|AT&T Classic - May 14, 2007
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,343
FedExCup Points: 25,000 Winner: 4,500
Purse: $5,400,000Winner: $954,000
2006 Champion: Phil Mickelson (260, -28)
AT&T Classic Notes
This week, Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, will look to better his tie for second at last year’s tournament. Johnson also won the event in 2004 for his first PGA TOUR title.
In addition to Zach Johnson, three other players have made the AT&T Classic their first PGA TOUR victory: Ben Crane (2003), Paul Stankowski (1996) and Tommy Aaron (1970).
Phil Mickelson is the only three-time winner in this event, along with seven two-time winners. Mickelson picked up his third win a year ago. The other multiple champions at this event are Bob Lunn (1968, 1972), Jack Nicklaus (1973-74), Hale Irwin (1975, 1977), Larry Nelson (1980, 1988), Wayne Levi (1985, 1990), Tom Kite (1984, 1992) and Scott McCarron (1997 and 2001). Of that group, only Nelson, currently a Champions Tour player, is in this week’s field.
In the history of the AT&T Classic (dating back to 1967), only three players over age 40 have won the event. They include Gardner Dickinson in 1971) (43 years, 8 months, 22 days); Larry Nelson in 1988 (40 years, 9 months, 16 days); and Tom Kite in 1992 (42 years, 5 months, 1 day).
Players will be very aware of the TPC Sugarloaf’s ninth hole this week. A year ago, the par 4 tied for 18th on the TOUR's toughest-holes list on TOUR with a scoring average of 4.384. While it did surrender 33 birdies, it also saw 163 bogeys or worse. Overall, the TPC Sugarloaf ranked as the 34th most difficult of 55 courses on TOUR, with a scoring average of 71.757.
Last year, 28 players posted par-or-better rounds. In only 54 holes at the rain-shortened 2005 event, there were only 10 players with all four rounds at par or better.
Phil Mickelson’s 13-shot victory over Zach Johnson and Jose Maria Olazabal in 2006 was the seventh-largest winning margin in PGA TOUR history. It was the TOUR’s largest victory margin since Tiger Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open by 15 strokes. This tournament’s previous-largest winning margin came in 1979 when Andy Bean defeated Joe Inman by eight strokes at Atlanta Country Club.
Since 1997, Stewart Cink has more rounds at par or better than any other player. Last year he added four more (72-69-70-71) to bring his total to 27. Second on the list is David Toms, who has 23 par-or-better rounds in that period. Both players are in the field this week.