Roberts Eyes Title Defense in Florida

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2005 ACE Group ClassicNAPLES, Florida -- Loren Roberts returns to defend his title at this week's The ACE Group Classic in Florida. Last year he made history with his win at the ACE Group Classic, becoming the first Champions Tour player ever to win the first three events of the season.
 
After winning the MasterCard Championship, Turtle Bay Championship and ACE Group Classic, it's hard to believe Roberts failed to win the yearlong Charles Schwab Cup (he lost out to Jay Haas on the last hole of the season).
 
It was less difficult to imagine Roberts emerging as one of the best Champions Tour players in his first full season on the senior circuit. We may not have predicted three straight wins to begin the year, but Roberts was a good bet to claim multiple titles last season.
 
Two of the four players with multiple victories at the ACE Group Classic will be in the field this week: all-time Champions Tour wins leader Hale Irwin and Gil Morgan.
 
Tom Watson, last week's winner at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am in Lutz, Florida, is not in the field this week.
 
The Golf Channel will have coverage of all three rounds beginning Friday.
 
The Champions Tour is off next week ahead of the Toshiba Classic, where Bart Bryant beat three players by one shot last year.
 
Notes:
  • Loren Roberts will be looking to add a second ACE Group Classic title this week in Naples, FL, and history is on his side. Since the event began in 1988, four players have managed to earn two victories in the tournament'Lee Trevino (1990-91), Mike Hill (1993-94), Gil Morgan (1998-2001) and Hale Irwin (1997-2002). Three of those players'Trevino, Morgan and Irwin'won their titles on different courses. Roberts will need to do the same with the tournament moving this year to Quail West GC.
     
  • Tom Watson had never won in the state of Florida until he captured last weeks Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Prior to the event, Watson was 0-93 in his career in the state.
     
  • Roberts extended his streak of par-or-better rounds to 26. His streak of under-par rounds ended at 24 after a second-round even-par 71 at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.
     
  • Mark OMeara finished in a T38 in his Champions Tour debut last week.
     
    Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The ACE Group Classic
  • Golf Channel Airtimes