|US Bank Championship; British Open - July 16, 2007
Carnoustie Golf Links
Par: 36-35—71Yards: 7,421
FedExCup Points: 27,500 Winner: 4,950
Purse: $8,400,000 Winner: $1,500,000
2006 Champion: Tiger Woods (270, -18)
British Open Notes
U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera finished seventh at last year’s British Open. Not since Tiger Woods in 2000 has a U.S. Open Champion gone on to win the British Open in the same year. Here’s a look at how past U.S. Open champions have gone on to finish in the British Open the same year:
2006 -- Jeff Ogilvy (T16), 2005 -- Michael Campbell (T5), 2004 -- Retief Goosen (T7), 2003 -- Jim Furyk (Cut), 2002 -- Tiger Woods (T28), 2001 -- Retief Goosen (T13), 2000 -- Tiger Woods (Won)
Ernie Els has competed in every British Open since 1992, having never missed the cut. Of those 16 tournaments, Els has posted nine top-10 finishes, the most of anyone in this week’s field.
The last time the British Open was contested at Carnoustie Golf Club, in 1999, 12 of its 18 holes were ranked among the toughest on the PGA TOUR. The par-4 12th hole was the toughest hole of the season. It surrendered a mere 13 birdies all week and was the site of 217 bogeys or worse.
Jim Furyk has posted top-five finishes in four of his last five TOUR starts. If he wins this week, he would become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2000 to hold the British Open and Canadian Open titles at the same time.
Four PGA TOUR winners this season will be competing in their first British Open. They are Charley Hoffman (Bob Hope Chrysler Classic), Boo Weekley (Verizon Heritage), Nick Watney (Zurich Classic of New Orleans) and Jonathan Byrd (John Deere Classic).
A year ago, Chris DiMarco finished second to Tiger Woods. DiMarco has runner-up finishes in all the major championships except the U.S. Open. Besides his second-place showing at the British, DiMarco was second at the 2005 Masters (also losing to Woods in a playoff) and tied for second at the 2004 PGA Championship. DiMarco has also recorded runner-up finishes in two World Golf Championships events, the 2005 Accenture Match Play Championship and the 2005 Bridgestone Invitational.
U.S. BANK CHAMPIONSHIP IN MILWAUKEE
Brown Deer Park Golf Course
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 6,759
FedExCup Points: 12,500 Winner: 2,250
Purse: $4,000,000Winner: $720,000
2006 Champion: Corey Pavin (260, -20)
U.S. Bank Championship
in Milwaukee Notes
With his win last year, Corey Pavin became the eighth player to win this event twice. Pavin first won in 1986, making his 20 years between victories among the longest in TOUR history. Hal Sutton won THE PLAYERS Championship 14 years apart, first in 1983 and again in 1997. Billy Casper won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans twice in a 17-year span, starting in 1958 and again in 1975. Only Hale Irwin’s 21-year spread between wins at the Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town in 1973 and again in 1994 tops Pavin’s 20-year victory gap.
This week’s winner will also receive 2,250 FedExCup points. After this event, there are only five tournaments left in the 2007 PGA TOUR Regular Season before the first-ever PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup begin, starting at The Barclays in late August.
This will be the 40th year for the tournament, which began in 1969 at the North Shore Country Club in Mequon, WI. The event moved to Tripoli Golf Club in 1971, where it remained for two years. In 1973, the tournament moved to Tuckaway Country Club where it remained for 21 years. Then in 1994, the event moved to its current location at Brown Deer Park, where it will be contested for the 14th time.
Loren Roberts is the only player to have won the tournament two times (1996 and 2000) and finish runner-up twice (1994 and 1997).
Ed Sneed (1974), Ben Crane (2005) and Corey Pavin (2006) are the only wire-to-wire winners (without ties) in the tournament’s history.
The players with the most TOUR wins in the field this week are Corey Pavin (15), John Cook (11), Steve Elkington (10), Kenny Perry (nine) and Brad Faxon and Bob Tway (eight each).
Since the tournament moved to Brown Deer Park Golf Course in 1994, only once in the past 13 years has the winner collected his first PGA TOUR title in Milwaukee. Shigeki Maruyama earned his first career win when he won the 2001 event. He was the first to accomplish that since Billy Mayfair in 1993. Through the years, eight players have earned their first career win in Milwaukeee besides Maruyama and Mayfair: Dave Eichelberger (1971), Calvin Peete (1979), Mark O’Meara (1984), Jim Thorpe (1985), Jim Gallagher, Jr. (1990) and Richard Zokol (1992).
Steve Lowery set the current course record of 61 in the final round in 1999. Lowery’s 10-under-par score matched the tournament mark of 61 set by Ken Green in 1988 at Tuckaway Country Club and later matched by Robert Gamez in 1991. Lowery had one eagle and eight birdies during his round, including birdies at the closing three holes. Last year’s champion, Corey Pavin, also tied the course record with his 9-under-par 61 in the opening round.
Brown Deer Park Golf Course has hosted the United States Amateur Public Links Championship (1951, 1966 and 1977). This week’s field includes 1986 Public Links champion Billy Mayfair, 1997 winner Tim Clark and 2000 winner D.J. Trahan.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
Nine of the Top-10 finishers at last week’s John Deere Classic established or equaled season-best efforts—Jonathan Byrd (1st), Tim Clark (2nd), Nathan Green (T3), Troy Matteson (T3), Carl Pettersson (5th), Jason Dufner (T6), Jeff Gove (T6) and Neal Lancaster (T6).
Byrd’s victory last week boosted him from 99th in the FedExCup standings all the way to 23rd while Clark moved from a precarious 120th place up to 57th.
Look for an established player to set the pace this week at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee. Since moving to Brown Deer Park GC 13 years ago, seven of the winners have been 40 years of age or more.
Brian Bateman and Mark Wilson were the last two players on the priority list coming out of last year’s Q-School. Both have won this season — Bateman at the Buick Open and Wilson at The Honda Classic.
Despite playing opposite the British Open, this week’s U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee will still boast 12 of the Top 100 players in the Official World Golf Ranking. Three 2007 PGA TOUR winners are entered —Brian Bateman, Paul Goydos and Wisconsin native Mark Wilson.
Brown Deer Park GC plays to a par of 70 at 6,759 yards. It is the shortest course on the PGA TOUR this year.
Jonathan Byrd’s victory last week at the John Deere Classic was the 207th by a former Nationwide Tour player on the PGA TOUR.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs donated a Nationwide Tour record $2,021,325 to charity from this year’s event.
Ben Bates became first player in Nationwide Tour history to make 200 cuts when he played last weekend at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational.
There must be something in the water in Ohio. Two weeks ago at the Legend Financial Group Classic in Cleveland, 19-year old Jason Day became the youngest winner in Tour history. Last week at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Daniel Summerhays became the first amateur to win on the Tour.
The Tour stops in Springfield, MO, this week for the 18th annual Price Cutter Charity Championship. The tournament is known for close finishes. Only once has the winner won by more than two strokes. There have been six playoffs and seven times the winner has finished one stroke ahead.
Last week’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open was a good one for Monday Qualifiers with three of them finishing in the Top-10. Bruce Vaughan (2nd), Boonchu Ruangkit (T5) and Jack Ferenz (T9) all Monday qualified and turned in strong performances.
Jimmy Powell bettered his age by five with his final-round 67 last week at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. It was the third time this year that the 72-year old Powell has shot his age or better.
R.W. Eaks broke through to claim his first career title on the Champions Tour last week at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. It was his first win on any Tour since he won the 1997 San Jose Open on the Nationwide Tour. The win boosted him from ninth in the Charles Schwab Cup standings to fifth. Brad Bryant leads the competition with a slim 112-point margin over Jay Haas.