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SHO and Tell: The Latest on The Shell Houston Open
SHO and Tell: The Latest on The Shell Houston Open
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Bobby Nichols
Bobby Nichols (1965)
Sharpstown CC
The Masters Tournament - April 07, 2008

Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta, GA
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,445
FedExCup Points: 27,500Winner: 4,950
Purse: $7,000,000*Winner: $1,260,000*
2007 Champion: Zach Johnson (289, +1)

Masters Tournament Notes

Last year, Zach Johnson won the Masters Tournament without being in the final group on Sunday. The last time that happened was in 1990 when tournament winner Nick Faldo was in the next-to-last group on Sunday. The final pairing a year ago featured 54-hole leader Stuart Appleby and Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods’ tie for second at the 2007 Masters Tournament was one of his two runner-up finishes at majors last year. Woods also tied for second at the U.S. Open. Woods has four runner-up finishes at major championships. Besides his close calls last year, he was second at the 2005 U.S. Open and the 2002 PGA Championship.

All three of Zach Johnson’s PGA TOUR wins have come in Georgia—the 2007 Masters Tournament along with the 2004 and 2007 AT&T Classics near Atlanta. Johnson also flirted with a 59 (shooting a 60) at the 2007 TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta and tied for second. Overall, Johnson made 73.8 percent ($2,896,500) of his official 2007 earnings ($3,922,338) in the Peach State.

A year ago, Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, tied Gary Player’s Masters record of 23 consecutive cuts made en route to a tie for 30th. The 1992 champion is 23 for 23 heading into this week’s event. Couples’ streak began in 1983. He did not play in the Masters in 1987 or 1994. Player made 23 consecutive cuts from 1959-82. Last week at the Shell Houston Open, Couples tied for fourth, his second top-10 of the season.

Zach Johnson’s third-round 76 in 2007 tied for the third-highest single round by a Masters winner. The last player to shoot a 76 in a round and go on to win was Jack Nicklaus in 1966 (second round).

Johnson Wagner Earns Masters Invite, Other Benefits

When he won the Shell Houston Open for his first PGA TOUR victory, Johnson Wagner accomplished a lot of things. The most immediate occurs this week when Wagner plays in the Masters Tournament for the first time. His Shell Houston Open win automatically earned him a trip to Augusta National Golf Club this week. The victory was also worth a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR, through 2010, and Wagner is invited to play in the winners-only Mercedes-Benz Championship, the season-opening event on the 2009 TOUR.
“Nothing really has sunk in yet. There are so many benefits to winning out here, and the Masters is great. Just the feeling of accomplishment. This is something I’ve wanted to do my entire life,” said Wagner.

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