|WGC-CA Championship - March 19, 2007
WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS-
Doral Golf Resort & Spa
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,266
FedExCup Points: 26,250 Winner: 4,725
Purse: $8,000,000Winner: $1,440,000
2006 Champion: Tiger Woods (261, -23)
World Golf Championships-
CA Championship Notes
Some of golf’s best players have won during the tournament’s seven-year history. Tiger Woods counts five victories in this tournament among his 13 World Golf Championships titles. He won the inaugural event in 1999 at Valderrama in Spain and followed that up with victories in 2002 in Ireland, and in 2003 and 2005 in the United States. Last year, he was victorious in London. In 2000, Canadian Mike Weir captured the title, and in 2004, Ernie Els of South Africa triumphed.
Tiger Woods has history with both the World Golf Championships-CA Championship (formerly the American Express Championship) and the PGA TOUR’s stop at Doral Golf Resort & Spa. Woods has five victories in seven starts at the CA Championship and captured the last two Ford Championship at Doral titles and has four top-10s in four starts.
Besides Tiger Woods, three players in the field have victories at the PGA TOUR’s former event at Doral Golf Resort and Spa: Jim Furyk won in 2000, with Joe Durant taking the 2001 title. Ernie Els won in 2002. Els is also a past champion of the World Golf Championships-CA Championship when the event was in Ireland in 2004. That year, Els edged Thomas Bjorn by one stroke. That was Els’ last PGA TOUR win.
Entering the CA Championship, Stuart Appleby has competed in all 24 official World Golf Championships events—tops among all players since the series’ inception in 1999. His best finish among the 23 previous tournaments was a tie for second at the 2003 CA Championship at the Capital City Club in Georgia.
Entering the CA Championship, Padraig Harrington has competed in 23 consecutive official World Golf Championship events. He did not qualify for the 1999 Accenture Match Play Championship in 1999 but has played in every event subsequently.
Brett Wetterich, playing in his first CA Championship a year ago, led the 17 first-time participants with a tie for sixth. The only other first-year player to finish inside the top 10 was Brett Quigley, who tied for ninth.
Three players managed to post four rounds in the 60s last year at The Grove outside London: Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Jim Furyk. A total of 15 players since the tournament’s inception in 1999 have carded four rounds in the 60s.
In the 44-year history of PGA TOUR golf at Doral Golf Resort & Spa’s Blue Course, there were only six playoffs, including 2004’s one-hole extra session between Craig Parry and Scott Verplank. The first playoff occurred in 1980, 19 years after the tournament’s inception, followed by playoffs in 1986, 1990, 1991, 2003 and 2004. Four of the five winners have won with a birdie, while Greg Norman (1990) and Craig Parry (2004) both won with eagles.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
- Tiger Woods has won nine tournaments in the state of Florida, the most of any active player. He’s also won five World Golf Championships-CA Championship titles, including the last two and has won the last two TOUR stops at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa.
- Vijay Singh’s victory last week was his 19th since turning 40. That’s the most of any player in history. If you simply took his victories since turning 40, he would still rank 37th on the all-time victory list. He’s now tied with England’s Harry Cooper for the most wins by a non-American player in TOUR history (31).
- More on Vijay: He regained the FedExCup points lead with his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and has a chance to stretch that lead even further this week as the CA Championship will offer 26,250 points instead of the usual 25,000.
- With a strong crop of international players competing this week at the CA Championship, don’t be surprised to see one of them win at Doral. While no international players won at the old TOUR stop at Doral from 1962 through 1989, eight of the last 17 winners there hailed from outside the U.S.
- He’s flown a little under the radar, but John Rollins is having a very strong 2007 season. He’s fourth on the FedExCup points list after finishing in the Top 25 in seven of his nine starts. He also leads the TOUR in rounds in the 60s with 17.
- The top five players on the FedExCup points list have averaged just over eight starts in the season’s first 11 weeks.
- Who’s 3-putted the least this season? Both David Duval and Zach Johnson have 3-putted less than 1% of the time (.98%). Johnson has the current longest streak without a 3-putt at 197 consecutive holes.
- There’s a strong field assembled this week at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open as the Nationwide Tour opens the domestic portion of its schedule. There are 17 former PGA TOUR winners in the field, including two former major championship winners. There are also three former Nationwide Tour Players of the Year, four former U.S. Amateur and four former U.S. Public Links champs entered, as well as four former Ryder Cup team members and one former President Cup team competitor.
- If Steve Jones and Larry Mize tee it up as scheduled, they will become the eighth and ninth former major championship winners to compete on the Nationwide Tour.
- The best players from around the world are finding the Nationwide Tour an attractive place to play. There will be competitors from 17 different countries teeing it up this week in Louisiana.
- Loren Roberts set a new Champions Tour record for consecutive par-or-better rounds last week, stretching his current streak to 35 in a row. During that span of time he’s 115-under par.
- Last week’s four-hole playoff between Roberts and Tom Purtzer was the longest on the Champions Tour since Hubert Green edged Hale Irwin in a seven-hole playoff at the 2002 Lightpath Long Island Classic.
- Dale Douglass had a first-round 70 to beat his age by one stroke at last week’s AT&T Champions Classic. It’s the fifth time he’s shot his age or better on the Champions Tour.