AUSTRALIA’S Steve Elkington will make his US Champions Tour debut this week at the 2013 Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii.
Elkington, who turned 50 in December, will join a big name 40 player field in the US$1.8 million event that kicks off the season for the Tour.
Elkington, a 10-time PGA TOUR winner, says he spent much of 2012 preparing himself for what is the world’s richest senior golfing tour.
“If you would have said to me 10 years ago would you play the Champions Tour, I would have said no,” Elkington said recently.
“Old Father Time has caught up to me and now I’m looking forward to it.”
Elkington said he took the 2012 season off from the PGA TOUR to spend time with his family and gear up.
“I’m really fresh, I’m ready to go back out and play,” he said. “I’ve heard that they run it extremely well. Guys tell me it’s fun. There’s not much stress. We’ll enjoy it. They play some cool events.
“I think it’s one of the neatest things any profession can have would be to have an opportunity for all the years of good work you’ve done to have a bridge to do some more good things.”
Elkington said he has discussed the Champions Tour with the likes of John Cook, Mark Calcavecchia, Mark O’Meara and, Lee Trevino and fellow Aussie Peter Senior.
“Trevino gave me an earful,” Elkington said. “It’s all been good.”
Elkington said that he had also had discussions with Greg Norman about teaming up for the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.
Elkington’s 10 PGA TOUR wins included the 1995 PGA Championship. He spent 50 weeks on the Official World Golf Ranking top 10 between 1995 and 1998. He won the ’95 PGA Championship at Riviera Country Club in a playoff over Colin Montgomerie and was also runner-up in the same event 10 years later to Phil Mickelson at Baltusrol. Elkington has 10 top 10 finishes in major championships.
Champions Tour regular Senior isn’t playing this week, but the field at the Hualalai Golf Club includes star attractions Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin, Fred Funk, John Cook and Kenny Perry. The defending champion is Dan Forsman.
Champions Tour TV Coverage
Mitsubishi Electric Championship sessions will be screened live in Australia on Fox Sports.
Round 1: Saturday 11.30am – 2pm; Round 2: Sunday 11.30am – 2pm;
Final Round: Monday 11.30am – 2pm (Check guides).
2013 Mitsubishi Electric Championship LeaderboardMitsubishi Electric Championship Leaderboard