|Children's Miracle Network Classic - October 29, 2007
CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK CLASSIC
Presented by Wal-Mart
Walt Disney Resort
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,516
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,015
Lake Buena Vista, FL
Purse: $4,600,000Winner: $828,000
2006 Champion: Joe Durant (263, -25)
Children's Miracle Network
presented by Wal-Mart Notes
Joe Durant earned his fourth career PGA TOUR victory in his 286th start when he captured last year’s tournament at the Walt Disney World Resort. He was age 42 years, 6 months, 15 days, and his win came in Durant’s ninth appearance at the event.
Four players, including 2006 champion Joe Durant, have won the Children's Miracle Network Classic over age 40. They are Raymond Floyd in 1986 (44 years, 1 month, 15 days), Larry Nelson in 1987 (40 years, 1 month, 8 days), Brad Bryant in 1995 (40 years, 9 months, 27 days); and Vijay Singh (40 years, 8 months, 4 days).
Joe Durant ended his 2006 campaign with 19 of 20 rounds at par or better, including 17 consecutive. His scoring average during those five events was 68.20.
Five players have won this event more than once, led by Jack Nicklaus, who captured three consecutive titles at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic (1971-73). Larry Nelson (1984, 1987), Tim Simpson (1989-90), John Huston (1992, 1998) and Tiger Woods (1996, 1999) are the other multiple winners. Nelson also has the largest final-round comeback in tournament history, making up a six-stroke deficit in 1987 to defeat Morris Hatalsky and Mark O’Meara by one stroke after a 63 Sunday.
Despite winning in 2006, Joe Durant fell one shot short of the Children’s Miracle Network Classic 72-hole record. Durant ended at 25-under 263. John Huston set the record of 26-under 262 in 1992 and later saw it matched by Duffy Waldorf in 2000. Durant knows something about records. He holds the PGA TOUR record for a 90-hole tournament (2001 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic) at 36-under 324.
With his win last year at the Children's Miracle Network Classic, Joe Durant jumped to No. 29 on the PGA TOUR money list and secured a position in the season-ending TOUR Championship with a tie for fourth the following week at the Chrysler Championship. At THE TOUR Championship, Durant posted his fifth straight top-10 with a solo third to finish 13th on the 2006 money list. His streak of good play began with a playoff loss to D.J. Trahan at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic. He followed that with a tie for sixth at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro the week prior to the Children’s Miracle Network Classic victory. Durant and Troy Matteson were the only two players to finish the season with five consecutive top-10s.
After tying for fourth at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Chris DiMarco missed the cut at the PGA Championship and at The Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship, the first two events of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. The Orlando, FL, resident is in the field this week, making his first appearance in the Fall Series after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Sept. 12 to remove a bone spur around the acromioclavicular joint in his left shoulder.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
- This is the final week of the 2007 PGA TOUR Official Money season and Ted Purdy enters the week in the 125th and final exempt spot with$758,734. That’s $190,675 more than the 125th spot entering the seven-event Fall Series.
- Two players moved into the Top 125 after last week’s Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro. Shigeki Maruyama made the biggest jump going from 137th to 103rd following his T2 effort. Cameron Beckman’s T5 vaulted him from 128th to 118th. If two moved in, two moved out. They were J.B. Holmes and Kevin Stadler who are 126th and 127th, respectively. Holmes will be fully exempt next season anyway thanks to his victory at the 2006 FBR Open.
- It was also a good week for Daisuke Maruyama (no relation). Thesecond-year TOUR player from Japan finished T16 last week to move from 154th on the money list to 146th. Players who finish 126-150 keep some playing privileges for the following year and are exempt into the Finals of the Qualifying Tournament.
- Daniel Chopra’s win last week at the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro was the 12th this year by an international player. Vijay Singh (Fiji) and K.J. Choi (South Korea) have each won twice while Aaron Baddeley (Australia), Angel Cabrera (Argentina), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), Henrik Stenson (Sweden), Adam Scott (Australia), Mike Weir (Canada), Rory Sabbatini (South Africa) and Chopra (Sweden) have each won once.
- With just this week’s Children’s Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart to go, a record 97 players have already eclipsed the $1 million mark in earnings with a record 32 having topped the $2 million plateau.
- When Johnson Wagner finished T39 last week and collected $18,000, he became the seventh rookie this year to top the $1 million mark in earnings. He joined Brandt Snedeker, John Mallinger, Jeff Quinney, Anthony Kim, George McNeill and Steve Marino. There were a record eight last year.
- A record $775,000 purse is up for grabs this week at the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship at Barona Creek. With $139,500 going to the winner, every player in the field has a mathematical chance at finishing in The 25 and earning a PGA TOUR card for next season.
- Daniel Chopra’s win this past week on the PGA TOUR was the 216th by a former Nationwide Tour player on the TOUR and the 20th this year.
- The Nationwide Tour Championship at Barona Creek will offer free admission this week with those in attendance asked to make a donation to help the Red Cross Fire Relief Fund established in the wake of the disastrous fires in San Diego County last week. In addition, the PGA TOUR and Nationwide will donate a minimum of $200,000 to the relief effort with the “Birdies for Relief” program.
- Roland Thatcher begins the week with a $46,538 lead at the top of the money list over #3 Jon Mills. Nick Flanagan, the #2 man on the list, earned an automatic promotion to the PGA TOUR back in August and will not be competing this week. The #1 player at season’s end is fully exempt on the PGA TOUR in 2008. Even if Thatcher should finish last this week, Mills would need to finish solo third or better to catch him.
- Proving that you can play fast and play well, Jim Thorpe completed his first round last week at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in two hours and 35 minutes. His 64 was good for the first round lead.
- More on Thorpe: Winning the season-finale extended Thorpe’s string of consecutive years with at least one win to a Champions Tour best eight. Hale Irwin holds the record winning at least once in 11consecutive seasons.
- Tom Kite finished the year on a high note with 20 consecutive rounds or par-or-better.
- Last year, Loren Roberts lost the Charles Schwab Cup points race on the final hole of the year to Jay Haas. This year, Roberts was able to secure the $1 million annuity by 165 points over Haas.