|EDS Byron Nelson Classic - May 08, 2006
EDS BYRON NELSON CHAMPIONSHIP
TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas (Host)
Par: 35-35 — 70Yards: 7,016
Cottonwood Valley Course
Par: 34-36 — 70Yards: 6,847
2005 Champion: Ted Purdy (265, -15)
Purse: $6,200,000Winner: $1,116,000
- Since 1968, the year the PGA TOUR was formed, there have been more playoffs at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship than any other TOUR event. The Nelson has seen 15 titles decided by a playoff, while the Shell Houston Open moved within one after the 2005 playoff between Vijay Singh and John Daly.
- Two former No. 1-ranked players and the current No. 1 player sit atop the all-time money leaders list at the tournament. Former No. 1, Nick Price, is the leader, with $1,840,258 in career earnings, followed by current No. 1 Tiger Woods ($1,449,383) and former No. 1, Vijay Singh, with $1,435,444.
- Don’t expect to see the first-round leader on top after 72 holes.That’s only happened twice at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. In 1976 Mark Hayes went wire to wire to win, and in 1980 Tom Watson did the same.
- Although it almost happened in 2005, with rookie Sean O’Hair finishing as the runner-up to Ted Purdy, no rookie has ever won the EDS Byron Nelson Championship.
- Ted Purdy became the sixth player in tournament history to capture his first victory at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship and the first since Robert Damron in 2001. The others were Don January (1956), Charles Coody (1964), Mark Hayes (1976) and Neal Lancaster (1994).
- Six of the last seven winners at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship have begun the tournament on the Cottonwood Valley Course—Ted Purdy (2005), Sergio Garcia (2004), Shigeki Maruyama (2002), Robert Damron (2001), Jesper Parnevik (2000) and Loren Roberts (1999).
- The 5-under 65 by winner Ted Purdy in last year’s final round matched the best final-round score by a winner since the tournament moved to the TPC Las Colinas in 1986—Jodie Mudd (1989) and John Cook (1998). The tournament record is a 63 by Peter Thomson in 1956 at Preston Hollow Country Club.
- Ted Purdy was the first player from the U.S. to win this tournament since Robert Damron in 2001. He was also the first player to come from behind and win the tournament since Jesper Parnevik in 2000.
- Stephen Leaney posted four rounds in the 60s last year and has begun his EDS Byron Nelson Championship career with eight consecutive rounds in the 60s. Phil Mickelson posted 13 straight rounds in the 60s between 1996 and 1999 and holds the tournament record for consecutive rounds in the 60s. Three others have streaks of 10 or better in the 52-year history of the tournament. They are Robert Allenby (11), Raymond Floyd (11) and D.A. Weibring (10).
- Nick Price, the 1991 champ, tied for sixth in 2005, his ninth top-10 performance at the event. That tied him with Ben Crenshaw for second all-time. Tom Watson leads the category with 14. He also has made the cut 18 times in 20 starts at the tournament.
- Nick Price has struggled this year, but a visit to the EDS Byron Nelson Championship should get him started if past history is any indicator. The veteran has nine Top 10 finishes in the tournament and has made 18 of 20 cuts. Further, he has five consecutive Top-10 finishes entering this week and in his last 53 rounds at the tournament, his WORST score is 71.
- Another player to watch this week is Scott Verplank. The Dallas native missed the cut in nine of his first 13 starts in his hometown tournament, but since then has made his last six in a row and has four Top-25 finishes, including a second in 2001.
- One more player to keep on eye on at the EDS Byron Nelson
Championship is Ernie Els. The South African has finished in the Top 10 in his last three starts in Dallas and was the winner there in 1995.
- The EDS Byron Nelson Championship is the current name for an event that started in 1944 as the Dallas Open. Who was the first winner? None other than Byron Nelson.
- More on Byron Nelson: The tournament host and golf legend is currently being considered for a Congressional Gold Medal. Passage of a bill is expected by the House on Tuesday.
- Nelson isn’t the only World Golf Hall of Famer to win this event. In fact, 20 of the first 52 titles at this tournament have been won by players who have been elected to the Hall.
- Jim Furyk’s win last week at the Wachovia Championship marked the fourth consecutive tournament won by a Nationwide Tour alumnus. He joins Aaron Baddeley, Stuart Appleby and Chris Couch. Former Nationwide Tour players have won 10 of the first 19 events on TOUR this year.
- Ken Duke, who won the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs two weeks ago, Monday qualified for the Wachovia Championship on the PGA TOUR last week and ended the week in a T14. He’s picked up $213,300 in the past two weeks. He’ll be back in action on the Nationwide Tour this week at the Rheem Classic.
- Andrew Buckle’s win last week at the Virginia Beach Open came in the 23-year old’s first-ever professional start in the U.S. He’s the 17th Australian to win on the Tour and the third this year joining Paul Sheehan and Paul Gow.
- It’s a long way from their homes, but this week’s Rheem Classic will still be a return to home territory for three players from South Africa. The Pappas brothers, Brenden and Deane, along with Craig Lile, all hail from South Africa but attended the University of Arkansas, just up the road from Fort Smith.
- Three players who played last year in the Rheem Classic have gone on to win on the PGA TOUR since. Last year’s Rheem Classic champ, Chris Couch, won two week’s ago on the PGA TOUR to join Jason Gore (T18 last year) and Wes Short Jr. (missed cut) as players who competed in Fort Smith last year who have gone on to become PGA TOUR champions.
- Chris Stroud continues to impress. A non-member, he Monday qualified to get into the Athens Regional Foundation Classic and he eventually finished T19. That Top-25 finish earned him a spot in the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. He finished T5 there to earn a spot in last week’s Virginia Beach Open. He finished T24 there and will be in this week’s Rheem Classic. He’s up to 44th on the money list in only three starts with $31,232.
- A number of players in the field this week at the Boeing Championship in Sandestin were winners at the old PGA TOUR event in nearby Pensacola. Gary Player, Jim Colbert, Leonard Thompson, Curtis Strange, Jerry Pate, Danny Edwards and Doug Tewell were all past Pensacola Open champs.
- Curtis Strange will have the rare opportunity to win his first PGA TOUR and Champions Tour event in the same area. Strange won his first PGA TOUR title at the 1979 Pensacola Open and will be looking for his first Champions Tour this week in approximately the same place.
- Brad Bryant had an amazing week at the Regions Charity Classic. He hit a Champions Tour record 53 of 54 Greens In Regulation, missing his only one by four inches. In fact, he actually did even better than that since he hit five Par 5s in two. He also went the entire tournament without a single bogey.
- Four-time PGA TOUR winner Tim Simpson will make his Champions Tour debut this week. He turned 50 on May 6th.
- The Edwards brothers (David and Danny) finished third and T6, respectively, last week to become the first set of brothers to Top 10 in the same event since Lanny and Bobby Wadkins turned the trick at the 2002 Seibel Classic.