|Mercedes-Benz Championships - January 02, 2007
Mercedes-Benz Championship Notes
The Plantation Course at Kapalua
Kapalua, Maui, HI
Par: 36-37—73Yards: 7,411
Purse: $5,500,000Winner: $1,100,000
2006 Champion: Stuart Appleby (284, -8)
•There will be 13 players making their initial start in the Mercedes-Benz Championship after capturing their first victory in 2006. The list with rookies underlined is: J.B. Holmes, FBR Open; Arron Oberholser, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am; Aaron Baddeley, Verizon Heritage; Chris Couch, Zurich Classic of New Orleans; Brett Wetterich, EDS Byron Nelson Championship; J.J. Henry, Buick Championship; Trevor Immelman, Cialis Western Open; John Senden, John Deere Classic; Dean Wilson, The INTERNATIONAL; Will MacKenzie, Reno-Tahoe Open; Eric Axley, Valero Texas Open; D.J. Trahan, Southern Farm Bureau Classic; Troy Matteson, Frys.com Open.
•The four sophomores (rookies who won in 2006) in the field for the 2007 Mercedes-Benz Championship are the most since 2005, when five players visited Kapalua for the first time. The four is tied for second most with the rookie classes of 1999 and 2001. The five in 2005 were Todd Hamilton, Zach Johnson, Ryan Palmer, Andre Stolz and Vaughn Taylor.
• Corey Pavin is the only other player making his first start in the Mercedes-Benz Championship at Kapalua. Although this is his 11th trip to the tournament for champions from the prior year, his last visit was in 1997, when the tournament was held at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.
•International players have won the last five Mercedes Championships – Stuart Appleby (2004-06), Ernie Els (2003) and Sergio Garcia (2002). Thirteen international players won a total of 15 events in 2004. The 13 international players in the 2007 Mercedes-Benz Championship field are the most since 13 players teed it up at The Plantation Course at Kapalua in 2005. The only other time there were that many was in 2003 (13). These are the only times the figure has reached double digits since the event moved to Hawaii in 1999.
•Five players are back from the 2006 tournament – Vijay Singh, Stuart Appleby, David Toms, Geoff Ogilvy and Jim Furyk. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson both qualified for the 2006 event but did not play.
•Of the 22 players who are making return trips to the Mercedes-Benz Championship, Davis Love leads the group with 11 previous starts, including a victory in 1993. A list of the number of starts by those returning entering this year’s tournament:
11 Davis Love III
10 Corey Pavin, Vijay Singh
9 Jim Furyk
8 Tiger Woods
6 Stuart Appleby, David Toms
3 Tim Herron
2 Chad Campbell, K.J. Choi, Joe Durant, Jeff Maggert, Rory Sabbatini, Adam Scott, Kirk Triplett
1 Stephen Ames, Ben Curtis, Luke Donald, Geoff Ogilvy, Rod Pampling, Carl Pettersson, John Rollins
• Although Tiger Woods has qualified for 11 straight Mercedes-Benz Championships, Vijay Singh is the leader in consecutive events, as the 2007 tournament will be his fifth consecutive. Woods had played in six straight from 1997-2002 before knee surgery kept him out of the 2003 tournament. He then played in 2004-05 but skipped the 2006 event.
•Here is a list of players who have won in consecutive seasons on the PGA TOUR. Tiger Woods leads the group with wins in 11 consecutive seasons.
11 Tiger Woods (1996-2006)
5 Vijay Singh (2002-06)
4 Stuart Appleby (2003-06),David Toms (2003-06), Adam Scott (2003-06 – 2005 win was unofficial)
3 Phil Mickelson (2004-06)
2 Geoff Ogilvy (2005-06), Jim Furyk (2005-06)
•There are seven major championship winners in the 2007 Mercedes-Benz Championship with a total of 20 wins in the majors. Tiger Woods leads the group with 12 and is followed by Vijay Singh with three, and Corey Pavin, Davis Love III, David Toms, Jim Furyk and Geoff Ogilvy, with one.
•There are six players who have earned over $1 million at the Mercedes-Benz Championship in their careers. Three-time winner Stuart Appleby leads the group with $3,348,155. He is followed by Vijay Singh ($2,148,308), Ernie Els ($2,017,997), Tiger Woods ($1,811,500), Jim Furyk ($1,797,800) and Sergio Garcia ($1,121,250).
•Since 1986, when the Mercedes-Benz Championship moved to the early portion of the PGA TOUR schedule, all but two of the winners have finished the season inside the top 30. The only two not to crack the top 30 at the end of the season were Mac O’Grady (No. 35) in 1987 and Tom Kite (No. 39) in 1991. Dating back to 1953, the first year of the Tournament of Champions, the furthest any winner of this tournament has finished a season was 43rd (Art Wall in 1954).
•Since 1953, 10 of the Mercedes-Benz Championship’ winners have finished the season in the No. 1 spot on the money list. Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson lead in that category with three wins and three No. 1 finishes. The only person to win and finish atop the money list since the tournament moved to the early portion of the schedule is Tiger Woods in 1997 and 2000.