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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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Stuart Appleby
Stuart Appleby (2006)
Golf Club of Houston - TC
Ginn Sur Mer Classic - October 27, 2008

Ginn Hammock Beach Resort

(Conservatory Course)
Palm Coast, FL
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,663
Purse: $4,600,000Winner: $828,000
2007 Champion: Daniel Chopra (273, -19)

The inaugural Ginn sur Mer Classic had a distinctly international feel a year ago when Sweden’s Daniel Chopra outlasted countryman Frederik Jacobson and Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama by a stroke to win at the Tesoro Club in Port St. Lucie, FL. The tournament moves to the Ginn Hammock Beach Conservatory Course in Palm Coast, FL, this year.
After winning nine times internationally in Europe and Asia, as well as two Nationwide Tour titles in 2004, the win a year ago was Chopra’s first PGA TOUR title. He added a second victory a few months later when he captured the Mercedes-Benz Championship, the 2008 season-opening event. This year, Chopra finished 102nd in the FedExCup and is currently 49th on the money list, with $1,630,690 in earnings.

After this event in Palm Coast, FL, the Children’s Miracle Network Classic presented by Walmart closes the TOUR season next week.

Ginn sur Mer Classic Notes

The Monday finish at the 2007 Ginn sur Mer Classic was the fourth such finish on TOUR in 2007, joining The Honda Classic, Verizon Heritage and the Deutsche Bank Championship, which traditionally has a scheduled Labor Day finish).

Ken Duke had an excellent week in front of family and friends at the 2007 Ginn sur Mer Classic. Duke lived within four miles of the Tesoro Club in Port St. Lucie, FL, and wound up tied for fifth, his fifth top-10 of the year. Duke, the 2006 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year, went on to finish No. 37 on the official money list. He is in the field this week as the tournament moves north to Palm Coast. This season, Duke is 39th on the money list.

Daniel Chopra’s win at the 2007 Ginn sur Mer Classic was worth $810,000 and moved him from No. 104 to No. 46 on the season money list. He eventually finished No. 48 on the final money chart. Chopra’s season total increased to $1,744,438, topping his previous best from 2006 when he finished No. 54 on the money list. The win was key because it earned him a playing spot in the winners-only Mercedes-Benz Championship to open this season, a tournament Chopra won.

Eric Axley had the tournament’s first hole-in-one and the final ace of the 2007 season when he put a “1” on his scorecard at the 17th hole in the first round. It was Axley’s first PGA TOUR ace and his first since he made a hole-in-one at the 2006 Henrico County Open on the Nationwide Tour.

A year ago, Chris Tidland was one of 42 players on TOUR to record two eagles in the same round. Of those 42, though, only five players—including Tidland—had back-to-back eagles. Tidland eagled the first and second holes in the first round.




    • How about this comeback last week? Kevin Stadler began the Open with a first-round 81 before returning in the second round to go 20 strokes better with a course-record equaling 61. The 20-stroke turnaround was the biggest on TOUR since Jonathan Kaye went 83-62 at the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Stadler’s two-day total of 142 still missed the cut, though.
    • Bob Tway will turn 50 next May 4 and if he holds onto his lead in the Putting category he’ll become the oldest player to ever lead that statistic. He’s averaging 1.716 putts per green in regulation with Ryan Palmer second at 1.723. Don Pooley led the TOUR in Putting in 1997 at age 46 to set the current mark. Tway, by the way, also leads the TOUR in Actual Scoring Average.
    • The field at this week’s Ginn sur Mer Classic features 14 players who have won in 2008, including the last three tournament winners—Zach Johnson, Marc Turnesa and Cameron Beckman.
    • Patrick Sheehan is currently the man on the hot seat in 125th position on the money list. Sheehan is $6,654 ahead of #126, Jeff Overton, with just two weeks remaining in the season.
    • Kevin Sutherland just missed getting his second career win last week at the Open. His first TOUR victory came in 2002 at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. It was his 184th career start. His start last week in Scottsdale was the 182nd since that victory. Perhaps that second career win is right around the corner.


    • The Charles Schwab Cup race couldn’t be much closer. Entering this week’s final event, Jay Haas has a slim 12 point lead over Fred Funk with Bernhard Langer only 96 points behind.
    • Here’s an odd one. Rookie John Cook successfully defended his AT&T Championship title last week. How is that possible? He won the 2007 event in one of his two starts on the Champions Tour last year after turning 50 in October. A player is a rookie on the Champions Tour until the season in which he plays a minimum of six events as a member.
    • Jim Thorpe won the last two Charles Schwab Cup Championships, but he won’t be able to take a shot at three in a row after he failed the make the 30-player field. Thorpe finished 35th on the money list this year.
    • Blaine McCallister was the latest player to make his Champions Tour debut when he finished T64 last week at the AT&T Championship.


    • The field is set for next week’s season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch. Three players moved into the Top 60 following last week’s Miccosukee Championship—Gavin Coles, Chris Nallen and Chad Ginn-- to earn spots in the field.
    • More on the Top 60: Joe Daley earned the 60th and final spot in the field for the Nationwide Tour Championship at Craig Ranch by $109 over Henrik Bjornstad.
    • The victory by Cameron Beckman last week at the Open was the 236th win on the PGA TOUR by a former Nationwide Tour player.
    • With two weeks to go on the PGA TOUR, 78 former Nationwide Tour players are among the Top 125. Of the next 10 players on the money list, eight are also former Nationwide Tour members.

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