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SHO and Tell: The Latest on The Shell Houston Open
SHO and Tell: The Latest on The Shell Houston Open
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Gary Player
Gary Player (1978)
The Woodlands CC
TOUR Championship - September 20, 2010
PGA TOUR Playoffs, FedExCup final
TOUR Championship, presented by Coca-Cola
Sept. 23-26, 2010
East Lake Golf Club, 7,154 yards
Atlanta, GA
Phil Mickelson, defending champion
$7.5 million purse, $$1,350,000 winner's share

The 3 former Shell Houston Open winners in the TOUR Championship, presented by Coca-Cola,field:

QUICK LOOK at Paul Casey, 2009 Shell Houston Open winner: He's already booked a vacation to Canada during the Ryder Cup after being left off of Colin Montgomerie's European Team. But the No. 8 player in the world bounced back from that disappointment with a runner-up at the BMW Championship, his eighth finish of 12th or better in 16 starts this year. The FedExCup would be a great way to say "bon voyage." -- Helen Ross

QUICK LOOK at Adam Scott, 2007 Shell Houston Open winner: Scott broke a two-year victory drought earlier this year in Texas but with only one other top-10, he entered the Playoffs ranked 32nd. Solid performances in the first three events -- where he's only shot above par once in 12 rounds -- have him primed for a return to East Lake where he won in 2006. -- Helen Ross

QUICK LOOK at Robert Allenby, 2000 Shell Houston Open winner: He slipped on his boat and tore ligaments in his knee just before the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He returned after knee surgery in time for the Playoffs and while he's fallen from 17th at the start, Allenby is still there where it counts -- at East Lake for THE TOUR Championship. -- Helen Ross


 NameEvents Pts. Wins 

Top 10

1 Matt Kuchar24 4,935 1 11  2,500
2 Dustin Johnson22 4,299 2 7636 2,250
3 Charley Hoffman22 3,449 1 41,486 2,000
4 Steve Stricker18 3,372 2 91,563 1,800
5 Paul Casey16 3,015 0 61,920 1,600
6 Jason Day23 2,633 1 52,302 1,400
7 Luke Donald19 2,597 0 62,338 1,200
8 Ernie Els19 2,343 2 62,592 1,000
9 Martin Laird24 2,294 0 32,641 800
10 Phil Mickelson19 2,249 1 62,686 600
11 Jim Furyk20 2,121 2 62,814 480
12 Geoff Ogilvy18 2,121 1 22,814 460
13 Justin Rose21 2,105 2 42,830 440
14 Adam Scott19 2,083 1 42,852 420
15 Hunter Mahan23 2,058 2 32,877 400
16 Ryan Palmer24 1,988 1 42,947 380
17 Retief Goosen18 1,976 0 92,959 360
18 Bubba Watson21 1,948 1 42,987 340
19 Zach Johnson23 1,896 1 23,039 320
20 Kevin Na24 1,837 0 43,098 310
21 Tim Clark22 1,757 1 63,178 300
22 Ben Crane23 1,732 1 53,203 290
23 K.J. Choi21 1,725 0 33,210 280
24 Jeff Overton25 1,669 0 63,266 270
25 Camilo Villegas19 1,621 1 63,314 260
26 Ryan Moore23 1,610 0 53,325 250
27 Robert Allenby20 1,604 0 43,331 240
28 Nick Watney22 1,584 0 63,351 230
29 Kevin Streelman26 1,575 0 43,360 220
30 Bo Van Pelt25 1,572 0 63,363 210


Ernie Els will be making his 15th start at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, second only to Davis Love III (16). Els has compiled six top-10s in his last nine starts at the event, including a ninth-place finish last year.

Three of the top five in the current FedExCup standings will be participating in THE TOUR Championship for the first time – Matt Kuchar (No. 1), Charley Hoffman (No. 3) and Paul Casey (No. 5). A win in Atlanta is guaranteed to clinch the overall FedExCup title for those in the top five. However, only three players have captured THE TOUR Championship in their maiden start: (Tom Watson, 1987; Chad Campbell, 2003; and Bart Bryant in 2005). Please note that Watson won in THE TOUR Championship’s inaugural year.

Dustin Johnson has played in the final grouping in the final round on five occasions thus far in 2010:


54-hole position


Final Round Score

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am




U.S. Open




PGA Championship




The Barclays




BMW Championship




In addition to the FedExCup, the Vardon Trophy and Byron Nelson Award for lowest adusted scoring average will most likely be decided at THE TOUR Championship, as Matt Kuchar (69.57) holds a .01 lead over Steve Stricker (69.58). Paul Casey and Retief Goosen are tied for third (69.81). Entering THE TOUR Championship, the overall adjusted scoring average in 2010 is up slightly from the same time period in 2009 (71.15 vs. 71.03).

Expect some red numbers from Matt Kuchar at East Lake Golf Club this week --  he leads the TOUR in rounds in the 60s (46 in 24 events), three more than Brendon De Jonge (43 in 29 events).

For the first time since 2003, there will not be a rookie competing at THE TOUR Championship. The rookies with the highest FedExCup finishes were Rickie Fowler (No. 32) and Rory McIlroy (No. 36).
Eight Ryder Cup players from the United States (Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson) and one from Europe (Luke Donald) are competing in this week’s TOUR Championship.


Defending champion Tom Pernice, Jr. comes into this year’s SAS Championship on a hot streak. He’s finished among the top-10 in six straight Champions Tour events, including a second at the Home Care & Hospice First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and a third at the Posco E&C Songdo Championship.

Bruce Lietzke is the only player to successfully defend a title at the SAS Championship, winning back-to-back events in 2001 and 2002.

If you’ve never been to the World Golf Hall of Fame, you’ll probably want to visit after witnessing the SAS Championship. Eight Hall of Fame members – Ben Crenshaw, Lee Trevino, Bernhard Langer, Hale Irwin, Nick Price, Curtis Strange, Tom Kite and Larry Nelson - are in the field, along with Fred Couples.

U.S. Ryder Cup assistant captain Tom Lehman is the only player of the current top ten Charles Schwab Cup points leaders not scheduled to compete in the SAS Championship.

This year’s SAS Championship will be played at the same venue for the 10th consecutive time with the same title sponsor. The only other events on the current Champions Tour schedule to share (or better) this distinction include the Toshiba Classic (15 years at Newport Beach CC) and the 3M Championship (10 years at TPC Twin Cities).

Over the previous nine years, two odd things have happened at the SAS Championship. In seven of the nine events, a player named Tom has finished either first or second. Also, in six of the nine tournaments at Prestonwood, the winner has posted a round of 66 on Sunday.          

Mark Wiebe, the 2007 SAS Championship winner, will make his 47th consecutive start on the Champions Tour, the longest current streak.


The Nationwide Tour has a new No. 1. With his T7 finish in Boise, Jamie Lovemark (San Diego, CA/USC) jumped ahead of last week's money leader Chris Kirk (St. Simon Island, GA/U. of Georgia) by $8,996. Their closest pursuer is Tommy Gainey (Camden, SC), who trails Lovemark by about $64,000. They became the first players to reach $400,000 in earnings prior to the final event of the year.  There are six tournaments left.

On Sunday, Jamie Lovemark equaled his low round of the year, 64, which he has posted three other times in 2010. No one performs better on Sundays on the Nationwide Tour than its youngest player, as his final-round scoring average is 67.17.

Hunter Haas (Dallas, TX/U. of Oklahoma) became the fourth player in line for a shot at the Battlefield Promotion Award being offered by Tiffany & Co. when he won the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft on Sunday. Haas joins Kirk, Gainey and Martin Piller (Dallas, TX/Texas A&M) with two wins in 2010. A third win by any of the four will earn an immediate promotion to the PGA TOUR.

Mark Anderson (Beaufort, SC/U. of South Carolina) believes in going the extra mile for Nationwide Tour sponsors. On Monday after finishing T15 in Boise, Anderson planned to fly from Idaho to Charleston for Tuesday's Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island media day, then on to this week's tournament in Midland, Texas, a distance of 3,381 miles.

Bradley Iles (Papamoa, New Zealand) tied the Nationwide Tour record for most eagles in the same tournament last week in Boise with five.  He had three on Friday and added two more on Saturday to join Chris Smith (1997 Cox Classic) in the record books.

The Nationwide Tour is in Midland, Texas this week for the 19th year in a row.  The WNB Golf Classic is the 24th of 29 Tour events in 2010.

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