|Wacovia Championship - April 30, 2007
Wachovia Championship Notes
Twenty-eight of the top 30 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are playing this week in Charlotte, led by Tiger Woods, the No. 1 player in the world. The only two of the top 30 missing are Paul Casey (No. 13) and Justin Rose (No. 27). Twenty-eight of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings are also playing.
By winning the 2006 Wachovia Championship, Jim Furyk became the third major championship winner to add the Charlotte tournament title to his resume. Furyk, the winner of the 2003 U.S. Open, joined Vijay Singh (Masters, PGA Championship) and David Toms (PGA Championship) as Wachovia Championship winners who have also won major championships.
Jim Furyk improved his record in PGA TOUR playoffs to 2-6 with his win last year over Trevor Immelman. Furyk’s other playoff win came at the 1996 United Airlines Hawaiian Open (now known as the Sony Open in Hawaii) when he birdied the third playoff hole to defeat Brad Faxon.
Although Jim Furyk had a chance by opening last year’s tournament with rounds of 68-69-68, no player has had four rounds in the 60s in the history of the Wachovia Championship. Furyk shot a final-round 71 but still won in a playoff.
The playoff between Jim Furyk and Trevor Immelman was the third consecutive extra session at the Wachovia Championship. The last time a PGA TOUR event had three consecutive playoffs was The Barclays from 1998 to 2000.
With earnings of $1,134,000 for his 2006 victory, Jim Furyk became the Wachovia Championship’s all-time money leader, increasing his total to $1,662,000. Furyk passed Vijay Singh, who has amassed $1,651,503. Joey Sindelar is third, with $1,240,434.
Vijay Singh’s par-or-better streak at the Wachovia Championship ended at 14 consecutive rounds in last year’s final round when Singh fired a 9-over 81, his first over-par score at Quail Hollow Club since the first round of the 2003 tournament. The 81 is his worst score in 16 rounds at the tournament.
Last year, Ken Duke won $112,500 for winning the Nationwide Tour’s BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. A day later, Duke Monday-qualified to get into the Wachovia Championship field. He went on to win $100,800 for his tie for 14th. Duke completed his career year by capturing Nationwide Tour Player of the Year honors and finishing first on that Tour’s money list. As a PGA TOUR member in 2007, Duke is 29th on the FedExCup points list. His best finish came at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he finished second. In his last three starts, Duke has had three top-10 finishes and made $986,175.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
- 2005 Rookie of the Year Sean O’Hair got off to a very slow start this season, missing the cut in five of his first six starts. Through the PODS Championship, O’Hair was 197th on the FedExCup points list, but since then he has climbed to 57th place thanks to a stretch where he’s finished T14-T14-7-T15 and T25.
- This week’s Wachovia Championship field features all but five of the 47 different tournament winners since the start of the 2006 season. The only players missing are Mark Calcavecchia, Chris Couch, Fred Funk, Paul Goydos and David Toms.
- Jonathan Byrd leads the TOUR in Sand Saves, converting 76.09% of the time. He enters this week’s Wachovia Championship with 10 consecutive Sand Saves to his credit.
- At the official halfway point in the PGA TOUR’s Regular Season, the leader in the FedExCup points race is Vijay Singh. Holding down the 144th and final spot in the chase to reach the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup is Kenny Perry. Perry has 673 points while Steve Lowery is currently the first man outside the Top 144. He has 672 points.
- If The Presidents Cup teams were settled today, the Top 10 International team members would all be ranked among the top 21 in the Official World Golf Ranking. The U.S. team would have six players among the top 21. The overall average of the Top 10 International players on the OWGR is 12.1 while the U.S. team averages 21.0 on the rankings. The points will be finalized after the PGA Championship and Captains Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus will also select two players to each squad.
- If you see people hitting golf balls in Midtown Manhattan this week, don’t be shocked. A scaled replica of the 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass THE PLAYERS Stadium Course has been erected at Rockefeller Center as part of the UBS Golf Challenge: Experience THE PLAYERS Championship. This interactive exhibit was made possible by UBS, a Proud Partner of THE PLAYERS, and hosted by Tishman Speyer, co-owners of Rockefeller Center. The UBS Golf Challenge: Experience THE PLAYERS Championship will be open daily from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. from May 4th through the 13th. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
- The Champions Tour will make the first of three stops in Texas this week at the FedEx Kinko’s Classic in Austin. No native Texan has won a event in the state since John Mahaffey took home the title at the 1999 AT&T Championship in San Antonio.
- If Jay Haas successfully defends his title this week at the FedEx Kinko’s Classic, he will join Hale Irwin as the only players in Champions Tour history to win the same two tournaments back-to-back in consecutive seasons. Haas completed the first half of the feat when he won his second straight Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf title recently. Irwin won the 1997 Senior PGA Championship and Las Vegas Senior Classics in consecutive events and won the same two titles in consecutive weeks the following season.
- Two-time PGA TOUR winner Donnie Hammond is the latest player to reach age 50 and he will make his Champions Tour debut this week in Austin. His last TOUR victory came at the 1989 Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
- Aussie Nick Flanagan claimed his first Nationwide Tour title last week at the Henrico County Open and in the process became the 50th different international player to win an event in Tour history. International players from 18 different countries have won 69 Tour events since the Nationwide Tour began in 1990. Australians have won 28 of those.
- Speaking of Australians, they currently hold down six of the Top 25 spots on the Nationwide Tour money list. In fact, international players hold 11 of the spots on the coveted 25.
- Darron Stiles is back in Fort Smith, AR, this week to defend his title at the Fort Smith Classic presented by Stephens, Inc. If he successfully defends, he’ll be the first player in Tour history to do so.