Inaugural Montreal Championship Starts this Week

The first-ever Montreal Championship will start this Friday at Club de golf Fontainebleau in Blainville, Quebec, just northeast of Montreal. The Champions Tour event boasts a total purse of $1.8 million, with $270,000 going to the winner.

Among those entered in the tournament, which is expected to attract over 50,000 fans, is 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples, a three-time winner in his 2010 rookie season on the over-50 circuit.

Joining Couples will be Mark Calcavecchia, who is making just his second start on the Champions Tour; three-time U.S. Open champion and 45-time Champions Tour winner Hale Irwin; 2010 Senior PGA champion Tom Lehman; Tom Kite; Craig Stadler; 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin; and Loren Roberts, fresh off a win last weekend at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in New York.

Twenty-four of the top 28 players in the Charles Schwab Cup points' race will be in Montreal. Seven Canadian Open champions are also entered, including Bob Gilder (1980), John Cook (1983), Ken Green (1988), Wayne Levi (1990), David Frost (1993), Bob Tway (2003) and Calcavecchia (2005).

Joining the field will be several Canadians, including two-time PGA Tour winner Dave Barr of British Columbia, Victoria's Jim Rutledge, and Quebec's Yvan Beauchemin and Daniel Talbot. Rutledge is coming off a tie for 14th last weekend.