|Verizon Heritage - April 13, 2009
Harbour Town Golf Links
Hilton Head Island, SC
Par: 36-35—71Yards: 6,973
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 500
Purse: $5,700,000Winner: $1,026,000
2008 Champion: Boo Weekley (269, -15)
TOUR Media Contact: John Bush/Mark Stevens
Three Wins in a Row is Weekley's Goal
at Verizon Heritage
In the last two seasons, Boo Weekley has made himself at home at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, SC. In 2007, Weekley battled Ernie Els down the stretch to win the Verizon Heritage by a stroke. It was Weekley’s first PGA TOUR title. The following year, Weekley became the first player since Davis Love III (1991-92) to successfully defend his Verizon Heritage title when he defeated Aaron Baddeley and Anthony Kim by three strokes.
This week, Weekley will try to add a third tartan jacket to his closet when he defends those titles. The tournament has presented the unique jacket to each winner of this event since 1969. Besides the clothing, the winner will also earn 500 FedExCup points and $1,026,000.
Weekley missed the cut at the Masters Tournament, the first time he has not played on the weekend in 2009. He is 81st in the FedExCup standings and enjoyed his best finish—a tie for ninth—at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Verizon Heritage Notes
Jim Furyk will be making his 11th career start at the Verizon Heritage, with eight made cuts, four top-10 finishes and more than $1.3 million in career earnings. He has posted five top-15 finishes in his last six starts at the tournament, including a tie for 15th in 2002, a tie for 10th in 2003, a tie for second in 2005, a solo second-place showing in 2006, a missed cut in 2007 and a fourth-place finish in 2008.
This is the 41st Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links, which is widely regarded as one of the most popular stops on TOUR. Harbour Town Golf Links, one of Pete Dye’s signature designs, is annually ranked among the country’s top courses and has produced a winner’s roster which includes inaugural winner Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Hale Irwin, Fuzzy Zoeller, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Davis Love III, Greg Norman and Nick Price.
After missing the cut in his inaugural appearance in 2001, 2006 champion Aaron Baddeley has reeled off three straight top-10 finishes at the Heritage (won in 2006, tied for 10th in 2007 and tied for second in 2008). The runner-up finish in 2008 was the fourth of his career and first since he tied for second at the 2007 BMW Championship.
Boo Weekley’s win in 2007 made him the 10th first-time winner in Verizon Heritage history. The list includes Hale Irwin (1971), Graham Marsh (1977), Doug Tewell (1980), Nick Faldo (1984), Davis Love III (1987), Glen Day (1999), Jose Coceres (2001), Peter Lonard (2005), Aaron Baddeley (2006) and Weekley (2007).
Defending champion Boo Weekley will be looking to keep a 15-year streak intact. No defending champion has missed the cut at the Verizon Heritage since Davis Love III in 1993.
The Verizon Heritage has been won by a player 40 and older five times, including Arnold Palmer (40 years, 2 months, 20 days) at the inaugural 1969 tournament, Bob Goalby (1970; 41 years, 8 months, 15 days), Hale Irwin (1994; 48 years, 10 months, 14 days), Loren Roberts (1996; 40 years, 9 months, 27 days) and Nick Price (1997; 40 years, 10 months, 22 days). The youngest winner in Verizon Heritage history is Davis Love III. He was 23 years, 6 days when he won the first of his five titles, in 1987.
Seven players (nine times) have won the Verizon Heritage with four rounds in the 60s, including Nick Faldo (1984), Payne Stewart 1989), Hale Irwin (1994), Loren Roberts (1996), Nick Price (1997), Davis Love III (1992, 1998, 2003) and Boo Weekley (2007).
A player has posted four rounds in the 60s 23 times in the history of the Verizon Heritage, with Aaron Baddeley (69-67-67-69) and Jim Furyk (68-68-68-69), both in 2008, the most recent to do so. Nick Price holds the tournament record with nine consecutive sub-70 rounds.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
• Boo Weekley will be looking for his third consecutive win at the Verizon Heritage this week. If he claims it, he’ll be the first player other than Tiger Woods to win an event three times in a row since Tom Watson won the HP Byron Nelson Championship from 1978 through 1980.
• This has been a good year for rookies. Through the first 16 events of the season, seven rookies are among the Top 125 on the FedExCup points list and would qualify for the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Jeff Klauk (#36) leads the way followed by Scott Piercy (#44) and Webb Simpson (#49). The others are James Nitties, Bill Lunde, Aron Price and David Mathis.
• The last three Masters champions all earned their second PGA TOUR title in that event—Zach Johnson (2007), Trevor Immelman (2008) and Angel Cabrera (2009).
• Todd Hamilton’s T15 last week at the Masters was his best finish on TOUR since a T10 at the 2006 John Deere Classic.
• Through the first 16 events of the year, players from six different countries have won on TOUR—the U.S., Australia, South Korea, South Africa, England and Argentina.
• Close finishes on the TOUR have been the norm since arriving on the East Coast. The last seven events have either been won by one stroke or in a playoff.
• Only three players have finished in the Top 10 in the last two Masters. You probably could guess Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, but would you also know Steve Flesch? Flesch has finished T5 and T6 in the last two seasons.
• With Angel Cabrera back home in Argentina this week, Bernhard Langer in 1985 will remain the last player to win the Masters and then win the following week. In fact, besides Langer, only Gary Player (1978) and Jimmy Demaret (1950) performed the feat.
• You have to qualify this one a little, but Angel Cabrera is the first player to earn his first two PGA TOUR titles in major championships since Peter Thomson won the British Open in 1954 and 1955. The British Open was not considered an official PGA TOUR event at the time, but was retroactively declared official many years later.
• Tom Watson never won a PGA TOUR or Champions Tour title in the state of Florida in his first 93 tries, but he’s found his stride and this week in Tampa he’ll be going for this third consecutive Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am title.
• This week won’t be Tom Watson’s only chance to defend a title this year, he’ll be doing it again next week at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf where he and his partner, Andy North, will look to repeat. Watson and North have won the team competition four consecutive years and have gone 162 holes without a bogey.
• If you are looking for close competitions, the Champions Tour is your place. The first six events this season have either ended in playoffs or in one-stroke victories.
• This week’s Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am will feature a number of celebrity participants in the Pro-Am. Michael J. Fox, George Lopez, Jerry Rice, Joe Theismann, Emmitt Smith and Nancy Lopez are among those expected to compete.
• In the recent Stonebrae Classic, Matt Every had an unbelievable start to his second round. He began birdie-par-birdie-birdie-birdie-ace-eagle-par-par-birdie. That’s 8-under through seven holes and 9-under through 10. He finished with a 63 and ultimately finished in a T4.
• It’s early in the year, but this is noteworthy, nonetheless—Michael Sim is third on Tour in Driving Distance AND Driving Accuracy.
• This week’s Athens Regional Foundation Classic will feature 28 former winners on the PGA TOUR. One of them, Andrew Magee, will be playing on the Nationwide Tour for the first time.
• Sic former Nationwide Tour players finished among the Top 10 at last week’s Masters—Chad Campbell, Steve Flesch, John Merrick, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Sean O’Hair.