following year, while Pooley won by three strokes a year ago.
Tournament officials said the move to the spring season was in an effort to distance the event from the highly successful Iowa State Fair and college football, thus adding interest and attendance.
Its the 12th tournament on the senior schedule. Only Bruce Fleisher has won more than once this year.
Gil Morgan currently leads the money list with $871,291. Hes a little more than $50,000 clear of Larry Nelson. Morgan has fared well in the past in this event. He was runner-up in 2001 and tied for seventh the following year. He dipped to a tie for 46th, however, in 2003.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Alliaz Championship