With his second victory of the 2011 season at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, FedExCup leader Mark Wilson moved to No. 51 in the Official World Golf Rankings (from No. 237 prior to the Sony Open), earning an exemption into the 2011 U.S. Open and virtually locking up starts at the next two World Golf Championship events -- Accenture Match Play Championship and Cadillac Championship.
The Monday finish of the Waste Management Phoenix Open was the first Monday finish on TOUR since the 2010 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, and the first at the Waste Management event since 1978.
Vijay Singh’s T3 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open was his first top 10 finish since a T9 at the 2010 AT&T National and his best showing since his win at the 2008 Deutsche Bank Championship. He also climbed to 81st in the Official World Golf Ranking after falling outside the top 100 the previous week for the first time since 1989.
Mark Wilsonhas his work cut out for him this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – his best finish in eight previous starts at the event was T25 (2007).
Phil Mickelson is the leader among active players with TOUR victories at multiple-course events with 12 (3-AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am; 3-Chrysler Classic of Tucson; 3-Farmers Insurance Open; 2-Bob Hope Classic; HP Byron Nelson Championship).
Tough to repeat: Dustin Johnson (AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am), Geoff Ogilvy (SBS Championship) and Steve Stricker (John Deere Classic) were the only three players to successfully defended titles in 2010.
With a victory this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Dustin Johnson would join four players with three or more victories at the event: Mark O’Meara (5), Jack Nicklaus (3), Johnny Miller (3) and Phil Mickelson (3).
In winning his second straight AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last year, Dustin Johnson became the first player in 20 years to win the event in consecutive years. The others: Sam Snead(1937, 1938); Cary Middlecoff (1955, 1956); Jack Nicklaus (1972, 1973); Tom Watson (1977, 1978); Mark O’Meara (1989, 1990).
Two-time winner Davis Love III will be playing in his 25th consecutive AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am dating back to 1986. This includes the 1996 event that was cancelled due to severe weather on the weekend.
The Allianz Championship is the first full-field event of the Champions Tour season. Since 2000, only one player who claimed a win in the first full-field event has failed to finish among the top-30 money-winners. Jerry Pate, who won the Turtle Bay Championship in 2008, was the only player to not earn a spot in the top-30. However, Pate’s year was limited to only 10 starts due to surgeries on his knee and shoulders.
Winning the Allianz Championship has translated into a trip to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship for each of the four previous champions. Here’s where the tournament’s former winners have ended up on the final Charles Schwab Cup standings in the year of their victory in Boca Raton – 2007/Mark James/24th, 2008/Scott Hoch/9th, 2009/Mike Goodes/24th, 2010/Bernhard Langer/1st.
Bernhard Langer, the 2010 Allianz Championship winner, is seeking Champions Tour history in 2011. Langer will be bidding for his fourth consecutive Jack Nicklaus Trophy, awarded to the Champions Tour Player of the Year.
John Cookwill enter the Allianz Championship with a string of 12 straight rounds in the 60s which ties him with Fred Couples (2010) for the second-best streak in Champions Tour history. Hale Irwin holds the mark with 13 straight in 1999.
Jim Colbert, Champions Tour Player of the Year in 1995 and 1996, will reach a milestone when he tees it up at the Allianz Championship. Colbert will be making his 500th career start on the Champions Tour. Only eight other players have reached that mark – Miller Barber (603 starts), Dale Douglass (599), Jim Dent (545), Walt Zembriski (527), Harold Henning (520), Orville Moody (513), Rocky Thompson (506) and Jim Albus (505).
KeithFergus, Jay Haas andLoren Roberts all come into this year’s Allianz Championship with a streak of 12 consecutive par/better rounds.
Lee Rinker, who lives in the Jupiter area, will be making his Champions Tour debut after finishing T2 at the 2010 Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament in Coral Springs.
At age 20 (birthday is July 24th), former U.S. Amateur champion (2008) Danny Lee is the youngest member of the Nationwide Tour this year. The Korean-born Lee who grew up in New Zealand is fully exempt on the Nationwide Tour based on his T64 finish in December's PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament. He is entered in the first three events of 2011 in Panama City, Panama, Bogota, Colombia and Lafayette, Louisiana. Lee remains exempt on the European Tour based on his Feb. 2009 win at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Australia.
Nationwide Tour alumni are now five for five on the PGA TOUR in 2011. Mark Wilson's second title of the year in the Waste Management Open was the 293rd TOUR win by an alum. Wilson is joined in the 2011 winner's circle by Jonathan Byrd, Jhonattan Vegas and Bubba Watson.
Alumni are also standing out on the FedExCup points list. The top seven and 20 of the top-25 current point earners have Nationwide Tour roots. Winners Wilson-1, Vegas-2, Watson-3 and Byrd-4 hold down the top four spots.