|TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola - September 22, 2009
THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA
The Fourth of Four Playoff Events
East Lake Golf Club
Par: 35-35—70 Yards: 7,304
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 2,500
Purse: $7,500,000Winner: $1,350,000
2008 Champion: Camilo Villegas (273, -7)
FedExCup Champ Will Be Decided this Week
The PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup end this week at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Tiger Woods enters the final Playoff event as the No. 1 seed. Each of the first five seeds going into THE TOUR Championship besides Woods (Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Heath Slocum) will control whether or not he will win the FedExCup. If any of those five seeds wins at East Lake Golf Club, he will win the FedExCup title. Meanwhile, seeds 6 through 10 still have an excellent chance of capturing the FedExCup with a victory in Atlanta and various lower finishes.
THE TOUR Championship Presented by
Coca-Cola Set to Crown New Champion
THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola will have a new champion in 2009 as 2008 winner Camilo Villegas didn’t qualify for the event he won in a playoff over Sergio Garcia. Thirty players arrive at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club this week, all with a chance to win the FedExCup and the $10-million first prize. Tiger Woods, the world’s No. 1-ranked player, is a two-time winner of this event, in both 1999 and 2007. Woods didn’t play a year ago while recovering from knee surgery.
THE TOUR Championship
Presented by Coca-Cola Notes
In the first three Playoff events, seven players moved from outside to inside the top 30 to qualify for THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. They are (with their position jumps in parentheses): Heath Slocum (119), Marc Leishman (62), Padraig Harrington (60), Scott Verplank (53), Jason Dufner (32), Ernie Els (25) and John Senden (1).
This week’s field boasts 14 major championship winners, the winners of 35 overall titles. Included in that group are the four major champions from this year: Angel Cabrera (Masters), Lucas Glover (U.S. Open), Stewart Cink (British Open) and Y.E. Yang (PGA Championship).
There are 10 players making their TOUR Championship debut in 2009. They are Angel Cabrera, Jason Dufner, Brian Gay, Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, Steve Marino, Kevin Na, John Senden, Nick Watney and Y.E. Yang. Also, there are four past TOUR Championship winners playing this week. Tiger Woods won in 1999 and 2007, Phil Mickelson won in 2000, Mike Weir in 2001 and Retief Goosen in 2004.
In addition to hosting the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 TOUR Championships, East Lake Golf Club hosted the 1963 Ryder Cup matches and the 101st U.S. Amateur in 2001.
The other venues to host this event, which made its debut in 1987, are Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, TX (1987), Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, CA (1988), Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, SC (1989), Champions Golf Club in Houston, TX (1990, 2001 and 2003), Pinehurst Resort’s No. 2 Course in Pinehurst, NC (1991 and 1992), The Olympic Club’s Lake Course in San Francisco, CA (1993 and 1994) and Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, OK (1995 and 1996).
The last two playoffs at this event have both been won by players who will play next month for the International Team at The Presidents Cup. In 2001, Mike Weir outlasted Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and David Toms at Champions Golf Club in Houston. A year ago, Camilo Villegas won a one-hole playoff, with Garcia again coming up short.
An international player didn’t win this event in the first 14 editions. Canadian Mike Weir’s finally broke through, winning the 2001 title. Since then, Vijay Singh (Fiji), Retief Goosen (South Africa), Adam Scott (Australia) and Camilo Villegas (Colombia) have won.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
• Seven players began the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup outside the Top 30 and advanced to Atlanta—Heath Slocum (began #124), Marc Leishman (#78), Padraig Harrington (#66), Scott Verplank (#61), Ernie Els (#47), Jason Dufner (#42) and John Senden (#31).
• Marc Leishman is the third rookie to advance to THE TOUR Championship since it became the final leg in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Leishman joins Brandt Snedeker (2007) and Andres Romero (2008) as the only rookies to make it to Atlanta as part of the PGA TOUR Playoffs.
• Six players have reached THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola all three years of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup—Stewart Cink, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker.
• Phil Mickelson is the only player in the field to have finished in the Top-10 in the Final FedExCup standings in each of the previous two years. Mickelson enters this year’s finale in 14th place.
THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP E NOTES
• There are 10 players competing in THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola for the first time—Angel Cabrera, Jason Dufner, Brian Gay, Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, Steve Marino, Kevin Na, John Senden, Nick Watney and Y.E. Yang.
• The field of 30 assembled in Atlanta features 26 players who have won on the PGA TOUR. The 26 have combined for 237 TOUR titles, including 35 major championships.
• There are four former THE TOUR Championship winners in the field—Tiger Woods (1999 and 2007), Phil Mickelson (2000), Mike Weir (2001) and Retief Goosen (2004).
• Players in the field at this week’s THE TOUR Championship hail from eight countries—the U.S., Ireland, Canada, South Africa, South Korea, Australia, Argentina and England.
• Only one player, Chad Campbell (2003), has captured his first PGA TOUR title at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Four players in this year’s field have not yet won on TOUR—Jason Dufner, Marc Leishman, Steve Marino and Kevin Na.
• Leonard Thompson will make his 1,000th combined PGA TOUR/Champions Tour start this week at the SAS Championship. He’ll be the 10th player to reach the 1000 mark.
• Tom Pernice Jr. will make his Champions Tour debut this week at the SAS Championship. Pernice has played in 22 PGA TOUR events this season making the cut in 11 with a T9 at the Bob Hope Classic his best.
• Six players have played in all 20 events this year—Tom Kite, Lonnie Nielsen, Tom Purtzer, Jeff Sluman, Denis Watson and Mark Wiebe.
• The Nationwide Tour will be well represented this week at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Sixteen of the 30 players in the field are former Nationwide Tour players, including four of the Top 5.
• It’s been a good year so far for the Aussies on the Nationwide Tour. Five of The 25 hail from Australia—Michael Sim (who’s already graduated to the PGA TOUR), Cameron Percy, Alistair Presnell, Andrew Buckle and Gavin Coles.
• PGA TOUR regulars Billy Mayfair and Joe Durant will compete this week at the WNB Golf Classic in Midland, TX. It will be the first Nationwide Tour event of Mayfair’s career and the first for Durant since 1996.