|Buick Invitational of California - January 22, 2007
Torrey Pines GC (South, host)
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,568
Torrey Pines GC (North)
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 6,874
San Diego, CA
FedExCup Points: 25,000 Winner: 4,500
Purse: $5,200,000Winner: $936,000
2006 Champion: Tiger Woods (278, -10)
Buick Invitational Notes
- Tiger Woods is the only player in the history of the Buick Invitational to win four times—his latest victory coming last year. Woods also won in 1999, 2003 and 2005. Phil Mickelson (1993, 2000-01) has three titles. Woods also leads the all-time earnings at the Buick Invitational, with $3,857,000. He has collected at least $3 million in prize money at nine different events on the TOUR, including all four major championships.
- Since 1990, just 15 players have been able to record four rounds in the 60s at the Buick Invitational, and none have done so since 2001, when four players accomplished the feat: Frank Lickliter II (tied for second), Mike Weir (tied for fifth), Jay Don Blake (tied for seventh) and Shigeki Maruyama (tied for 13th). It was the second time for Blake, who also did in during his 1991 victory. The only other player to record four rounds in the 60s twice since 1990 was Hal Sutton (1994-95). Sutton also had a streak of 11 consecutive rounds in the 60s at Torrey Pines. Just three winners have posted four rounds in the 60s since 1990—Blake (1991), Craig Stadler (1994) and Peter Jacobsen (1995).
- On Oct. 4, 2003, the United States Golf Association announced that Torrey Pines Golf Course’s South Course will host the U.S. Open in 2008. Designed by William Bell, Sr. in 1957, Torrey Pines will be the second municipal facility to host the Open, following the lead of the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in New York in 2002. Torrey Pines will host a TOUR event three times in the next 16 months.
- The South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course ranked No. 5 among the PGA TOUR’s toughest courses in 2006, averaging 73.69 for the par-72 layout that played at 7,568 yards—among the longest courses on the PGA TOUR. The South Course yielded just one bogey-free round in 2006, Carlos Franco’s 2-under 70. The North Course had 20 bogey-free rounds during the first two rounds. Four holes on the South Course were among the 50 most difficult on TOUR in 2006:
- Multiple Winners at the Buick Invitational
Tommy Bolt (1953, 1955)
Arnold Palmer (1957, 1961)
J. C. Snead (1975, 1976)
Tom Watson (1977, 1980)
Steve Pate (1988, 1992)
Phil Mickelson (1993, 2000-01)
Tiger Woods (1999, 2003, 2005-06)
- Look for someone from southern California to win this week at the Buick Invitational. The San Diego event has been won by southern California natives in 13 of the last 20 years.
- The youngest player in the field this week is Anthony Kim. The 21-year old was just under eight months old when Bob Tway won the Buick Invitational in 1986. Tway will be competing this week as well.
- Q-School medalist George McNeill is off to a nice start, making the cut in both of his starts. He’s 39th on the FedExCup list with 561 points and has earned $115,560. He’s hoping to join a list of six other Q-School medalists who collected TOUR wins that season. J.B. Holmes did it last year, joining a list that includes Mike Weir (1998), Woody Austin (1994), John Fought (1978), Jerry Pate (1975) and Ben Crenshaw (1973).
- We sent out a note last week with Tiger Woods’ impressive record at the Buick Invitational, but Phil Mickelson’s is pretty good, too. The San Diego native has played in the event 17 times and has eight Top-10 finishes, including wins in 1993, 2000 and 2001.
- Charley Hoffman, another San Diego native, will be looking to become just the second player to win the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the Buick Invitational in the same year. Bruce Lietzke accomplished the feat in 1981.
- There are only two official money Champions Tour events in Hawaii, but that hasn’t stopped Hale Irwin from winning eight times in the islands. His win last week was his second at the MasterCard Championship to go along with six wins at the Turtle Bay Championship. Irwin will be back at Turtle Bay this week looking for yet another victory in Hawaii.
- More on Irwin: While his putting may have let him down last year, his putter was back on track this past week in Hawaii. The 61-year old Irwin needed only 75 putts over 54 holes and one-putted 32 times.
- This is the first week for the Champions Tour’s new weekly qualifier system. The new system will allow nine players to qualify each week in open, full-field Tour events.
- The PGA TOUR wins by Paul Goydos and Charley Hoffman increased the number of TOUR wins by former Nationwide Tour players to 198.
- Former players continue to make their marks on the world stage with 38 alums holding down spots in the Official World Golf Ranking Top 100.
- The Class of 2006 is off to a nice start with four players —Jeff Quinney, Craig Kanada, Doug LaBelle II and Cliff Kresge — all earning Top-10 finishes already. Quinney and LaBelle II each have a T4 to their credit to lead the way. In fact, 15 members of the Class of 2006 have already made a cut and earned FedExCup points.