|Stanford St. Jude Championship - June 02, 2008
STANFORD ST. JUDE CHAMPIONSHIP
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 7,239
FedExCup Points: 25,000Winner: 4,500
Purse: $6,000,000Winner: $1,080,000
2007 Champion: Woody Austin (267, -13)
Stanford St. Jude Championship Notes
Two players currently ranked in the top 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking—Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington—both played in Memphis a year ago. It was the first time in their careers that they had played in the Stanford St. Jude Championship. Garcia, ranked 11th in the Ranking, tied for 55th a year ago. Harrington, No. 14, missed the cut.
At the 2007 Stanford St. Jude Championship, two-time winner David Toms (2003-04) posted his sixth consecutive top-10 at the event. Toms finished third, six strokes behind champion Woody Austin. After a slow start to his 2008 season, Toms has rebounded with two top-25s in his last three starts.
Memphis-area resident Shaun Micheel, making his 14th career start at this tournament a year ago, posted his best career finish (tied for 12th). Micheel’s previous best in Memphis was a tie for 19th in 2002. He is in the final year of a five-year exemption for winning the 2003 PGA Championship and needs a strong finish to the season (he is currently 159th on the PGA TOUR money list) to remain fully exempt for 2009. Micheel is 162nd in the FedExCup standings.
Nashville native and former Vanderbilt All-American Brandt Snedeker shot rounds of 69-68 on the weekend to secure a tie for fifth at this event in 2007. Snedeker later won the Wyndham Championship, played in all four events in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup and was named PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year.
Woody Austin had found little success in Memphis prior to 2007. In nine starts at the Stanford St. Jude Championship, Austin had made just four cuts with his best finish a tie for 44th in 2005.
At 43 years, 4 months, 13 days, Woody Austin became the second-oldest winner of the Stanford St. Jude Championship when he won the 2007 event. Gene Littler (44 years, 10 months, 4 days) is the oldest champion in tournament history. He won in Memphis in 1975.
Woody Austin’s five-stroke win a year ago tied the fourth-largest margin of victory in tournament history. John Cook won by seven shots in 1996, with Raymond Floyd (1982) and David Toms (2004) winning by six strokes. Cary Middlecoff (1961), Bert Yancey (1966) and Gene Littler (1975) also won by five strokes.
E-NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
- Look out for David Toms this week at the Stanford St. Jude Championship. Toms is a two-time winner of the tournament and has finished in the Top-10 in his last six starts in Memphis. He’s 72-under par and has 19 rounds in the 60s in his last 24 rounds at the course. Strangely enough, he did not have a Top-10 in his first 10 career starts in Memphis.
- This will be the 20th consecutive year the TPC Southwind has hosted the Stanford St. Jude Championship. Despite having only two par-5s, the course yielded 23 eagles last year. On the other hand, 53 triple bogeys or worse were recorded last year, the most of any course on TOUR with the exception of Oakmont, site of the U.S. Open.
- Last week’s winner, Kenny Perry, began the year by missing the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He hasn’t missed one since. Perry has made the cut in his last 14 starts this season and has climbed to fourth in the FedExCup standings.
- If you take the back nine of his first round and the front nine of his second round, Mathew Goggin needed only 20 putts last week at the Memorial Tournament. He holed out from off the green three times in that 18 hole stretch and one-putted 10 times. Goggin finished the week in a career-best equaling T2.
- In the previous 50 years of the Stanford St. Jude Championship, only three international players have won—Gary Player (1974), Nick Price (1993 and 1998) and Greg Norman (1997). That could change this week as 35 international players are entered at the event, including Masters champion Trevor Immelman and PLAYERS champion Sergio Garcia.
- Jerry Kelly has had a yo-yo start to his season. He’s missed the cut in half of his 16 starts, but he’s finished T2 twice and third once. He’s 29th in the FedExCup standings after moving up 19 places following his T2 last week at the Memorial Tournament.
- This week’s Rex Hospital Open will mark the Tour’s 15th annual stop in Raleigh, NC. Among those entered this week is Skip Kendall. He won the very first Nationwide Tour event in Raleigh back in 1994.
- While winning is always the goal of any Tour player, finishing second at the Rex Hospital Open has been for many a sign of future success. Among those who have been the runner-up in Raleigh are future PGA TOUR winners Ryuji Imada, Steve Flesch, Vaughn Taylor, Craig Perks, Troy Matteson and Dennis Paulson.
- Kyle Reifers had three eagles in the first round of last week’s Bank of America Open. He’s just the 14th player in Tour history to record three in one round.
- Promising youngsters Casey Wittenberg and Spencer Levin both had excellent tournaments last week in Chicago. Wittenberg matched his career-best with a T3 while Levin posted his first career Top-10, a T5.
- Three Nationwide Tour players earned medalist honors in U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying on Monday. Hunter Haas, David Hearn and Peter Tomasulo all topped the fields in their qualifiers and will compete next week in U.S. Open in San Diego.
- If the golf course has the word “Oak” in it, bet on Jay Haas. The veteran won his seventh career title last week on a course that had “Oak” in its name. Haas has won the last two Principal Charity Classics at Glen Oaks, has two career wins at the Valero Texas Open at Oak Hills, a victory at the Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill, another Senior PGA Championship at Oak Tree and a SBC Championship at Oak Hills.
- The Champions Tour will take the next two weeks off before returning the week of June 16-22 just outside of Boston at the Bank of America Championship.
- Three different players—Scott Hoch, Tom Watson and Jay Haas—have recorded back-to-back victories this year. That’s the most since four players accomplished the feat back in 1997.
- Nick Price is still looking for that elusive first win on the Champions Tour, but he’s still among the hottest players on Tour. Price has finished in the Top-10 in six of his last seven starts and has seven in nine outings this season.
- Mark O’Meara qualified on Monday for next week’s U.S. Open. O’Meara shot rounds of 70-70—140 yesterday in Lake Forest, IL, to advance to his 23rd U.S. Open Championship.