2011 Champions Tour Rookie Class

The 2011 Champions Tour Season marks the beginning of what is widely considered as the strongest rookie class on Tour in years.  While Freddy Couples seemed to be the hottest player on the Champions Tour in 2010, Boom Boom will have a new batch of talent to compete against this season.  As PGATour.com lists in a recent article, here are a few stand-outs from PGA Tour of yore to keep your eyes on in 2011.Paul Azinger Named the PGA Tour’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2000, Azinger captained the United States to a Ryder Cup victory in the 2008 matches at Valhalla.  “Zinger” is also a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, including the 1993 PGA Championship.  He is a five-time Ryder Cup player and a member of the 2000 United States Presidents Cup.

Ian Baker-Finch

Seen most recently as a commentator for CBS Sports, Baker-Finch won the 1991 British Open at Royal Birkdale and the 1989 Southwestern Bell Colonial.  Baker-Finch also owns 14 victories worldwide, including the 1993 Australian PGA Championship. 

Kenny Perry

As one of the strongest and most consistent players on the PGA Tour, Perry won 14 career titles including three in both 2003 and 2008.  Perry is also a 3-time winner of the Memorial Tournament and a member of both the President’s Cup and Ryder Cup multiple times (President’s: 1996, 2003, 2005, 2009; Ryder: 2004 and 2008).  I personally expect Perry to have a ton of success at the Champions Tour level.

Frankie Minoza

Perhaps one of the most decorated professional golfers to play in the Asian Tours, Minoza has won titles in at least 6 different countries including Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea.  Minoza was also ranked in the Top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings at one point in his career.

John Huston

A 7-time winner on the PGA Tour, Huston’s best career season was in 1998 when he captured two titles.  That season included a 7-shot victory over Tom Watson at the 1998 United Airlines Hawaiian Open.

Other notable rookies this season on the Champions Tour circuit include Mark Brooks, Steve Pate, Chris Perry, Steve Lowery, Bob Lohr, and Ernie Gonzalez.