|U.S. Bank Classic - July 24, 2006
U.S. BANK CHAMPIONSHIP IN MILWAUKEE
Brown Deer Park GC
Par: 34-36—70Yards: 6,759
Purse: $4,000,000Winner: $720,000
2005 Champion: Ben Crane (260, -20)
U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee
Ben Crane’s first-round, 8-under-par 62 at the 2005 U.S. Bank Championship was his career low, besting the 63 he shot in the final round en route to victory at the 2003 BellSouth Classic. It also marked the low start for a U.S. Bank Championship winner. Mark Brooks held the previous mark of 63, set in 1991. Crane’s 62 was also one stroke off the course record of 61 set by Ken Green (third round, 1988) and later matched by Robert Gamez (first round, 1991) and Steve Lowery (fourth round, 1999).
Kenny Perry, who tied for ninth in 2005, has finished in the top 10 in each of the last six years in Milwaukee. He tied for third in 2000, tied for fifth in 2001, was fourth in 2002, won in 2003 and tied for seventh in 2004.
Ben Crane became the second wire-to-wire winner in the history of the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee. Ed Sneed did so in 1974 at Tuckaway Country Club, winning by four strokes over runner-up Grier Jones.
The four-shot win by Ben Crane in 2005 was the largest at the U.S. Bank Championship since Jeff Sluman topped Tim Herron and Steve Lowery by four in 2002. In the process, Crane became the eighth consecutive winner of the U.S. Bank Championship to post four rounds in the 60s.
Ben Crane set or tied numerous U.S. Bank Championship scoring records in 2005, including tying the low 36-hole total (Robert Gamez also was at 127 in 1991); setting the 54-hole total (191) and tying the 72-hole total (260, also by Loren Roberts in 2000).
In 2005, past champion Jim Gallagher, Jr., who won in 1990, played in his 22nd consecutive U.S. Bank Championship, dating back to 1984. Gallagher’s streak is the longest active streak at the tournament.
The scoring average for the week in 2005 at the U.S. Bank Championship was 69.257, the lowest for a PGA TOUR tournament conducted on a single course since the Country Club of Mirasol (The Honda Classic) averaged 69.075 in 2003.
Playing in his 24th career U.S. Bank Championship, Mark Calcavecchia (tied for ninth) posted his 10th career top-10 in Milwaukee, the most of any player in tournament history. Jay Haas and Joey Sindelar both have eight top-10s. The 24 appearances tied Calcavecchia with Haas for second all-time behind Andy North’s 27. Calcavecchia has made the cut 18 times in those 24 appearances.
Kenny Perry’s 3-over-par 73 in the final round in 2005 was his highest score since a final-round 74 in his first Milwaukee appearance in 1987.
Fifteen players in the 2005 field posted four rounds in the 60s, bringing the total to 88 since the event moved to Brown Deer Park Golf Course in 1994.
Mathias Gronberg posted a double eagle on No. 6 in the final round in 2005—holing out from 247 yards with a fairway wood after a 309-yard drive. It was the second double eagle in U.S. Bank Championship history at Brown Deer Park Golf Course. J.L. Lewis carded a double eagle on No. 4 in 1995 in the third round when the hole played as a par 5.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
· Tiger Woods wasn’t the only player to hole out from the fairway on a par-4 last week. In fact, an astonishing 10 eagle two’s were recorded last week at the B.C. Open presented by Turning Stone. A remarkable five were made in the first round. Arjun Atwal played the par-4 ninth hole in 2-3-2-4 for the week.
· Tiger Woods hit 85.7% of the fairways in winning last week’s British Open. That’s the highest percentage for any winner on the PGA TOUR this year.
· One more on Tiger: His victory last week made him the first player
in TOUR history to go over the $60-million mark in career earnings.
· It was a different course, but John Rollins obviously likes the
upstate New York area. He was second at the B.C. Open last year at En Joie GC and the winner this past week at Turning Stone.
· Larry Mize finished in a T6 last week at the B.C. Open for his first
Top-10 finish since a T2 at the 2001 Marconi Pennsylvania Classic.
· Along the same lines, Bob May recorded his first Top-10 finish since he was third at the 2000 Reno-Tahoe Open. May finished second last week at the B.C. Open.
· Where are all these long hitters coming from? The Nationwide Tour. Eight of the current Top 10 in Driving Distance on the TOUR are former Nationwide Tour players.
· Champions Tour players Tom Watson and Fred Funk both made the cut last week at the British Open. Watson finished in a T48 while Funk was T66.
· Champions Tour player Wayne Levi returned his home area of New York and made the cut at the PGA TOUR’s B.C. Open last week. Levi finished in a T62.
· Americans have won the last three Senior British Opens. Tom Watson won twice, 2003 and 2005, while Pete Oakley won in 2004. Watson won in 2003 at Turnberry, site of this week’s Senior British Open. He also won the 1977 British Open at Turnberry.
· This week’s Senior British Open marks the third consecutive Champions Tour major championship on the schedule. The U.S. Senior Open (won by Allen Doyle) started things off followed by the Ford Senior Players Championship (won by Bobby Wadkins). The Champions Tour was off last week.
· The victory by John Rollins last week at the B.C. Open was the 190th win by a former Nationwide Tour player on the PGA TOUR. It was the 15th win this season by alums of the Nationwide Tour.
· The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs announced a record charitable contribution from this year’s tournament -- $675,865.
· It’s been tough holding a lead going into the final round this year
on Tour. Only six of 17 54-hole leaders have gone on to win this season.
· You better learn how to go low on the Nationwide Tour. For example, Johnson Wagner put together rounds of 69-69-69-68 at last week’s Price Cutter Charity Championship. He finished in a T38. Winner Doug LaBelle II finished at 27-under, the second-lowest winning score in Nationwide Tour history.