|PODS Championship - March 06, 2007
Innisbrook Resort & GC
Palm Harbor, FL
Par: 36-35—71Yards: 7,340
FedExCup Points: 25,000 Winner: 4,725
Purse: $5,300,000Winner: $954,000
2006 Champion: K.J. Choi (275, -13)
PODS Championship Notes
In the first round of 2004, Jeff Sluman fired a course-record, 9-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead at the PODS Championship. The 62 matched Sluman’s career-low round, which he had done three times previously.
Only two aces have been recorded at the PODS Championship. They both occurred in 2004. Jonathan Kaye had a hole-in-one on the par-3, 222-yard 17th hole (he used a 3-iron in the first round), and Mathias Gronberg aced the par-3 15th hole with a 5-iron from 208 yards in the second round.
Five of the six players who have held at least a share of the third-round lead at the PODS Championship have gone on to victory — K.J. Choi (2002 and 2006), Retief Goosen (2003), Vijay Singh (2004) and Carl Pettersson (2005). Carl Paulson finished second behind John Huston in 2000.
In the history of the PODS Championship, three players have posted four rounds in the 60s — Vijay Singh and Jesper Parnevik in 2004 and K.J. Choi in 2002.
Vijay Singh, at 41 years, 8 months, 9 days, is the only player over age 40 to win the PODS Championship. The youngest winner and the only winner in his 20s to win at Innisbrook came in 2005 when Carl Pettersson won at 28 years 2 months and 1 day.
Only Woody Austin has a perfect cut record (6 for 6) at the PODS Championship. A total of 14 players have participated in all six PODS Championship. (Billy Andrade, Tommy Armour III, Austin, Mark Brooks, Olin Browne, K.J. Choi, Robert Damron, Robert Gamez, Brian Gay, Tim Herron, John Huston, Lee Janzen, Billy Mayfair and Brett Quigley).
Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen, both winners of multiple major championships, have won the PODS Championship. Singh set a tournament record of 266 (18-under-par) when he won the 2004 event by five strokes. It was his ninth victory of that year and made him the first golfer to ever win more than $10 million in a single season. Singh was second, three shots back in 2003, when Goosen emerged as the winner of the PODS Championship
Five of the six winners of the PODS Championship have been international players, including the last five. After American John Huston won the inaugural event in 2000, and the 2001 tournament was canceled due to the events of Sept. 11, South Korea’s K.J. Choi won in 2002 and 2006, followed by South Africa’s Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh of Fiji and Carl Pettersson of Sweden in 2005.
E-NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
- Robert Allenby’s T5 last week at the Honda Classic was his fifth Top-10 finish this season in six starts. While he’s yet to win, consistency has him in 12th place in the FedExCup standings.
- Through the same number of weeks as last season, Top 30 players (from the previous year’s money list) have averaged nearly two more starts per week. At this time last year, 16.2 Top 30 players started on average each week. This season the number is 18.0 per week.
- Jose Coceres has lost in playoffs in each of the past two weeks on the PGA TOUR. The last player to do so was Davis Love III in 1996. In that season, Love lost a playoff at the rain-shortened Buick Challenge and then lost again the following week at the Las Vegas Invitational.
- More on Coceres: In his last eight rounds, his stroke average is 67.6. The new home of The Honda Classic, PGA National’s Champion Course, proved to be a tough test. The course played to a stroke average of 1.958 over par for the week, making it the toughest course on TOUR so far this season.
- In addition to Mark Wilson winning his first career title last week at The Honda Classic, three other players equaled or bettered their career bests — Camilo Villegas (T2), Boo Weekley (T2) and Tripp Isenhour (T5). All four, by the way, are Nationwide Tour alums.
- It was a good week for the rookie class last week with 13 of them making the cut. Doug LaBelle II led the way with a T13 finish.
- Loren Roberts has 29 consecutive rounds of par-or-better entering this week’s Toshiba Classic. If he puts together three more this week, he’ll equal Larry Nelson’s all-time Champions Tour mark of 32 in a row.
- Not that this isn’t true most weeks, but Hale Irwin might be someone to watch for this week in Newport Beach. Irwin has won the Toshiba Classic twice and has six Top-10 finishes in the event. In 32 rounds at Newport Beach CC, Irwin has 20 in the 60s and his worst score is a 72.
- Mark O’Meara will make his third Champions Tour start this week and he won’t be unfamiliar with the golf course this time. O’Meara, who grew up in southern California, played some high school matches at Newport Beach CC.
- Mark Wilson’s victory at The Honda Classic was the 200th on the PGA TOUR by a former Nationwide Tour player.
- The Class of 2006 has performed well in the early going on the 2007 PGA TOUR. A total of 16 of 22 graduates are among the Top 144 on the FedExCup points list, headed by Jeff Quinney who stands 11th overall. In fact, seven of the players are among the Top 50.
- More on the Class of 2006: Ten of the 22 players have already posted Top-10 finishes on TOUR this season. They’ve combined for 14 Top-10 finishes, including four by Jeff Quinney. Boo Weekley’s T2 last week is the top effort along with third-place finishes by Quinney and Brandt Snedeker.