Champions Tour Major Winners Lead Field at The ACE Group Classic

The list of competitors for the 25th anniversary of The ACE Group Classic at The TwinEagles Club, Feb. 13-19, continues to improve as tournament officials announced the additions of several Champions Tour major winners including Olin Browne, Russ Cochran, Fred Funk, Jay Haas and Mark O'Meara today. In addition, tournament fans can register online at for an opportunity to walk inside the ropes with a professional.

"The level of talent we have playing in this year's tournament speaks to the core of what makes Champions Tour golf great - accomplished players and engaging personalities that fans of all ages can enjoy," said Tournament Director Lesley Baker. "We're thrilled about what the 25th anniversary of Champions Tour golf in Southwest Florida has in store for the Naples community."

Defending Senior British Open champion Russ Cochran returns to Naples after finishing T3 in 2011. Cochran will be joined by Mark Calcavecchia, who he beat last July to capture his first major title.

The following week, Olin Browne captured the 2011 U.S. Senior Open crown over Tour veteran Mark O'Meara en route to recording the best season of his Champions Tour career. Browne turned in eight top-10 finishes and finished the year seventh in the Charles Schwab Cup race. O'Meara, the 2010 Senior Players Championship winner, played well enough throughout his 2011 campaign to finish ninth in the Schwab Cup.

Tour favorites Fred Funk and Jay Haas, each with three Tour majors to their credit, also will compete. Funk's three major titles came in a span of three years - The Tradition twice (2008, 2010)  and the U.S. Senior Open in 2009. Haas most recently won the Senior Players Championship in 2009, preceded by the Senior PGA Championship in 2006 and 2008.  

Overall, The ACE Group Classic field features 20 different Champions Tour major winners. World Golf Hall of Famer Hale Irwin leads the field with seven major titles, followed by Allen Doyle and Loren Roberts with four majors a piece. Other major winners include Peter Jacobsen, defending champion Bernhard Langer, Graham Marsh and Craig Stadler who each hold two major titles. Single-major winners also headed to TwinEagles are Michael Allen, Brad Bryant, Bruce Fleisher, Tom Kite, Mark McNulty, Jim Thorpe, Bobby Wadkins, D.A. Weibring and Fuzzy Zoeller.

For an exclusive opportunity to walk inside-the-ropes during official tournament play, The ACE Group Classic is also announcing the Honorary Observer Contest presented by the Naples Daily News. Contest winners will get the chance to meet Champions Tour pros, take photos, receive autographs and walk inside-the-ropes during rounds of the tournament. Contest entries are available online at and entrants must be at least 12 years or older. The deadline to enter is February 10.

Tickets are available online at or by phone (239) 593-3900. Children 17 and under are admitted free all week with a ticketed adult. Admission is free February 13 and 14. 


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