SAUCIER -- Michael Allen returned to Fallen Oak Golf Club on Tuesday, talking about defending his Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic championship.
And that will not be an easy task since 28 of the top 30 money leaders on the Champions Tour have committed to play in the tournament, which runs March 21-23.
The only two players of the Top 30 who have not yet committed to the tournament -- Fred Couples and Tom Lehman -- are expected to play in the tournament.
Couples beat Allen by one shot with a birdie on No. 18 in 2012 as Allen sat on the driving range, waiting to see if there would be a playoff.
Last year, Allen was leading on the final day but had to wait to see if Bernhard Langer would tie him on No. 18 and force a playoff. But Langer did not birdie No. 18.
"One of the beautiful things about this facility is the driving range,'' Allen said. "I end up there before and after my rounds. It was nice last year because I was able to stay on top after blowing it on the last hole.
"Last year was fortuitous. The year before Fred Couples made a putt and beat me. It's great when you play well and have that chance.''
Nick Faldo makes his debut appearance at the MGRC this year as will Colin Montgomerie.
Also in the field are 2013 Champions Player of the Year Kenny Perry, 2013 Money Leader Langer and 2013 Champions Rookie of the Year Rocco Mediate.
C Spire Wireless is the tournament's Presenting Sponsor and there are 14 other consortium partners.
"I'm playing well and for me it's great to be able to compete with all these great players like Fred Couples, Tom Watson and Kenny Perry -- guys that beat me up when I was younger out there.''
Allen has already won one event on the 2014 tour -- the Allianz Championship --in a playoff over Duffy Waldorf. He shot a 60 in the first round in that tournament, and became the ninth Champions Tour player to ever shoot a 60.
Allen has won in excess of $400,000 total in his three appearances in the MGRC.
The schedule of events for the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Presented by C Spire begins on March 19 at 4 p.m. with a junior clinic at Shell Landing presented by the Bacot/McCarty Foundation.
On March 20, there is the C Spire Pro-Am at Fallen Oak, which begins at 7:30 a.m.
Then round one of championship begins on March 21. The tournament will be shown live again on the Golf Channel.