Australian Robert Allenby (2000 Shell Houston Open winner), had been mired in somewhat of a slump on the PGA TOUR. A steady performer ...
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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Bill Collins (1960)
Memorial Park GC
- March 19, 2003
While there is a very strong international contingent at this week's Bay Hill Invitational, don't look for one of them to win. Only one international player (Ernie Els, 1998) has won this event since it began in 1966.
Tiger Woods will be looking to become the first player in 73 years to win the same event four consecutive times. Gene Sarazen was the last, winning the Miami Open in 1926, 1928-30.
More on Woods: He'll also be seeking to make his 100th consecutive cut (Jack Nicklaus 105 and Byron Nelson 113 are the only ones ahead of him) and to extend his career-best streak of Top-10 finishes to 10.
Woody Austin, the 1995 Rookie of the Year, finished in a T8 last week at the Honda Classic for his best finish since a T8 at the 2001 International. Austin has made the cut in all six starts this year and is 67th on the money list with $227,174.
Like Austin, Tim Herron is having a fine year, too. Herron has made the cut in all seven starts with T3's at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am his best finishes. He was solo fourth last week at the Honda Classic and is 12th on the money list with $851,410.
There has not been a first-time winner on TOUR this season and given recent history, don't expect one this week at the Bay Hill Invitational. Only three times in the last 20 years has a player picked up his first win at Arnie's place -- Mike Nicolette (1983), Loren Roberts (1994) and Paul Goydos (1996).
With one exception, every winner of a PGA TOUR event this season is ranked among the Top 15 players in the world according to the Official World Golf Ranking.
There have been six different winners of the first six events of the season and three of them were first-timers. There were only five first-time winners in all of 2002.
Ray Floyd made a successful return from prostate cancer surgery last week at the SBC Classic. He finished in a T9 for his best showing since a T5 at the 2001 SBC Championship.
Three times in the eight-year history of the Toshiba Senior Classic the winner has gone on to be the Champions Tour's leading money winner --Jim Colbert (1996), Hale Irwin (1998 and 2002).
When Tom Purtzer eagled the final hole to win last week's SBC Classic, it marked the first time that a tournament was won with a final hole eagle since Sammy Rachel's achieved the feat at the 2001 Transamerica.
Hale Irwin is the defending champion this week at the Toshiba Senior Classic. He's won the event twice and a victory this week would give Irwin three victories or more in five different Champions Tour events. He's won the Turtle Bay Championship four times and the Senior PGA Championship, 3M Championship and the SBC Senior Open Championship three times each.
Chad Campbell, the 2001 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year, is enjoying a great start to the 2003 PGA TOUR season with three consecutive Top-10 finishes to his credit. He's had back-to-back runnerup finishes (Chrysler Classic of Tucson, Honda Classic) and is 40-under par for those two weeks. He's also the tops the Ball Striker category on the PGA TOUR.
Seven of last year's Top 15 money winners are currently comfortably among the Top 125 led by Aaron Baddeley (23rd) and Arron Oberholser (35th). Both have been consistent in their rookie years with Oberholser making the cut in all seven of his starts and Baddeley making the cut in five of his seven.
At least one alum has finished in the Top 10 in 335 of the last 336 PGA TOUR events. Last week at the Honda Classic, 10 alums earned Top 10 finishes.
ShotLink Stat of the Week
PGA TOUR players hit the fairway 63.9% of the time missing the fairway left 15.1% of the time and missing to the right 15.1% of the time.