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Champions Tour Rankings: Lehman Sizes Up Langer

Greg Vara

Greg Vara

Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the 2013 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. In addition to producing the weekly preview and the bulk of the draft kit content, Vara participates in Yahoo!'s "Experts Picks" where he routinely dominates. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.

1. Bernhard Langer
Projected Earnings: $2,250,000
2012 Earnings: $2,140,296
Final 2012 Rank: 1
Events Played: 20
2013 Outlook: Langer shows no signs of slowing down, and anyone on the Champions Tour who wishes to kick him off the throne in 2013 will have to do it forcefully. Langer won twice in 2012 and you can expect another couple victories this season.

2. Tom Lehman
Projected Earnings: $2,000,000
2012 Earnings: $1,982,575
Final 2012 Rank: 2
Events Played: 19
2013 Outlook: If anyone can unseat Bernhard Langer at the top of the money list in 2013, it's Tom Lehman, who topped the money list in 2011. Lehman has the rare mix of talent, youth (relatively speaking) and desire, which makes him a threat to win any week. Last year he won twice. Expect him to do something similar this season.

3. Fred Funk
Projected Earnings: $2,000,000
2012 Earnings: $1,427,937
Final 2012 Rank: 4
Events Played: 22
2013 Outlook: Funk picked up two wins in 2012, yet only managed to pull in just less than $1.5 million. Funk hasn't quite given up on his PGA Tour career, which has thwarted his Champions Tour success to some degree, but that could change this season. Funk should be more dedicated to the Champions Tour this season, which will result in higher earnings.

4. Mark Calcavecchia
Projected Earnings: $1,750,000
2012 Earnings: $1,361,067
Final 2012 Rank: 6
Events Played: 23
2013 Outlook: For whatever reason, Calcavecchia has yet to thrive on the Champions Tour. He's had plenty of success, but more was expected from Calc when he joined the tour full-time a couple years back. The potential remains, however, and if he finds his top form, he could significantly improve his 2012 numbers.

5. Fred Couples
Projected Earnings: $1,500,000
2012 Earnings: $1,229,067
Final 2012 Rank: 8
Events Played: 11
2013 Outlook: Couples likely will never take to the Champions Tour like he did to the PGA Tour so many years ago, but he's always going to be a threat to win when he shows up. That's the problem, however, as Couples only played 11 events last season. Expect a similar schedule this season and only a slight increase in earnings.

6. Kenny Perry
Projected Earnings: $1,500,000
2012 Earnings: $1,100,450
Final 2012 Rank: 11
Events Played: 18
2013 Outlook: Perry has fared pretty well in his brief Champions Tour career, but he's yet to show the type of game that made him one of the best players in the world just a few years ago. Perry's upside remains high, however, and his floor isn't much lower than what he produced last year.

7. Peter Senior
Projected Earnings: $1,500,000
2012 Earnings: $1,077,781
Final 2012 Rank: 12
Events Played: 23
2013 Outlook: Senior showed great improvement from year one to year two on the Champions Tour, but he fell off that pace a bit last season. Senior is one of the more consistent players on the Champions Tour, but he's yet to find the winner's circle. Considering he's still one of the younger players on the Champions Tour, he has plenty of time to find that first win, and this should be the year.

8. Michael Allen
Projected Earnings: $1,250,000
2012 Earnings: $1,686,488
Final 2012 Rank: 3
Events Played: 22
2013 Outlook: Allen had quite a 2012 season, winning twice and finishing third on the money list, but Allen played a little above his head last season. Expect him to fall back to earth a bit and revert to the numbers he posted in the previous two seasons.

9. Jay Don Blake
Projected Earnings: $1,250,000
2012 Earnings: $1,378,180
Final 2012 Rank: 5
Events Played: 24
2013 Outlook: Blake played very well in 2012, but his celling on the Champions Tour appears limited. Blake earned little more than $1.5 million in 2011, and there's no reason to think he can top that number this year.

10. Jay Haas
Projected Earnings: $1,250,000
2012 Earnings: $1,234,571
Final 2012 Rank: 7
Events Played: 21
2013 Outlook: If not for Tom Watson, the golf world might marvel at the accomplishments of Jay Haas. Haas turned 59 last year, and he's still going strong as proven by his spot on the 2012 money list as well as his victory at the Principal Charity Classic in June. There's no reason to think Haas' game will ever drop off dramatically, but on the other hand, there doesn't appear to be a lot of upside at this stage in his career.

11. David Frost
Projected Earnings: $1,250,000
2012 Earnings: $1,189,740
Final 2012 Rank: 9
Events Played: 24
2013 Outlook: Frost is a true grinder on the Champions Tour. He played 24 times last season, and chances are he'll do the same this year. He won two events last season and while it might be difficult to match that number this year, he should find enough success to match his earnings from last season.

12. Corey Pavin
Projected Earnings: $1,250,000
2012 Earnings: $1,021,578
Final 2012 Rank: 14
Events Played: 21
2013 Outlook: Pavin has never quite gotten the hang of this Champions Tour, but last year was one of his best since joining a few years ago. Pavin is still relatively young, so there's room for improvement, though most likely not significantly.

13. Willie Wood
Projected Earnings: $1,250,000
2012 Earnings: $1,012,869
Final 2012 Rank: 15
Events Played: 14
2013 Outlook: Wood struggled out of the gate in his Champions Tour career, but he may have finally found his footing last year when he topped $1 million in earnings and picked up his first win. Expect a slight increase on his numbers this season as at the age of 52, he's one of the younger players on the Champions Tour.

14. Kirk Triplett
Projected Earnings: $1,250,000
2012 Earnings: $833,717
Final 2012 Rank: 19
Events Played: 18
2013 Outlook: Triplett picked up a win in his first full season on the Champions Tour and now that he appears fully committed to this tour, he should find even more success. Expect Triplett to crack $1 million this season and make his way into the top-15 in earnings by year's end.

15. John Cook
Projected Earnings: $1,000,000
2012 Earnings: $1,182,008
Final 2012 Rank: 10
Events Played: 23
2013 Outlook: Cook was a fixture in the top-5 of the money list since 2008, until last season when his production fell way off. When your numbers fall off on the PGA Tour, it can be attributed to any number of things. On the Champions Tour, however, the focus becomes your age. While he's only 55, not everyone ages the same. Not everyone can maintain a high level of play through the latter half of their 50s.

16. Roger Chapman
Projected Earnings: $1,000,000
2012 Earnings: $1,021,985
Final 2012 Rank: 13
Events Played: 12
2013 Outlook: To say that Roger Chapman surprised a few folks last year is an understatement. Chapman was only partially exempt last season when he teed it up for the first time at the Senior PGA Championship, but four days later, his status was no longer an issue as he was the victor. He also backed-up that win with another win -- at another major championship, the U.S. Senior Open. Chapman will play more often than he did last season, but considering the success he had at the majors, it will be hard to duplicate his numbers from last year.

17. Bill Glasson
Projected Earnings: $1,000,000
2012 Earnings: $905,365
Final 2012 Rank: 16
Events Played: 21
2013 Outlook: Last year was Glasson's best on the Champions Tour with earnings near $1 million, but his upside appears to be limited. Expect slight improvement on his numbers this season, but nothing major.

18. Jeff Sluman
Projected Earnings: $1,000,000
2012 Earnings: $869,474
Final 2012 Rank: 18
Events Played: 24
2013 Outlook: Since joining the Champions Tour in 2008, Sluman has spent most of his time above the $1 million mark, but last year was a different story. There's nothing specific to point to as to why he struggled last season and as such, expect Sluman to climb back above $1 million this season.

19. Brad Bryant
Projected Earnings: $750,000
2012 Earnings: $876,249
Final 2012 Rank: 17
Events Played: 19
2013 Outlook: Bryant's been on the Champions Tour for quite a while now and though his numbers improved from 2011 to 2012, another improvement is unlikely. If Bryant can post anything close to his 2012 numbers this season, it would be quite an accomplishment.

20. Gary Hallberg
Projected Earnings: $750,000
2012 Earnings: $795,138
Final 2012 Rank: 20
Events Played: 24
2013 Outlook: Hallberg is one of the true grinders on the Champions Tour. Prior to last season, though, he never had much success. While he showed great improvement last season, his upside appears to be limited. Expect either a similar effort to last season or perhaps a slight decline in his numbers this year.