|Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola - October 30, 2006
THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA
East Lake GC
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 7,154
Purse: $6,500,000Winner: $1,170,000
2005 Champion: Bart Bryant (263, -17)
THE TOUR Championship
Presented by Coca-Cola Notes
- Three players — Curtis Strange (1988), Tom Kite (1989) and Tom Lehman (1996) — have moved to No. 1 on the season-ending money list with victories at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Strange, at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, and Kite, at Harbour Town Golf Club, both jumped from No. 2 to No. 1, while Lehman moved from No. 3 to No. 1 with his victory at Southern Hills Country Club.
- The 36-hole totals of 130 posted by both Retief Goosen and Bart Bryant in 2005 were the lowest first 36-hole totals in TOUR Championship history. The previous low was 131 by Tom Watson at the inaugural TOUR Championship in 1987. The previous low 36-hole total at East Lake Golf Club was a 7-under-par 133 by Jay Haas in 2004.
- The redesigned fifth hole, with its added length in 2005, was a par 4 playing at 520 yards that proved to be the most-difficult hole at East Lake Golf Club, averaging 4.267.
- In the history of THE TOUR Championship, only 16 of 564 players to play all 72 holes have posted four rounds in the 60s — with six of those players winning THE TOUR Championship. Four players accomplished the feat last year: Bart Bryant, Vijay Singh, Scott Verplank and Tiger Woods.
- This year marks the 20th edition of THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. The inaugural event was held in 1987, with Tom Watson winning at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, TX.
- Playing host to the THE TOUR Championship for the sixth time is East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta's first 18-hole course, built between 1906 and 1908. The legendary Bobby Jones called East Lake home and was the youngest champion in club history at age 13. Jones played his final round of golf at East Lake and the clubhouse now serves as a living tribute to one of Atlanta's favorite sons. Renovated in 1995 by Rees Jones, the course is best known for its original design by Donald Ross.
- Bart Bryant, the 2005 TOUR Championship winner, is the fifth player to have held at least a share of the lead after every round and gone on to win. The others were Tom Watson (1987), Curtis Strange (1988), Craig Stadler (1991) and Billy Mayfair (1995). Watson is the only player to win in wire-to-wire fashion.
- In 2005, Bart Bryant became the third player to win this event in his first start. Tom Watson (1987) and Chad Campbell (2003) also did it. There are 11 of the 27 players in this week's field who have a chance to duplicate that feat.
- In the first round a year ago, eventual champion Bart Bryant (8-under-par 62) posted the East Lake Golf Club course record for a PGA TOUR event held at East Lake. Vijay Singh carded a 7-under-par 63 in the first round of the 1998 TOUR Championship.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
· Darren Clarke earned the 125th and final fully exempt spot by a margin of $2,673 over Rich Beem.
· This week’s TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola will feature one rookie (Trevor Immelman) and 11 first-time entrants.
· A record 93 players earned at least $1 million this year on TOUR, breaking the old mark of 78 set last year.
· 31 players earned $2 million or more, setting a new standard in that category. There were 30 who did so last year.
· The 21 Nationwide Tour graduates from 2005 had a great 2006 on the PGA TOUR. Twelve of the 21 finished in the Top 125 (57.1%) and two others finished in the 126-150 group meaning two-thirds of the class kept their cards. On the other hand, only nine of 35 Q-School grads finished in the Top 125 (25.7%).
· The final week of the season saw two players enter the Top 125 — Mark Calcavecchia and Paul Goydos — and two drop out — Bubba Dickerson and Rich Beem.
· Tom Kite had two hole-out eagles on par-4s in the first round of last week’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship. That’s the first time someone has done that on the Tour since Larry Ziegler in 1999. Just for good measure, Kite made another par-4 eagle in the second round.
· Gil Morgan’s final-round 77 ended a 2006 Tour-best streak of consecutive rounds of par or better at 22.
· Hale Irwin saw his record streak of consecutive years with a victory end at 11. Jim Thorpe now has the longest active streak, winning at least one event in each of the last seven seasons.
· Jay Haas claimed the Charles Schwab Cup by the narrowest margin to date — just 20 points ahead of Loren Roberts. Haas earned a $1-million annuity for winning the season-long points race.
· Two players moved into the Top 62 and earned spots in next week’s Nationwide Tour Championship at The Houstonian. Gary Christian finished in a T10 at the Miccosukee Championship to move from 63rd to 58th and Cameron Beckman finished T4 to jump from 71st to 62nd.
· Seven of the 62 qualifiers for the Nationwide Tour Championship at The Houstonian began the season without status on the Nationwide Tour — Paul Sheehan, Jarrod Lyle, Michael Sim, Jess Daley, Kyle Reifers, Chris Baryla and Stephen Marino.
· A record eight players have already won more than $300,000 on the Tour this season with one tournament remaining on the schedule.
· The Nationwide Tour is off this week, but will be well represented at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Of the 27 players set to tee off in Atlanta, 16 are former Nationwide Tour players.