|THE PLAYERS - May 05, 2008
THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
TPC Sawgrass THE PLAYERS
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,215
FedExCup Points: 27,500Winner: 4,950
Purse: $9,000,000*Winner: $1,620,000*
2007 Champion: Phil Mickelson (277, (-11)
THE PLAYERS Championship Notes
Defending champion Phil Mickelson holds or shares several PLAYERS Championship scoring records at TPC Sawgrass THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. Mickelson is one of nine players to shoot a 6-under 30 on the back nine. He did that in 1996. His 64 in the first round in 2002 is tied with six other players for best opening-round score, while his third-round 64 (1996) is tied for the best third-round score.
In the 34-year history of THE PLAYERS, eight of the victories have been by international players, led by the two titles Australia’s Steve Elkington has won. The others are Greg Norman and Adam Scott (Australia), Craig Perks (New Zealand), Nick Price (Zimbabwe), Sandy Lyle (Scotland) and Stephen Ames (originally from Trinidad and Tobago and now a citizen of Canada).
Richard Johnson, the 2007 Nationwide Tour leading money winner, will be playing in his first PLAYERS Championship. Last year, Ken Duke was the first Nationwide Tour money winner from the previous year to qualify for the field. Duke went on to tie for 37th.
Phil Mickelson’s 2007 PLAYERS victory was just his second PGA TOUR title in Florida. The other came at the 1997 Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. Mickelson has won in 10 different states, including 11 events in California.
In the history of the event, no PLAYERS champion has managed to successfully defend his title. Five players have won this event multiple times but none in consecutive years. Jack Nicklaus is the only three-time winner (1974, 1976 and 1978). Two-time winners include Steve Elkington (1991 and 1997), Hal Sutton (1983 and 2000), Fred Couples (1984 and 1996) and Davis Love III (1992, 2003).
E NOTES FROM THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
- The field at this week’s PLAYERS features 101 competitors who have won on the PGA TOUR. All told, the field has won 414 PGA TOUR titles.
- The field also includes 25 players who have won major championships.
- With the exception of the injured Tiger Woods, every player who has won since the start of the 2007 season is on hand. That’s 47 of the 48 players who have won during that time span.
- Fourteen players will make their PLAYERS debut this week—Ryan Armour, Soren Hansen, Richard Johnson, Matt Jones, George McNeill, John Merrick, Jeff Overton, Andres Romero, Kevin Stadler, Richard Sterne, Nicholas Thompson, Johnson Wagner, Charlie Wi and Tim Wilkinson.
- Since THE PLAYERS began in 1974, 29 countries have been represented in the field.
- When Tim Wilkinson tees it up this week he will become the 13th lefthander to compete in THE PLAYERS joining Sam Adams, Eric Axley, Greg Chalmers, Russ Cochran, Steve Flesch, Ernie Gonzalez, Richard Green, Phil Mickelson, Nick O’Hern, Bubba Watson, Mike Weir and Kevin Wentworth.
- No player has successfully defended his title at THE PLAYERS. In fact, no defending champ has finished better than T5—Jack Nicklaus (1977), Tom Kite (1990) and Hal Sutton (2001). Only six of the previous 34 winners of this event have finished in the Top-10 in the year following their victory.
- There have only been two playoffs in the 34-year history of the event. The last one was in 1987 when Sandy Lyle defeated Jeff Sluman. No event on TOUR has gone longer without a playoff.
- The first two aces in PLAYERS history on the 17th hole were recorded by Brad Fabel in 1986 and Brian Claar in 1991. They have something else in common, too—they are both Rules Officials now. Fabel works on the PGA TOUR while Claar works on the Nationwide Tour.
- This week will mark the 23rd start in the event for both Bernhard Langer and Davis Love III. The record is 28 by Ben Crenshaw, Jay Haas and Tom Kite.
- Only one European Tour player has ever claimed THE PLAYERS—Sandy Lyle in 1987. Europe will have strong representation in the field with the following players entered—Paul Casey, Alex Cejka, Daniel Chopra, Brian Davis, Luke Donald, Nicklas Fasth, Sergio Garcia, Mathias Gronberg, Soren Hansen, Padraig Harrington, Fredrik Jacobson, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Richard Johnson, Bernhard Langer, Jose Maria Olazabal, Jesper Parnevik, Carl Pettersson, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood.
- Six father-son duos have competed in THE PLAYERS—Butch and Briny Baird, Julius and Guy Boros, Al and Brent Geiberger, Jay and Bill Haas, Jack and Gary Nicklaus and Dave and Dave Stockton Jr. When Kevin Stadler tees it up this week, he and his father, Craig, will become the seventh father-son duo to play in the tournament.
- The youngest player in the field this week is 22-year old Anthony Kim, the winner last week at the Wachovia Championship. The oldest player is Fred Funk, the 2005 PLAYERS champion, who will turn 52 on June 14.