|The PLAYERS Championship - May 07, 2007
THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
TPC Sawgrass (PLAYERS Stadium Course)
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,215
FedExCup Points: 27,500 Winner: 4,950
Purse: $8,000,000*Winner: $1,440,000*
2006 Champion: Stephen Ames (274, -14)
THE PLAYERS Championship Notes
Stewart Cink and Patrick Sheehan (first round) and Craig Parry (second round) all posted two eagles in a single round at the 2006 PLAYERS Championship.
Bernhard Langer made his 19th cut at THE PLAYERS Championship in 2006, the third-most in tournament history, behind Tom Kite (23) and Tom Watson (21).
Brad Faxon extended his consecutive-cuts-made streak in this event to 14, which is the longest in THE PLAYERS Championship history.
There were four holes-in-one at the 2006 PLAYERS Championship. In the second round, Justin Leonard recorded a hole-in-one at the 192-yard 13th hole using a 5-iron, while Jesper Parnevik used a 7-iron from the identical distance on No. 13. In the third round, Henrik Stenson aced the 13th, measuring 175 yards that day, using a 7-iron. Fred Couples posted the fourth ace of the week in the final round on the 13th, a hole that played 159 yards. The previous high of three aces in a PLAYERS Championship came in both 1999 and 2000. The four holes-in-one in 2006 also marked the first time since the 2002 Buick Classic (Stephen Allan, Angel Cabrera, Larry Mize and Paul Gow) that four aces had been recorded in the same PGA TOUR tournament. The 13th hole has given up nine aces in the 25-year history at the TPC Sawgrass.
By winning last year’s PLAYERS, Stephen Ames earned his second PGA TOUR victory in his 208th career start at age 41 years, 10 months, 28 days and became the fifth player over 40 to win THE PLAYERS Championship, joining Fred Funk (2005), Hal Sutton (2000), Calvin Peete (1985) and Lee Trevino (1980). Ames was the same age as Sutton when Sutton captured his second PLAYERS Championship in 2000. Both players share an April 28 birthday.
The six-shot victory by Stephen Ames in 2006 marked the largest margin of victory since Davis Love III won by six in 2003. The all-time tournament-record-winning margin is seven strokes by Steve Elkington in 1997. Ames’ six-shot win also was the second-largest margin of victory of the 2006 season, behind J.B. Holmes’ seven-stroke win at the FBR Open.
A year ago, South Africa’s Retief Goosen, currently the world’s ninth-ranked player, recorded his first top-10 finish in eight starts at THE PLAYERS Championship. He finished as the runner-up to Stephen Ames.
Eight players collected their first top-10s at THE PLAYERS Championship in 2006. They were Retief Goosen (second), Pat Perez, Camilo Villegas and Henrik Stenson (tied for third) and Vaughn Taylor, Bo Van Pelt, John Rollins and Carl Pettersson (tied for eighth).
THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
- There has not been a playoff at THE PLAYERS Championship since Sandy Lyle defeated Jeff Sluman in 1987. The playoff drought is the longest of any current event on the PGA TOUR.
- This week’s field will include every player who has won a TOUR event since the beginning of the 2006 season, 47 in all.
- Only one European has won the tournament, Sandy Lyle in 1987. Several others have been close with runner-up finishes from Nick Faldo (1992), Bernhard Langer (1993 and 1995), Colin Montgomerie (1996)), Padraig Harrington (2003 and 2004) and Luke Donald (2005). There’s a strong European contingent in attendance this week, however, to challenge that drought. Europeans in the field include Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Brian Davis, Luke Donald, Niclas Fasth, Sergio Garcia, Mathias Gronberg, Harrington, David Howell, Fredrik Jacobson, Richard S. Johnson, Robert Karlsson, Langer, Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal, Jesper Parnevik, Carl Pettersson, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson.
- Ken Duke enters the tournament on a hot streak. The 2006 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year has four consecutive Top-10 finishes to his credit and has risen to 21st on the FedExCup points list. In his last four outings, Duke has finished T10-2-T7 and T7. Duke received an exemption into the event for leading the Nationwide Tour in earnings last year. Bobby Wadkins is also entered after winning the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship last year on the Champions Tour.
- There were four holes-in-one at the 2006 tournament—all on the 13th hole. Justin Leonard started the barrage and was followed by Jesper Parnevik, Henrik Stenson and Fred Couples.
- There have been five multiple winners of the tournament—Jack Nicklaus with three victories and Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Davis Love III and Hal Sutton with two each.
- No one has successfully defended his title at THE PLAYERS. In fact, only six defending champions have managed to finish in the Top-10 the following season and none finished higher than T5.