|Buick Open - June 25, 2007
Buick Open Notes
The Western Amateur, which has been contested in nearby Benton Harbor, MI at Point O’Woods Golf and Country Club since 1971, has long been regarded as one of the top amateur tournaments in the world. This week’s Buick Open will feature in its field five past Western Amateur champions: Ryan Moore (2004), Justin Leonard (1992-93), Craig Kanada (1990), Chris DiMarco (1988) and Scott Verplank (1985).
The last six winners of the Buick Open—Kenny Perry, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh—all played in the last Presidents Cup in 2005. In 2001, Perry won in Grand Blanc, MI, followed by Woods in 2002, Furyk in 2003, Singh in 2004 and 2005 and Woods again in 2006. At the 2005 Presidents Cup in Prince William County, VA, those five players compiled the following records during the four-day event as the U.S. defeated the International squad: Perry (1-2), Woods (3-2), Singh (0-5) and Furyk (5-0).
The Buick Open’s new date this year (June 25-July 1) marks the first time since 1978 that the tournament will have a round contested in the month of June.
John Cook and Jeff Sluman lead the Buick Open in cuts made. Both players have made it to the weekend 19 times, and they are first and second in total tournament appearances, with 23 and 22, respectively.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
Since the start of the 2000 season, PGA TOUR winners have come from 17 different countries—the U.S., Fiji, Australia, Sweden, South Africa, South Korea, Argentina, England, Trinidad & Tobago, Ireland, Spain, New Zealand, Canada, Paraguay, Northern Ireland, Japan and Zimbabwe.
Look out for Jim Furyk this week at the Buick Open. The 2003 Buick Open champion has a streak of 33 consecutive rounds under-par at the Warwick Hills course as he begins play this week. He has seven Top-10 finishes in the event, has made the cut in all 12 starts and of his 48 career rounds, he’s been par or better in 47 of them and under par in 43 of them. He’s 165-under par at the Buick Open in his career.
Including this week, there are just eight weeks left to qualify for the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Steve Flesch currently holds down the 144th and final spot in the field. Among those outside the Top 144 and looking in are prominent names like Justin Leonard, Jesper Parnevik, Kirk Triplett, Paul Azinger, John Daly, Jeff Sluman, Shigeki Maruyama, Brad Faxon, Joey Sindelar, Robert Gamez and Todd Hamilton.
Hunter Mahan earned his first career title last week at the Travelers Championship and he can thank his putter for the win. The 25-year old made 60 of 60 putts from eight feet or less in his victory.
One more on Mahan: At the age of 25 years, one month and seven days, he’s the youngest winner on TOUR this year.
Rookie Anthony Kim has not yet won, but if he keeps up his final-round scoring average he won’t have to wait much longer. The TOUR’s youngest player (just turned 22) leads the TOUR in final-round scoring average with a 68.45 mark.
Leonard Thompson made a double-eagle during the first round of last week’s Bank of America Championship. It was the first double-eagle on the Champions Tour since Howard Twitty recorded one at the 2005 JELD-WEN Tradition.
R.W. Eaks had a strange week at the Bank of America Championship. During one nine-hole stretch in the second round, Eaks was nine-under par, going birdie-par-birdie-birdie-eagle-eagle-par-birdie-birdie. The rest of the week he was one-over par and eventually finished the tournament in a T5 at eight-under.
With his victory last week, Jay Haas passed the $20 million mark in career earnings on the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour. He’s the sixth Champions Tour to reach that mark joining Hale Irwin, Gil Morgan, Tom Kite, Fred Funk and Nick Price.
Current Nationwide Tour players Jay Williamson and B.J. Staten made strong showings last week on the PGA TOUR. Williamson lost in a playoff to Hunter Mahan and collected $648,000 while Staten finished in a T9 and took home $156,000.
At least one former Nationwide Tour player has finished in the Top 10 in 540 of the last 543 PGA TOUR events.
Last week the Tour stopped in Knoxville for the 18th consecutive season. One of four original events remaining on the schedule from the Nationwide Tour’s first season (1990), the Knoxville tournament has seen six of its winners go on to win on the PGA TOUR -- Jeff Maggert, Tom Scherrer, Heath Slocum, J.J. Henry, Brian Henninger and Vaughn Taylor.