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Silly Season Starts this Week


With the conclusion of the PGA Tour's final full-field event of the year - the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Florida where rookie Charlie Beljan overcame panic attacks to secure his first victory and Tour card for 2013, it's time for golf's so-called "Silly Season."

Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge, featuring players from the PGA, Champions and LPGA tours, will be held Tuesday. Representing the PGA Tour will be Jason Day, Nick Watney and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, while the Champions Tour will have Fred Funk, Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman and the LPGA Natalie Gulbis, Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis.

With her fourth-place finish Sunday in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico, Lewis secured 2012 LPGA Player of the Year honors, becoming the first American to earn that distinction since Beth Daniel in 1994.

The over-50 circuit will try to defend its title after the 2011 Champions Tour trio of Mark Calcavecchia, Jay Haas and Kenny Perry shot 15-under 57 to win by a stroke over the LPGA and three over the PGA Tour.

The Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge will take place at Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nev. The tournament was originated by the founder of Wendy's restaurants, the late Dave Thomas, an adoptee who created the event in 1992 to benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

The players will vie for a $1 million purse, with the winning team members earning $166,666 each. The tournament will be broadcast on tape delay December 10th on Golf Channel.

Also starting Tuesday is the Tyco Golf Skills Challenge, an $800,000 event at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla., involving eight players broken into two-man teams.

The lineup includes five players who competed in the 2012 Ryder Cup; on the victorious European squad were Justin Rose and Peter Hanson, while the rival American members include Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley and Zach Johnson.

In addition to the pairings of Rose and Hanson, and Dustin Johnson and Bradley, the teams include Champions Tour players Mark O'Meara and Nick Price, and PGA Tour regulars Zach Johnson and Kyle Stanley.

The event - formerly called the ADT Skills Challenge - entails six skills: long drive, mid-iron, bunker shot, chip shot, trouble shot and short-iron. Once the players go through these skill sessions, they'll move on to a "reverse scramble," whereby a team's opponent will select which shot its rival twosome must execute.

The competition will be aired via tape delay December 29-30 on NBC.