More than a third of the starting field in the 143rd British Open Championship also teed it up this spring in the Shell Houston ...
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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Mike Souchak (1964)
- March 11, 2003
Mark Calcavecchia will have a rare opportunity this week at the Honda Classic. With the tournament moving this year to the CC of Mirasol, Calcavecchia has a chance to win this tournament on his third different golf course. He won the Honda Classic at the TPC of Eagle Trace in 1987 and at the TPC at Heron Bay in 1998.
Jim Furyk made four eagles last week at the Ford Championship at Doral. He made two in 85 rounds all of last year.
The most recent player to earn three wins in the least amount of time to start a season? Johnny Miller who won three times in the TOUR's first five events back in 1975.
Another player with Florida ties won last week's Ford Championship at Doral. That makes 12 of the last 14 winners of that event with local connections. Who's the top active leader in victories in the state? Tiger Woods with six, followed by John Huston (five) and Steve Elkington, Greg Norman and Fred Couples with four each.
If you still aren't convinced that golf has gone global, look at this week's Official World Golf Ranking. The Top 50 players include competitors from 18 different countries with the Top 200 representing 27 different nations.
Hale Irwin continues to amaze. His first 12 rounds this year have all been under-par and his last two starts have been runnerup efforts. He now has 88 Top-3 finishes in 187 career starts.
When David Eger claimed the $300,000 first-place prize last week at the MasterCard Classic, it represented more money than he had won previously in his PGA TOUR and Champions Tour career combined. Prior to last week, Eger had earned $252,161 in his career on the two tours.
Ireland's Eamonn Darcy made a nice debut last week on the Champions Tour, finishing in a T2 at the MasterCard Classic in Mexico.
The Champions Tour is becoming more international this year. Already this season, Canadian Dave Barr and Argentinian Vicente Fernandez have won. In addition, the Top 50 money winners also include players from Ireland, Japan, Australia, Spain and South Africa.
Nationwide Tour players won both tournaments in the season-opening swing Down Under. The two events in Australia and New Zealand are co-sponsored with the PGA Tour of Australia and feature 78 players from each tour. Joe Ogilvie won the season-opening event, the Jacob's Creek Open Championship, and rookie Ryan Palmer won last week's Clearwater Classic in New Zealand.
With the help of Joe Ogilvie and Ryan Palmer, Nationwide Tour members won 61.3% of the near $1.2 million in prize money offered in the first two events of the year.
Thanks to a friendly exchange rate, the purses for both events Down
Under were considerably higher than first anticipated. Both tournaments were to play for a minimum of $500,000 (U.S.), but ended up offering $614,000 (Jacob's Creek) and $583,287 (Clearwater Classic), respectively. The increases bring the Nationwide Tour's 2003 total purse to $14.7 million -- nearly $2 million more than in 2002.
He didn't join the short list of players who won in their first
Nationwide Tour career start, but Ryan Palmer came close. The rookie from Texas missed the cut at the Jacob's Creek Open in his debut and then won last week at the Clearwater Classic in only his second start.
Joe Ogilvie's victory at the Jacob's Creek Open in Australia was his third career win on the Nationwide Tour. He's the first player in Tour history to win in three countries --Australia, Mexico and the U.S. He'll get a chance later in the year to add Canada to the mix.
SHOTLINK STAT OF THE WEEK
It's a pretty well accepted thought that PGA have great short games. Here's a few facts to back that up:
Scrambling -- The TOUR average is a success rate of 60.5%
Bunker Play -- TOUR average is 10'5" from the hole from greenside bunkers