|FBR Open - January 26, 2009
Par: 35-36—71Yards: 7,216
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 500
Purse: $6,000,000Winner: $1,080,000
2008 Champion: J.B. Holmes (270, -14)
With Two Victories at the FBR Open,
Holmes Proved He Likes the Arizona Desert
J.B. Holmes has shown during his two FBR Open victories that he can win at TPC Scottsdale regardless of the scenario. During his first victory, in 2006, Holmes routed the field, defeating J.J. Henry, Steve Lowery, Ryan Palmer, Scott Verplank and Camilo Villegas by seven strokes. Last year, in picking up his second FBR Open title in three years, Holmes outlasted Phil Mickelson in a one-hole playoff.
Holmes, who became the latest player to win his first two PGA TOUR titles at the same event, goes for his third victory when he defends his title this week. Several past champions are in the field, including Mickelson, who is making his 2009 PGA TOUR debut this week (see accompanying story).
Holmes has played two events this season, tying for 29th at the Mercedes-Benz Championship and missing the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He is tied for 77th in the FedExCup standings.
FBR Open Notes
Five former Arizona State Sun Devils are playing in this week’s FBR Open in Scottsdale, AZ, not far from the Tempe campus. The Sun Devils competing this week are Billy Mayfair, Phil Mickelson, Pat Perez, Jeff Quinney and Chez Reavie.
Fifteen of the 24 participants in the 2007 Presidents Cup are playing in this week’s FBR Open. The U.S. team is represented by Woody Austin, Stewart Cink, Lucas Glover, Charles Howell III, Zach Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, David Toms and Scott Verplank. Players from the International team competing at TPC Scottsdale are Stuart Appleby, Angel Cabrera, Geoff Ogilvy, Rory Sabbatini and Mike Weir. From the winning 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team, 10 of the 12 players are competing (Chad Campbell, Cink, Ben Curtis, J.B. Holmes, Anthony Kim, Justin Leonard, Mahan, Mickelson, Kenny Perry and Stricker).
Pat Perez earned his first PGA TOUR title when he captured last week’s 50th Bob Hope Classic hosted by Arnold Palmer. Perez is playing in Arizona this week, not far from where he attended college at Arizona State. Yet, Perez has never had much success at the FBR Open. Until last year, Perez had never made the cut in six previous appearances. In 2008, he tied for 43rd and had two of the four sub-70 scores he’s had in the event (69-65 in the first and second rounds before finishing with a 75-71 weekend showing).
The 2008 playoff between J.B. Holmes and Phil Mickelson was the 13th in FBR Open history but only the first since 1996, when Mickelson defeated Justin Leonard.
Eleven past FBR champions, accounting for 15 wins, are in this week's field. The past champions are Tommy Armour III, Paul Azinger, Aaron Baddeley, Mark Calcavecchia, Chris DiMarco, J.B. Holmes, Jonathan Kaye, Tom Lehman, Rocco Mediate, Phil Mickelson and Jesper Parnevik.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
• Phil Mickelson will be making his 2009 PGA TOUR debut this week at the FBR Open and what a track record he has in that event. He has 9 Top-10 finishes, including five of his last six starts in the tournament. He’s also won twice—1996 and 2005—and has 36 rounds in the 60s at the TPC Scottsdale.
• Another player with a great FBR Open record is Mark Calcavecchia. He’s won the tournament three times and also has 9 Top-10 finishes. He’s been in the 60s in 49 of his 78 rounds and has seven rounds of 64 or less, including a 60 in 2001. In that season, he broke the TOUR’s long-standing 72 hole scoring mark, posting a 256. That record was broken by Tommy Armour III at the 2003 Valero Texas Open.
• When Mark Calcavecchia wins at the FBR Open, he goes low. In his three wins, he’s been 20-under, 21-under and 28-under.
• There have been three rounds of 60 shot at the TPC Scottsdale recorded by Grant Waite, Mark Calcavecchia and Phil Mickelson. The only other course in TOUR history to surrender three rounds of 60 is Brackenridge Park, the old home of the Valero Texas Open.
• Speaking of low scores, there were 36 rounds of 63 or better shot last week at the 50th Bob Hope Classic hosted by Arnold Palmer.
• The FBR Open has produced a number of multiple winners in its history. A total of 13 players have won the event more than once with Arnold Palmer, Gene Littler and Mark Calcavecchia leading the way with three wins each.
• David Duval’s 14-under effort last week was the most under-par he’s been in a tournament since he finished 25-under at the 2002 Las Vegas Invitational.
• Gary Player bettered his age in all three rounds of last week’s season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship. The 73-year old posted scores of 70-71-72. The last player to better his age in all three rounds of a Champions Tour event was Jerry Barber who shot scores of 74-75-69 at age 78 while playing in the 1994 Kroger Senior Classic.
• Jeff Sluman continued his hot streak from the 2008 season with three more sub-par rounds to start the 2009 campaign. He now has 28 consecutive rounds of par-or-better to his credit—the third best streak of all-time. Loren Roberts holds the record at 37 rounds and Larry Nelson is second at 32.
• Next Monday, Feb. 2, will be the 20th anniversary of the very first round played on the Nationwide Tour. The Tour began in 1990 with the Bakersfield Open in California. Mike Springer was the first winner on the Tour.
• The victories by Zach Johnson and Pat Perez are the 238th and 239th victories on the PGA TOUR by a former Nationwide Tour player.