Lee Trevino, the most successful player on the Senior PGA Tour, has committed to return to the State Farm Senior Classic July 2-4 at Hobbit's Glen Golf Club in Columbia. Trevino, who has 28 Senior PGA Tour and 27 PGA Tour victories, told tournament officials Friday he would play in the event.
The tournament, in its second year, also has commitments from four of this year's top 10 money leaders -- Vicente Fernandez, Dana Quigley, Tom Jenkins and Jose Maria Canizares. Other entrants include Miller Barber, a three-time U.S. Senior Open winner; Bob Charles and Don January, who rank third and fourth behind Trevino and Barber on the Senior PGA Tour victories list; Orville Moody, the 1969 U.S. Open champion; Lee Elder, the first black player at The Masters; and Bob Duval, David Duval's father who won the Emerald Coast Classic this year.
"The Senior Open follows us so that obviously helps us," tournament executive director John Mathews said. "Last year, we had 28 of the top 30 money winners and I think we'll have that again. That's not even counting Chi Chi [Rodriguez] and Arnold Palmer."
Rodriguez, who played last year, has made a verbal, but not a formal, commitment. Last year, Palmer told tournament officials at the deadline that he would play. Mathews said he expects to continue to receive commitments from players until the last possible moment.
At a news conference yesterday, tournament officials also announced a time change for Sunday's final round, which is on July 4. It will start two hours earlier than usual to allow fans to attend the tournament as well as Fourth of July celebrations, and to prevent law enforcement officials from having to spread their resources too thin.
The change means the event will end close to 4 p.m. -- outside ESPN's usual time slot for coverage of Senior PGA Tour events. ESPN plans to cover all three days of the tournament.
"The [senior] tour and ESPN made a nice exception for us," tournament director Lee Corrigan said. "Really, it wasn't just the convenience thing. It's out of need because of the police. That played an awfully big factor."