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SHO and Tell: The Latest on The Shell Houston Open
SHO and Tell: The Latest on The Shell Houston Open
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Cary Middlecoff
Cary Middlecoff (1953)
Memorial Park GC
Greater Greensboro Classic - October 02, 2006

Forest Oaks CC

Greensboro, NC
Par: 36-3672Yards: 7,333
Purse: $5,000,000Winner: $900,000
2005 Champion: K. J. Choi (266, -22)

Chrysler Classic of Greensboro Notes

The 62 Charles Warren shot in the first round last year set the Forest Oaks Country Club record since the redesign in 2003. Peter Jacobsen posted a 63 during the opening round of the 2003 tournament. Warren’s 62 ties the overall tournament record, set by Davis Love III during the final round of the 1988 tournament. Mark O’Meara (1996) and Jeff Maggert (1999) matched that number. Warren’s low round was the best opening effort in tournament history and the best since Mike Springer started with a 64 in 1994.

K.J. Choi posted his fourth consecutive top-10 finish when he won last year’s tournament. He tied for fourth in 2001, tied for seventh in 2002 and tied for fifth in 2003. Choi did not play in Greensboro in 2004.

Thirty-two players since 1950 who have held or shared the third-round lead at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro have gone on to victory. That list includes the last seven who had that distinction: Jesper Parnevik (1999), Hal Sutton (2000), Scott Hoch (2001), Rocco Mediate (2002), Shigeki Maruyama (2003), Brent Geiberger (2004) and K.J. Choi (2005).

One of the keys to K.J. Choi’s third career PGA TOUR victory was his finish in the Driving Accuracy category. He hit the fairway 83.9 percent of the time a year ago. He was also first in Putting (1.618) and tied for second in Putts Per Round (26.75). He’s led a tournament three other times in Putting Average and finished inside the top-10 in each one—2002 at Tampa Bay Classic presented by Buick (won), 2004 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (tied for fourth) and 2004 84 LUMBER Classic (tied for seventh).

K.J. Choi missed the tournament record for total birdies in a 72-hole event at Forest Oaks Country Club by one. He finished with 26 birdies. Jesper Parnevik had 27 in 1999. Choi’s 26 birdies were also one shy of his personal best of 27 that came at the 2002 Disney Golf Classic.

Since the tournament’s inception in 1938, 25 players have recorded four rounds in the 60s in Greensboro. More recently, since the tournament moved to Forest Oaks Country Club in 1977, just nine of the 2,202 professionals who have made the cut have posted four rounds in the 60s. In 2005, K.J. Choi (won) and Carl Pettersson (tied for 11th) were the last to accomplish the feat.

There have been 13 players who have earned their maiden PGA TOUR victory at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. But none have done it since Trevor Dodds in 1998. The others were Sam Byrd (1942), Art Doering (1951), Earl Stewart (1953), Stan Leonard (1957), Bob Goalby (1958), Bud Allin (1971), Danny Edwards (1977), Seve Ballesteros (1978), Joey Sindelar (1985), Steve Elkington (1990), Mike Springer (1994) and Frank Nobilo (1997).

Shigeki Maruyama became the all-time leading money winner in tournament history with his second-place finish in 2006. Maruyama has earned $1,486,752. In five starts, he has three top-10s, including his victory in 2003 and his runner-up in 2005. Two other players have earned over $1 million at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro: K.J. Choi ($1,292,776) and Rocco Mediate ($1,139,485).

K.J. Choi’s win and Shigeki Maruyama’s runner-up finish at the 2005 Chrysler Classic of Greensboro marked the first time two Asian players finished first and second in a PGA TOUR event.

At the start of last week, Omar Uresti, who missed the cut at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, was in the 125th position on the season money list, with $568,804. After last week's two PGA TOUR events, the 125th player is Lee Westwood, with $630,566. The money at the 125th position jumped $61,762. But if you look closer, the 126th player is Jonathan Kaye, with $571,634. The difference between 125th spot and 126th spot on the money list heading into the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro is $58,932.



· When Tiger Woods leads or co-leads after the first round, look out. While he failed to win the first five times he had the first-round lead, he’s won 13 of the last 17 times he’s been the leader after round one.

· More on Tiger: He’s now won the WGC-American Express Championship five times. Only Sam Snead (twice), Harry Vardon, Alex Ross and Jack Nicklaus have ever won an individual event more times. Snead holds the record with his eight wins in Greensboro.

· This one may get a little confusing. Tiger Woods will be defending his WGC-American Express title next year, but the tournament name will change to the WGC-CA Championship. It will be played at Doral CC in Miami where Woods won this year’s Ford Championship. The Ford Championship will no longer be played, but for Woods it will still be like defending two titles at that same time.

· There are currently six lefties in the Top 125 — Phil Mickelson (third), Mike Weir (30th), Steve Flesch (66th), Nick O’Hern (81st), Bubba Watson (84th) and Eric Axley (88th).

· With only four tournaments remaining to finish among the Top 125, the race for the last spot has a remarkably large gap. Lee Westwood is currently 125th and is $58,932 ahead of Jonathan Kaye who’s 126th.

· Anthony Kim received a sponsor exemption into the Valero Texas Open two weeks ago and finished in a T2. That got him into last week’s Southern Farm Bureau Classic where he finished T16. In just two starts, the recently turned professional has earned $338,067.

· Bubba Watson and Scott Hend have reversed roles. Watson led the Nationwide Tour in Driving Distance last year and Hend led the PGA TOUR. This year, Watson leads the PGA TOUR in the same category while Hend does likewise on the Nationwide Tour.

· Lee Janzen’s third-place finish last week at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic was his best effort since finishing second at the 2003 Memorial Tournament.


· Chip Beck has made an impressive start on the Champions Tour. The four-time PGA TOUR winner has made two starts and finished T5 and solo third.

· One more on Beck: He’s made a cut on all three Tours this year — PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour. The last player to do so was Bobby Wadkins in 2001.

· With a T10 last week in North Carolina, Jay Haas pulled within $15,337 off Loren Roberts in the chase for the money title on the Champions Tour.

· Andy Bean won last week’s Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn for his first victory since the 1986 Byron Nelson Classic. That ended a victory drought of 20 years, four months and 20 days.


· With just four tournaments left to qualify for the season-ending
Nationwide Tour Championship at The Houstonian, only $287 separates #60 on the money list (Stephen Marino) from #61 (Gary Christian).

· D.J. Trahan’s win last week at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic was the 194th on the PGA TOUR by a former Nationwide Tour player. It was the 19th win this year on TOUR for former Nationwide Tour competitors.

· Leads have been tough to hold this year. Only six of 25 third-round leaders have gone on to win this season. In fact, the last 13 players to hold the third-round lead have failed to win. During that 13-week stretch, only four players who played in the final group have gone on to win.

· Of the 77 players who have earned at least $1 million this year on
the PGA TOUR, 43 are former Nationwide Tour players (55.8%).

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