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SHO and Tell: The Latest on The Shell Houston Open
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Matt Jones
Matt Jones (2014)
Golf Club of Houston -TC
British Open - July 12, 2010
St. Andrews Golf Club (Old Course)
St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Par: 36-3672  Yards: 7,279
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 600
Purse: $7.300,000*  Winner: $1,290,000*
2009 Champion: Stewart Cink (278, -2)

St. Andrews Welcomes Defending Champion Cink for British Open

The British Open returns to the home of golf this week as golf’s oldest tournament makes its way to St. Andrews Golf Club’s Old Course. An international field is in Scotland as Stewart Cink looks to successfully defend his title. A year ago, Cink defeated Tom Watson in a four-hole playoff to win the 138th British Open, giving Cink his first major championship title. Cink holed a 15-foot putt on the 72nd hole for birdie and waited for Watson, playing three groups behind, to finish. Watson chipped to 10 feet from over the green and missed the putt for par, forcing a playoff, which Cink won by six strokes. A pair of Englishmen, Lee Westwood and Chris Wood, tied for third at 1-under 279.

This season, Cink is 59th in the FedExCup, with top-10 finishes coming at the SBS Championship (ninth), the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship (tied for fifth) and the Memorial Tournament (tied for eighth).

British Open Notes

Stewart Cink is seeking to become the seventh player to post consecutive British Open victories since 1951. There have been 17 back-to-back winners overall. The last seven are Padraig Harrington (2007-08), Tiger Woods (2005-06), Tom Watson (1982-83), Lee Trevino (1971-72), Arnold Palmer (1961-62) and Peter Thomson (1954-56).

With his 2009 win, Stewart Cink became the ninth different American (totaling 11 wins) to win the Open since 1995.

The Old Course at St. Andrews Golf Club is hosting its 28th British Open, making it the most-popular tournament site among the 12 courses that have hosted the event at least twice. The other courses on the list are Prestwick (24), Muirfield (15), Sandwich (13), Hoylake (11), Royal Lytham (10), Royal Birkdale (nine), Royal Troon (eight), Musselburgh (six), Carnoustie (seven), Turnberry (four) and Deal (two).

There are 16 past champions in this week’s field. They are Mark Calcavecchia, Stewart Cink, Ben Curtis, John Daly, David Duval, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Todd Hamilton, Padraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie, Tom Lehman, Justin Leonard, Sandy Lyle, Mark O’Meara, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods.

Tom Watson has played in 32 previous British Opens, winning five times. Of those five wins, however, none came at St. Andrews. Watson’s six previous appearances at the course resulted in the following: He tied for 14th in 1978, tied for second in 1984, missed the cut in 1990, tied for 31st in 1995, tied for 55th in 2000 and tied for 41st in 2005. His runner-up finish in 2009 came 34 years after his victory at the 1975 Open in his inaugural start. Prior to his close call a year ago, Watson’s last PGA TOUR top 10 was in 2002.

Of his 12 British Open starts, Tiger Woods has three wins—in 2000, 2005 and 2006. Besides those victories, he has four other top 10s. Woods was third in 1998, tied for seventh in 1999, tied for fourth in 2003 and tied for ninth in 2004.

With three British Open titles, Tiger Woods is among a group of nine players who have picked up three British Open victories. Others with three wins are James Anderson, Bob Ferguson, Bobby Jones, Henry Cotton, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo. Harry Vardon leads the overall list, with six wins, followed by James Braid, J.H. Taylor, Peter Thomson and Tom Watson, with five each. Tom Morris, Sr., Tom Morris, Jr., William Park, Sr., Walter Hagen and former Shell Houston Open winner Bobby Locke all won the British Open four times.
Montreux Golf & Country Club
Reno, NV
Par: 36-3672  Yards: 7,472
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 250
Purse: $3,000,000  Winner: $540,000
2009 Champion: John Rollins (271, -17)
Rollins Goes for Back-to-Back Titles
at Reno-Tahoe Open

Since its inception, the Reno-Tahoe Open has been an August event. This year, however, the tournament moves to mid-July. Everything else, though, remains the same. Montreux Golf & Country Club, the tournament’s only home, will host the Reno-Tahoe Open for the 12th time, with John Rollins defending the 2009 title he won by three strokes over Martin Laird and Jeff Quinney.

Rollins, who tied for second in Reno in 2008, has had an up-and-down season. He ranks 77th in the FedExCup but has only one top-10 finish, a tie for eighth at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He has only made one cut in his last six starts—a tie for 15th at the St. Jude Classic. Every past Reno-Tahoe Open champion is playing this week except Scott Verplank, who is in the British Open, and John Cook, now a Champions Tour player.

Reno-Tahoe Open Notes

A junior at the University of Oregon, Daniel Miernicki will make his PGA TOUR debut at the Reno-Tahoe Open, receiving a Sponsor’s Exemption after winning the 2010 U.S. Intercollegiate at Stanford Golf Course in April. The Santee, CA, native posted a career-best, 6-under-par 64 in the final round for a three-stroke victory. The victory was Miernicki’s second of the spring season after collecting the Oregon Duck Invitational in March. He also recently helped the United States capture The Palmer Cup, an international collegiate golf event between the United States and Europe, at Royal Portrush Golf Club last month.

Jeff Quinney equaled his career-best finish on the PGA TOUR with a tie for second at last year’s Reno-Tahoe Open. Quinney also finished second at the 2008 Northern Trust Open.

Scott McCarron is serving as official host of the 2010 Reno-Tahoe Open. Montreux Golf & Country Club is his home couse, and he is assisting the tournament with recruiting players and sponsors. McCarron has played in eight of the 10 Reno-Tahoe Opens. His best finishes came in 2004, when he tied for second, and in 2000, when he tied for fourth. He also added a 10th-place showing in 2003. In 28 rounds at Montreux, McCarron has 18 under-par rounds, 23 rounds at par or better and six rounds in the 60s. He has earned $455,771 at the tournament.

The Reno-Tahoe Open has a history of producing first-time PGA TOUR winners. Since the tournament’s inception in 1999, five players have made the Reno-Tahoe Open their maiden TOUR victory: Notah Begay III (1999), Chris Riley (2002), Vaughn Taylor (2004), Will MacKenzie (2006) and Parker McLachlin (2008). All five of these players are in Reno this week. Through the John Deere Classic, there have been nine first-time winners on the PGA TOUR in 2010.

The Nevada ties are strong at the Reno-Tahoe Open, with a number of players set to compete who have connections to the Silver State. Rich Barcelo (Reno resident and University of Nevada graduate), Craig Barlow (Henderson native and resident), Alex Cejka (Las Vegas resident), Scott McCarron (Reno resident), Scott Piercy (Las Vegas native and resident), Alex Prugh (Las Vegas resident), Kirk Triplett (University of Nevada graduate) Chris Riley (Las Vegas resident), Kevin Stadler (Reno native) and Dean Wilson (Las Vegas resident).

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