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Couples, Pavin to make Champions debuts in Hawaii

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Fred Couples and Corey Pavin will make their first official Champions Tour starts at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

The Champions Tour on Wednesday said Couples and Pavin were among eight players who have accepted sponsors exemptions to the winners-only event. The others are Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Bruce Lietzke, Mark O'Meara, Curtis Strange and 74-year-old Gary Player.

The tournament is the first of 26 Champions Tour events this season and will be held for the 14th straight year at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Hualalai Golf Course starting Jan. 22.

Couples is a 15-time PGA Tour winner and the 1992 Masters champion. He became eligible for the Champions Tour a week before captaining the Presidents Cup team to victory in October.

Pavin, who turned 50 in November, is also a 15-time tour winner, including the 1995 U.S. Open.

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