Champions Tour readies for 2009 lid-lifter

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Champions TourKONA, Hawaii ' The Champions Tour is set for its first official event of the 2009 season, the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
 
Like the PGA Tour, the senior circuit gets started in Hawaii, the site of Fred Funk's season-opening win last year. Funk birdied the final two holes in 2008 for a two-shot victory over Allen Doyle ' the second year in a row that Funk won a Champions Tour event in Hawaii.
 
Funk ' who also claimed the 2007 Turtle Bay Championship in the Aloha State ' went on to also win the JELD-WEN Tradition last year for his first over-50 major. Funk will not be on hand to defend his crown though.
 
This week's tournament, previously called the MasterCard Championship, follows the Champions Skins Game which took place in Hawaii last weekend. The Golf Channel will have 2 1/2 hours of coverage for all three rounds.
 
The Champions Tour will take two weeks off before returning for the Allianz Championship in Florida on Feb. 13. Scott Hoch won that tournament last year.
 
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