RIDGEDALE, Mo. (AP) — Thirty-six years ago, the first Legends of Golf was such a hit that it sparked interest that led to the creation of the senior tour. The Champions Tour event is still breaking ground.
For the first time in a PGA Tour-sanctioned tournament, a par-3 course is being used. The Jack Nicklaus-designed Top of the Rock at Big Cedar Lodge Resort is no ordinary par-3 layout.
"This whole event is going to be spectacular on TV," said Andy North, paired with Tom Watson. "I think that's what's going to be so interesting. Any direction the camera goes is going to be spectacular and we don't find that very often."
The Champions division will play 18 holes on the par-3 course Sunday, the first nine under foursomes and the second at fourball. The Legends division for players 65 and older will play nine holes of fourball.
The opening 36 holes for both divisions will consist of a fourball round on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course and two nine-hole rounds (foursomes and fourball) on the par-3 course.
Watson noted the foursomes — or alternate-shot portion — of the format.
"Plus, we've got the other thing, the alternate shot," the Ryder Cup captain said. "That's never been played officially in any PGA Tour tournament. It is in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, but for official money for the Champions Tour, no, it's never happened before."
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