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Verizon Heritage - April 09, 2007

Harbor Town GL

Hilton Head Island, SC
Par: 36-35—71Yards: 6,973
FedExCup Points: 25,000 Winner: 4,500
Purse: $5,400,000Winner: $972,000
2006 Champion: Aaron Baddeley (269, -15)

Verizon Heritage Notes

Aaron Baddeley became the ninth first-time winner in Verizon Heritage history. The others were Hale Irwin (1971), Graham Marsh (1977), Doug Tewell (1980), Nick Faldo (1984), Davis Love III (1987), Glen Day (1999), Jose Coceres (2001) and Peter Lonard (2005).

Davis Love III will turn 43 on Friday, April 13. He’s celebrated his birthday numerous times at this event but never won the title on his birthday. Three of his wins have come on April 19, while the others have been on April 20 and April 21.

The youngest winner in Verizon Heritage history is Davis Love III. He was 23 years, 6 days when he won the first of his five titles.

Masters Tournament winner Zach Johnson has played in two previous Verizon Heritages, with his best finish coming in 2005, when he tied for 47th. He also tied for 53rd in 2004.

With his win in 2006, Aaron Baddeley became the second consecutive international winner (Australia’s Peter Lonard won in 2005) and eighth in the history of the event.

Defending champion Aaron Baddeley will be looking to keep a 13-year streak intact. No defending champion has missed the cut at the Verizon Heritage since Davis Love III in 1993.

David Frost set the PGA TOUR’s all-time 72-hole putting record with 92 total putts over four days at Harbour Town in 2005. The old mark was also set at Harbour Town when Kenny Knox had just 93 total putts in the 1989 event (later matched by Mark Calcavecchia at the 2002 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic).


    Davis Love III will be looking for his sixth Verizon Heritage title this week at Harbour Town. If he’s successful, he’ll join a short list of players who have won the same event six times or more in TOUR history. Sam Snead is on the list twice (Greater Greensboro Open eight times, Miami Open six times), while Jack Nicklaus (six Masters), Tiger Woods (six WGC-CA Championships), Harry Vardon (six British Opens) and Alex Ross (six North & South Opens) each performed the feat once.
    More on Love: He has 11 Top-10 finishes at Hilton Head in 21 career starts, including seven Top-3 efforts. He’s had 49 sub-par and 38 rounds in the 60s in his 75 career rounds at Harbour Town.
    Eight players have won more than half the 38 Verizon Heritage tournaments to date. The eight — Davis Love III (5 wins), Hale Irwin (3), Stewart Cink (2), Hubert Green (2), Johnny Miller (2), Payne Stewart (2), Tom Watson (2) and Fuzzy Zoeller (2)—have won 20 of the first 38 tournaments on Hilton Head.
    Jim Furyk has been the runner-up in each of the past two years at the Verizon Heritage and has been T15 or better in his last four starts at the event. He’s 36-under par during that stretch.
    Zach Johnson will look to become only the fourth player in history to win the Masters and then win the next tournament on the TOUR schedule. The last to do so was Bernhard Langer in 1985 (at the Verizon Heritage) and the others are Gary Player (1978 Tournament of Champions) and Jimmy Demaret (1950 North Fulton Open).
    With his T2 last week at the Masters, Tiger Woods moves into second place on the FedExCup points list. That’s his highest ranking to date and he’s only 263 points behind leader Vijay Singh.
    With the smallest greens on TOUR, Harbour Town has been the site of a number of TOUR putting records. Kenny Knox tied the 18-hole mark with 18 putts in 1989 while David Frost set the 72-hole record of 92 putts at this course in 2005. When Frost broke the record, he eclipsed the 93 putts needed by Knox at the 1989 Verizon Heritage.


    The victory by Zach Johnson last week at the Masters was the 201st PGA TOUR win by a former Nationwide Tour player and the 11th major championship.
    With the exception of the first-year Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun and the PODS Championship, former Nationwide Tour players have won every event on TOUR at least once.
    This week’s stop on Tour, the South Georgia Classic, will be contested on the Davis Love III-designed 7,781-yard Kinderlou Forest GC in Valdosta, GA. The course is the longest to ever host a PGA TOUR-sponsored event.
    No less than 20 of the Top 50 players in the current Official World Golf Ranking are former Nationwide Tour players.
    This week’s inaugural South Georgia Classic will feature a field that includes four of the first five winners on this year’s Nationwide Tour, along with 30 former PGA TOUR champions who have earned 61 TOUR titles between them. Four players — Carlos Franco, Jim Gallagher Jr., Bradley Hughes and John Huston — have even competed in The Presidents Cup.


    After a long absence from tournament competition, next week’s Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf will feature a familiar face —Johnny Miller. Miller, who has not appeared in a Champions Tour event since the 1997 Transamerica, will team with Mike Reid in the Raphael Division.
    The Champions Tour certainly did themselves proud at last week’s Masters. Three current members made the cut at Augusta — Craig Stadler, Ben Crenshaw and Fuzzy Zoeller. Two others —Mark O’Meara and Tom Watson — just missed by one stroke of joining them on the weekend.
    You often hear that short putts get tougher as you get older. No one told Gary Player. The 70-year old Player has made 91.79% (123 of 134) of his putts inside of 10 feet this season. That’s the second best mark on the Champions Tour. He trails only Fred Funk (91.89%).


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