More than a third of the starting field in the 143rd British Open Championship also teed it up this spring in the Shell Houston ...
HGA Academic Scholarship Recipients for 2014 (from left) Jacqueline Phung of Richmond Foster, Hailey Hollas of Richmond Travis, Atiyya Menifee of Houston Carver, Tony Ly of Pasadena Dobie, Martha Parra of Spring and Isaiah Carter of Aldine.
Countdown to SHO
PAST CHAMPIONS Click Image to View Archive
Roberto De Vicenzo (1968)
Champions Golf Club
- May 13, 2003
You don't have to be a Hall of Famer to win the EDS Byron Nelson Championship, but a number have done just that. No less than 13 different Hall of Famers have won the tournament over the years -- Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Ray Floyd and Nick Price among them. In fact, Hall of Famers have won 19 of the first 49 EDS Byron Nelson Championships.
The EDS Byron Nelson Championship has proven to be an elusive title for native Texans in recent years. In the last 20 years, only one native Texan, Billy Ray Brown (1992), has claimed the title.
There are a number of young guns playing well on the PGA TOUR, but don't think for a minute that the elder statesmen have forgotten how to play. Of the Top 50 players in Official World Golf Ranking, 15 are 40 years of age or more.
The winners last week on the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour each finished with over-par final-round scores. The last time that happened on both Tours was in 1999 when David Duval when THE PLAYERS Championship and his father, Bob, won the Emerald Coast Classic.
Jim Furyk has not won yet this season, but his record indicates a victory isn't far off. He has had eight Top-10 finishes in his first 11 starts, including one stretch of six in a row. He's finishing strong, too. His Final Round Scoring Average is 68.56.
How about this stat from ShotLink? David Frost has made 52.4% of his putts between 20 and 25 feet this season (11 of 21). The TOUR average from that distance is 13.5%.
Hale Irwin's victory last week extended his streak of years with a win to nine. That ties the Champions Tour record first set by Miller Barber, who won at least one event each year from 1981-89.
Mark McCumber's Tour-best streak of consecutive rounds of par or better ended at 15 last week when he posted a first-round 73 at the Kinko's Classic of Austin.
More on Irwin: He has finished under-par in each tournament this year. In fact, he has finished each of his last 22 starts under-par, dating back to last summer's U.S. Senior Open. He has not finished a tournament over-par since the 2001 Allianz Championship, where he ended the week 1-over -- a streak of 40 consecutive events at par or better.
Jack Nicklaus finished T7 last week at the Kinko's Classic of Austin for his best Champions Tour finish since a T4 at the 2001 U.S. Senior Open.
David Toms' victory last week at the Wachovia Championship was the 129th win on the PGA TOUR by a Nationwide Tour alum.
The Tournament Director at this week's Virginia Beach Open is former PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, Mark Carnevale. Carnevale is in his first year in the position after playing the PGA TOUR and Nationwide Tour's since 1983.
Five of the first six winners on the Nationwide Tour this year were by players who are still in their 20s. Joe Ogilvie (28), Ryan Palmer (26), Brett Wetterich (29), Ted Purdy (29) and Zach Johnson (27) all won before Tripp Isenhour (35) ended the streak.
The Tournament Players Club of Virginia Beach has been one of the more difficult courses on the Nationwide Tour over the past few seasons. It was the seventh most difficult course on Tour last year and was the fifth most difficult course in 2001 and 2000.