Yet another statistic to underscore the strength of field at the 2014 Shell Houston Open. A total of 17 competitors in this spring’s ...
HGA Academic Scholarship Recipients for 2014 (from left) Jacqueline Phung of Richmond Foster, Hailey Hollas of Richmond Travis, Atiyya Menifee of Houston Carver, Tony Ly of Pasadena Dobie, Martha Parra of Spring and Isaiah Carter of Aldine.
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Hunter Mahan (2012)
Golf Club of Houston - TC
- May 20, 2005
Who are the most improved players at this point of the season? Here
are three who have greatly improved their money list position from last season -- Billy Mayfair (140 to 45), Billy Andrade (124 to 36) and Jose Maria Olazabal (142 to 22).
This is a tough league. John Cook posted four rounds in the 60s last
week at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship, but finished in a T40.
Last week's winner, Ted Purdy, has played more rounds this season
than anyone else on the TOUR-56. Vijay Singh is next with 55.
Since there are far more par-4 holes than anything else, you better
play them well if you want to succeed on the PGA TOUR. The top three money winners -- Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods -- rank second, first and third in par-4 scoring average.
It's not always what you shoot on average, it's when you shoot the
score that counts. Here are a couple of examples. Loren Roberts is T11 in Scoring Average, but 70th on the money list. On the other hand, Kevin Na is T110 in Scoring and 36th on the money list. The same with Peter Lonard who is T88 in Scoring, but 18th in money.
Including the U.S., the players in the Top 125 hail from 18 countries -- U.S., Fiji, England, Australia, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Spain, Canada, South Korea, Japan, India, Trinidad & Tobago, Zimbabwe, Sweden, Germany, France and Paraguay.
Nick Price's T6 last week in Texas was his first Top-10 finish of the
season and equaled his best since a runner-up effort at the 2003 FedEx St. Jude Classic.
When he tees it up this week at the Bruno's Memorial Classic, J.C.
Snead will be making his 999th career start on the PGA TOUR/Champions Tour.
Craig Stadler's second-round 60 last week in Pensacola was the sixth
in Champions Tour history and the second to come at The Moors GC in Pensacola. Isao Aoki accomplished the same feat in 1997.
More on the 60: In the first 22 years of the Champions Tour there
was only one 60 shot, that by Isao Aoki in 1997. In the last three-plus seasons, five others have followed suit -- Walter Morgan, Bruce Fleisher, Jim Thorpe, Tom Purtzer and Craig Stadler. Strangely, only Aoki, Fleisher and Purtzer went on to win in those weeks.
The field scoring average last week at the Blue Angels Classic was a
Champions Tour record 68.175. It topped the old mark, set in this event in 1997, by more than a stroke (69.442). In 1997, the field recorded four eagles and 684 birdies while this year's group tallied 22 eagles and 927 birdies.
Look out for Hale Irwin this week. He enters this week with four
consecutive finishes outside the Top-10 for only the second time in his career. The last time that was the case (1999), he came back the fifth week to win.
Ted Purdy became the 75th former Nationwide Tour player to win on the
PGA TOUR with his victory last week at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. Former players have now claimed 163 PGA TOUR titles.
Chris Couch now has four career wins on the Nationwide Tour. Only
four players have more -- Sean Murphy and Matt Gogel (six each) and Chris Smith and Pat Bates (five each).
More on Couch: His fourth-round 60 was only the third fourth-round
60 in Nationwide Tour history. However, he's the first player to shoot 60 in the fourth round and go on to victory. The other two players, Clark Dennis in 1997 and Tyler Williamson (2004), went on to finish third and tied for third, respectively.
Troy Matteson has taken over the top spot on the money list with $228,418. That is probably enough to give him a spot in the final Top 20 after only eight events. In his last six starts, Matteson has finished T5-T9-1-T21-2-2. In those six events he is 59-under par has been under-par in 19 of the 23 rounds.
Look for low scores this week at the Henrico County Open. The
Dominion Club was the easiest course on the 2004 Nationwide Tour and Daniel Chopra set an all-time Nationwide Tour record with his 30-under par winning total. This is also the same course that saw Notah Begay III fire a 59 back in 1998.