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Fred Funk
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TPC at The Woodlands
Children's Miracle Network Classic - November 09, 2009

Walt Disney World Resort

Kissimmee, FL
Par: 36-3672Yards: 7,516
Purse: $4,700,000Winner: $828,000
2008 Champion: Davis Love III (263, -25)

Love Defends at Children’s Miracle Network Classic, Final PGA TOUR Event of 2009

The Children’s Miracle Network Classic, the fifth of five Fall Series events, winds up the 2009 PGA TOUR season this week at the Walt Disney World Resort. There is still much to play for, as players are battling for money-list position. The top-125 finishers on the 2009 money list will be fully-exempt on the 2010 PGA TOUR. The Kodak Challenge also concludes this week, with Kevin Streelman still in the lead and in position to win the $1-million first prize (see related story below).

A year ago, Davis Love III won a PGA TOUR event for the first time since 2006 when he came from behind on the final day to defeat Tommy Gainey by a stroke. Once again, the Magnolia and Palm Courses are the tournament’s two sites.

This season, Love finished 51st in the FedExCup and is currently 51st on the money list. He’s earned $1,622,401, with his top performance a tie for second at the season-opening event at Kapalua.

Children's Miracle Network Classic Notes

Davis Love III returns to defend his one-stroke victory over Tommy Gainey at last year’s event. Love’s win was the 20th of his PGA TOUR career, giving him Lifetime Member status. Other past champions who are playing this week are Joe Durant (2006), Ryan Palmer (2004) and Jeff Maggert (1993).

Haymes Snedeker, a municipal judge in Alabama who played collegiately at the University of Mississippi, received a sponsor’s exemption to play this week by winning GOLF CHANNEL’s “Big Break X: Michigan” in 2008. Concurrently, his partner, former University of Mississippi golfer Bernadette Luse, earned the opportunity to compete at an LPGA event. Brandt Snedeker, Haymes’ younger brother and a PGA TOUR member, is also playing this week. The younger Snedeker’s best 2009 finish was a tie for second at the John Deere Classic.

Five players with TOUR wins this season are in the field. They are Michael Bradley (Puerto Rico Open), Brian Gay (Verizon Heritage and St. Jude’s Classic), Bo Van Pelt (U.S. Bank Championship), John Rollins (Legends Reno-Tahoe Open) and Heath Slocum (The Barclays).

Brian Gay, Steve Marino, David Toms and Heath Slocum are the four golfers in the Children’s Miracle Network Classic field who played in THE TOUR Championship and finished in the top 25 of the final FedExCup standings.

Michael Allen, who turned 50 at the beginning of the year, won the 2009 Senior PGA Championship after receiving a sponsor’s invitation to compete and is now fully exempt on the Champions Tour and the PGA TOUR. Allen will be making his 10th appearance at Disney. His first and only top-10 at this event came in 2008, when he finished ninth.

Tom Pernice, Jr. is another 50-year-old playing this week. He is making his 14 start at the tournament. He had a close call in 2005, when he was runner-up to Lucas Glover. Pernice is coming off a win in his Champions Tour debut, at the SAS Championship, where he defeated David Frost and Nick Price by a stroke. Pernice has not won on the PGA TOUR since 2001.

The final Kodak Challenge hole of 2009 is the 17th at the Magnolia Course. Kevin Streelman holds a two-stroke lead. A year ago, Streelman made par on No. 17 all three times he played it. A year ago, the par-4 17th featured a 4.082 stroke average and surrendered only 34 birdies. 

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