|Ginn Sur Mer Classic - October 22, 2007
GINN SUR MER CLASSIC AT TESORO
Port St. Lucie, FL
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,210
Purse: $4,500,000 Winner: $810,000
Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro
Second-to-Last Fall Series Event
The PGA TOUR moves to Florida for the final two weeks of the Fall Series, beginning with the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro, a first-year event in Port St. Lucie. Following the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro, the TOUR’s season ends at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart. That tournament is near Orlando.
The race to finish in the top 125 on the money list has the attention of numerous players this week. Those finishing 125 or better on the list following the final event of the season will secure their 2008 PGA TOUR playing privileges. Currently, Kevin Stadler is in the 125th position, with Brett Quigley, Craig Kanada and Cameron Beckman 126th, 127th and 128th, respectively.
The PGA TOUR’s Fall Series has helped re-energize some careers during the last five weeks, as several players ended long victory droughts. Chad Campbell won for the first time since early 2006 when he captured the Viking Classic in Mississippi. Justin Leonard won the Valero Texas Open, his first title since 2005, while Mike Weir won last week’s Fry’s Electronics Open. It was Weir’s first victory in more than three years. He last won the 2004 Nissan Open.
Mark Calcavecchia has already won in Florida once this season, taking home the title at the PODS Championship in March. He’s in the field this week looking for a second title in 2007. The only other time Calcavecchia has won multiple tournaments in a season was in 1989 when he won the FBR Open, the Nissan Open and the British Open.
After Mark Hensby came close to winning the Fry’s Electronics Open last week, he heads to Port St. Lucie for this week’s event. Hensby lost by a stroke to Mike Weir but turned in his best performance of the year and his top finish since he won the 2004 John Deere Classic. Hensby improved to 99th on the money list, with $969,731 in earnings. Hensby passed the $1-million mark in both 2004 and 2005 before dropping to only $251,883 in earnings a season ago as he suffered from a foot injury stemming from a 2006 car accident.
Billy Mayfair turned in his second-best performance of 2007 with his third-place finish at the Fry’s Electronics Open last week. Mayfair’s best finish this season was a runner-up at the Wachovia Championship. He also was fifth at the FBR Open, just down the road from Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor Course in Scottsdale, AZ.
Other top-10 performers from last week’s Fry’s Electronics Open who are playing in the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro this week are Sean O’Hair (tied for fourth) and Alex Cejka, Brian Davis, Justin Leonard, Daisuke Maruyama and Pat Perez (all tied for sixth).
There is a strong local flavor this week, with numerous area residents playing in this first-year event, including Mark Calcavecchia, Brett Quigley, Robert Allenby, Olin Browne, Jesper Parnevik and Will MacKenzie. Players based in Orlando competing this week include Ben Curtis and Lee Janzen.
Brian Davis comes into this event trailing only Tiger Woods for the second-best active cuts made streak on TOUR. Davis has made it to the weekend in 15 consecutive tournaments. Woods, with 16consecutive, has the longest current streak. Davis last missed a cut at another Florida event, THE PLAYERS Championship, in May.
With two weeks left in the Fall Series, the Top 125 continues to take
shape. Only one player moved into the Top 125 this past week, Mark
Hensby, who jumped from 151st place to 99th thanks to his runner-up effort at the Fry’s Electronics Open.
Mike Weir’s victory last week at the Fry’s Electronics Open was the
sixth this season by a lefthander — three by Phil Mickelson, two by Steve Flesch and one by Weir. That’s the most wins by lefties in one season in the history of the TOUR.
A total of 93 players have earned $1 million or more this season to
tie the record set last year. Number 94 on the money list is Brian
Gay who is just $649 shy of the $1-million mark.
The 125th spot on the money list has changed dramatically since the start of the Fall Series. Prior to the Turning Stone Resort Championship, Steve Allan held the 125th spot with $568,059. That spot is currently held by Kevin Stadler who has $737,276 in earnings. That’s an increase of $169,217 since the start of the Fall Series.
Here’s a look at who’s held the 125th spot each week in the Fall
At the start:
- Steve Allan $568,059
- Turning Stone Resort Championship Joe Durant $603,990
- Viking Classic Joe Durant $652,990
- Valero Texas Open Harrison Frazar $688,814
- Frys.com Open Alex Cejka $717,053
- Fry’s Electronics Open Kevin Stadler $737,276
The inaugural Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro tees it up this week in
Port St. Lucie, FL. One player entered, Mark Calcavecchia, has a
very fine record in south Florida. The Palm Beach Gardens resident
has two wins at The Honda Classic (along with two seconds) and has 10 Top-10 finishes in south Florida events.
Champions Tour rookies have dominated play of late winning three of the last four events. Mark Wiebe began the trend with his win at the SAS Championship and then in the past two weeks, Bernhard Langer (Administraff Small Business Classic) and John Cook (AT&T Championship) have joined the winners circle.
Thanks to a T4 finish last week, Loren Roberts has padded his lead in the race for the Charles Schwab Cup. Roberts has a 165 point lead over Jay Haas. Haas won last year’s Cup by a slim 20 points over
Roberts in a race that came down to a putt on the final green.
He’ll have to wait until next year since he’s not in the field for the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, but his initial victory on the
Champions Tour can’t be far off for Mark O’Meara. The 16-time PGA TOUR winner has four runner-up efforts this season, including the last two weeks.
65-year old Dave Stockton shot his age for the second time this year with his 65 in the second-round of the AT&T Championship last week.
This week’s Miccosukee Championship will be the final full-field
event of the season and spots in the 60-man field for next week’s
Nationwide Tour Championship at Barona Creek are still up for grabs. The current #60 is Joe Daley who holds a $245 lead over #61, David Morland IV.
Two players climbed into The 25 following last week’s Chattanooga
Classic presented by Black Creek. Ron Whittaker, who earned his
first career title at the event, moved from 27th on the money list
all the way to 11th while runner-up David McKenzie vaulted from 43rd to 24th.
International players are making a strong showing this season with
five of the top seven players on the money list hailing from outside
the U.S. Nick Flanagan (#2 on the money list), Jason Day (#3) and Matthew Jones (#7) all are from Australia while #5 Jon Mills is from Canada and #6 Richard Johnson is from Wales. American Roland Thatcher leads the money list with countryman Nicholas Thompson fourth.