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SHO and Tell: The Latest on The Shell Houston Open
SHO and Tell: The Latest on The Shell Houston Open
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Curtis Strange
Curtis Strange (1988)
TPC at The Woodlands
Sample Test - October 02, 2002

  • David Toms will look to make a little history this week at the Michelob Championship at Kingsmill as he bids for his third consecutive win in that event. It has only happened 16 times in PGA TOUR history. Tiger Woods is the most recent player to do so, capturing his third consecutive Bay Hill Invitational earlier this year.

  • While the PGA TOUR is certainly experiencing a youth movement, you can't count out the older players. Players 40+ have won three of the last six events and last week at the Valero Texas Open, six of the Top-10 finishers were in that age bracket. To go one further, the two lowest winning scores this year were the 261s posted by 44-year-old Jeff Sluman (Greater Milwaukee Open) and 47-year-old Loren Roberts (Valero Texas Open).

  • One of those 40+ players is Fred Couples. His T2 at the Valero Texas Open was his best showing since winning the 1998 Memorial Tournament.

  • Last week's winner, Loren Roberts, collected his sixth victory since turning 40 and his eighth overall. At age 47, he's the oldest winner on the PGA TOUR since Tom Watson won the MasterCard Colonial at age 48 in 1998.

  • Since winning the Touchstone Energy Tucson Open in his first start as a TOUR player in 2001, Garrett Willis has struggled. He nearly returned to the winner's circle last week in Texas, though, finishing in a T2. It was his putter that carried him last week -- he needed only 96 putts -- three off the PGA TOUR record of 93 set by Kenny Knox in 1989 and equaled earlier this year by Mark Calcavecchia.

  • If you like low scores, you had to like last week's Valero Texas Open. Garrett Willis led the way with a 61, but he wasn't alone. The field posted 24 scores of 64 or less during the competition.

  • You might expect one of the bigger players to lead the TOUR in eagles, but the co-leader with 15 for the year is 5-foot-8, 155-pound Jonathan Byrd. It's not a one-time fluke, either. He had 11 last year on the BUY.COM TOUR.

  • Just as David Toms is going for his third consecutive win in the same event, so is Hale Irwin. Irwin enters this week's Turtle Bay Championship not only looking for his third consecutive title there, but his fourth overall. Jack Nicklaus, with four wins at The Countrywide Tradition, is the only SENIOR TOUR player to win the same event four times.

  • More on Irwin: His record in Hawaii has been remarkable. He's won the Turtle Bay Championship three times, the Hawaiian Open on the PGA TOUR once, and has also won three Senior Skins Games titles. In his other starts at the Turtle Bay Championship, Irwin has a second, a third and a T16.

  • Two members of the 50+ set made the cut last week on the PGA TOUR. Tom Kite finished in a T25 at the Valero Texas Open while Dave Barr finished in a T44. Barr, by the way, has made the cut in four of five starts on the PGA TOUR this year.

  • SENIOR TOUR rookie R.W. Eaks is threatening to smash the SENIOR TOUR's record for Driving Distance. Eaks currently holds a 294.5-yard average, well above the 1997 standard of 290.7 set by John Jacobs.

  • He's not leading the SENIOR TOUR in Driving Distance, but how about 63-year old Terry Dill who stands in a T5 in that category with a 280.7-yard average.

  • If you walked into State Farm Open late last Sunday, you might have thought you were sent back in time to a PGA TOUR event of the 1970s. The tournament was won by a Miller (Andy, son of Johnny) in a four-man playoff that included a Stockton (Dave Jr., son of Dave).

  • Andy Miller's victory made him the fifth son of a former PGA TOUR winner to claim a title on the BUY.COM TOUR. The others were Briny Baird (Butch), Hugh Royer III (Hugh), Guy Boros (Julius) and Stockton Jr. (Dave).

  • If you drive for show and putt for dough, then how do you explain the fact that Patrick Moore and Patrick Sheehan are the only players currently ranked among the Top-10 putters to win this season? On the other hand, 15 players on the BUY.COM TOUR are averaging more than 300 yards off the tee. Four of them -- Jason Gore, Marco Dawson, Tag Ridings and Jace Bugg -- have won tournaments in 2002.

  • When the BUY.COM TOUR started keeping stats just five years ago, the TOUR's overall Driving Distance average was 278.7 yards. Five years later, that average is up to 287.8 with 15 players averaging more than 300 yards as opposed to two in 1998.

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