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Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum, right, and Houston Golf Association President Steve Timms, left, flank youngsters who helped announce a Community Impact number of $2,236,977 from the proceeds of the 2014 Shell Houston Open.
Countdown to SHO
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Bruce Crampton (1973)
Quail Valley GC
- March 04, 2003
In the first nine events of the season, three different PGA TOUR players (Ernie Els, Mike Weir, Tiger Woods) have won multiple events. That has not happened since 1955 when Gene Littler, Tommy Bolt and Mike Souchak each won twice in the season's first nine events.
Look for a veteran to win at this week's Ford Championship at Doral. Only once since 1980 has the winner been a first-time visitor to victory lane -- Rocco Mediate in 1991.
More on the Ford Championship: You should also look for someone with Florida ties to win this week. In the last 13 years, only twice has the winner not had ties to the state. Only Steve Elkington, who won in 1997 and 1999, has won this tournament without hailing from Florida during that time span.
Arron Oberholser, a 2002 Nationwide Tour graduate, is making an early impression on the PGA TOUR. He's made the cut in all six starts this year with a T4 at the Buick Invitational and a T6 at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson to his credit. He's 31st on the money list with $342,098.
It was a good week for two other rookies, Aaron Barber and Dean Wilson. Both had their first career Top-10 finishes last week in Tucson. Barber finished T4 after missing the cut in his first four starts of the year while Wilson finished T6. Second-year man Brenden Pappas also had his first career Top-10 with a solo third-place effort.
When Tiger Woods returns to action he'll seek to become just the third person in TOUR history to record 100 consecutive cuts made. Byron Nelson holds the record at 113 with Jack Nicklaus next at 105.
Frank Lickliter II's win last week at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson was the 126th by a former Nationwide Tour member on the PGA TOUR. It's the third this season, too. At least one former player has finished among the Top 10 in 333 of the last 334 PGA TOUR events.
Thanks to a favorable exchange rate, Joe Ogilivie's first-place check from last week's Jacob's Creek Open Championship became a Nationwide Tour record $115,007. That tops the $108,000 checks won by each of the last two Nationwide Tour Championship winners -- Chad Campbell and Patrick Moore.
Barring any surprise entrants in the next few Nationwide Tour events, when Jack Nicklaus enters the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs he'll become the fifth player to compete on the Nationwide Tour after he had won a (in this case, 18) major championship. The others are Dave Stockton, Andy North, Bob Charles and Wayne Grady.
The Bosque Real CC, site of this week's MasterCard Championship, is the second-longest course on the Champions Tour at 7,204 yards. It's offset, however, by the altitude in the Mexico City area. The longest course on the 2003 Champions Tour is the site of the U.S. Senior Open, the 7,255-yard Inverness Club in Toledo, OH.
All three previous winners of the Mexico event on the Champions Tour went on to have multiple-win seasons -- Hubert Green in 2000, Mike McCullough in 2001 and Bruce Lietzke last year.
Bruce Lietzke has made six eagles in his first nine rounds this year. He made nine all of last year in 69 rounds. He led the PGA TOUR with 12 eagles back in 1981.
SHOTLINK STAT OF THE WEEK
If is seems to you that PGA TOUR players rarely 3-putt, you'd be correct. TOUR players 3-putt only 4.1% of the time. On the other hand, they 1-putt 26.1% of the time.