BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - At Wednesday's news conference, Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Director Steve Nieman announced that 26 of the top 30 leaders on the Schwab Cup Money List will compete in the 2016 PGA Tour Champion event at Fallen Oak.
Nieman expects two more of the top golfers to be in that number when the field hits the links on April 1.
Nieman said, "Fred Couples is one of those who is not committed yet. I have his verbal commitment and we have actually made his hotel arrangements. I expect him to commit on Thursday."
The 2012 Mississippi Gulf Resort Champion has become one of the fan favorites at Fallen Oak. Nieman says he also expects 2011 Champion Tom Lehman in the field as well. Lehman has won $409,600.00 in four Mississippi Gulf Resort Classics.
Defending champion David Frost will be back. He attended the news conference following a 21-hour flight from South Africa. He says he has fallen in love with Fallen Oak.
"It's one of the course I look forward to playing, "stated Frost. "I think last year the wind really blew hard the first day and the secret to that is not to try to win it on day one, but not to try to lose it on day one. You're trying to avoid the bunkers as much as possible and for me it's good."
Frost says you have to prepare your plan for playing the Fallen Oak and you must stick to your game plan in an attempt to avoid the bunkers as much as possible.
He said, "For me, that's good. I do enjoy competing on a golf course where I have to plan my game plan strategically to play the course and that's why Fallen Oak is one of my favorites."
Of course having lots of success in Biloxi has helped in selected Fallen Oak as one of his favorite golf courses.
In five Mississippi Gulf Resort Classics, Frost has won $486,466.66 becoming the leading money winner at Fallen Oak.
In 2014 he was leading the classic after finishing his second round on Saturday, but he was disqualified. He said when he walked off the course an official called him over because he said he needed to meet with him.
"He said, did you remove a stone from the bunker on Friday? I'm thinking back, yes I did. This is Saturday now and he said you're not allowed to remove stones from bunkers this week. So, unfortunately I have to disqualify you and that was it. I had to pack my bags and leave.
Frost said if he had been accessed a one stroke penalty on Friday he could have continued to play. However, the scorecard had already been turned in and officials didn't learn of his mistake until Saturday. He was disqualified for turning in an incorrect scorecard.
No problem. Frost came back and captured the 2015 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic despite receiving a one stroke penalty after dropping his ball that moved his coin marking his spot on the 17th green. The official said he was negligence on his part and suffered a one stroke penalty. He entered 18 holding a one shot lead and when Tom Lehman missed a short putt on 18, Frost...who was in the clubhouse, celebrated victory.
Frost says he's looking forward to the 2016 PGA Tour Champion event at Fallen Oak.
The C Spire Pro-Am at Fallen Oak is set for March 31.