All 20 PGA TOUR winners and the top 50 in the FedExCup standings through the Wells Fargo Championship will be competing at THE PLAYERS Championship.
The 2011 Wells Fargo Championship winner Lucas Glover (67-68-69-69) became the first player in the nine-year history of the Wells Fargo Championship to record all four rounds in the 60s.
With 600 FedExCup points awarded to the winner of THE PLAYERS, 18 players mathematically have the opportunity to move to No. 1 on the FedExCup points list with a victory this week. Bubba Watson leads the FedExCup standings with 1,359 points through the first 20 events.
The playoff at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship was the fourth in the tournament’s nine-year history. Five of the winners of the event – David Toms (2003), Vijay Singh (2005), Jim Furyk (2006) Tiger Woods(2007) and Lucas Glover (2011) -- have also captured major championships.
Lucas Glover led the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship field in Strokes Gained – Putting at 2.651 strokes per round. Strokes gained – Putting was incorporated starting last week, adding a core stat to define a key piece of the game for the first time in more than 15 years. It was developed with heavy involvement from Colombia University and MIT and is regarded as the best indicator of putting performance on the PGA TOUR. A full breakdown of the stat is at: www.pgatour.com/putting. On the season, Glover leads the TOUR in the statistic at 1.186 strokes gained per round.
In the last 11 years, only Stephen Ames (2006), Adam Scott (2004) and Hal Sutton (2000) have managed to covert a 54-hole lead into victory at THE PLAYERS.
Three of the last six winners of THE PLAYERS have led/co-led in both Greens in Regulation and Driving Accuracy (Fred Funk/2005, Stephen Ames/2006, Sergio Garcia/2008).
Before his win at the 2010 PLAYERS Championship, Tim Clark had the second-most career top 10s among players without a victory with 39, trailing only Bobby Wadkins’ 50. Clark was just the second player to make THE PLAYERS his first PGA TOUR victory, joining Craig Perks in 2002.
Twenty-one players have top-10 finishes in their first PLAYERS starts, including two players in 2010 -- Francesco Molinari (9th) and Chris Stroud (T10). This year, there are 14 players that will play THE PLAYERS for the first time.
Tom Lehman won the 2011 Regions Tradition when Peter Senior lipped out a five-foot par putt on the second playoff hole. It marked Lehman’s third victory of the 2011 season in just his seventh event this year. Lehman now has claimed five career titles on the Champions Tour in 29 starts. He won five titles on the PGA TOUR, including the 1996 British Open Championship, in 266 career appearances.
Tom Lehman earned 660 Charles Schwab Cup points with his Regions Tradition win and now has 1,432 total points on the season. Nick Price is now in second place in the Schwab Cup standings with 698 points andMichael Allen is third with 580 points. At the end of the official season, the player earning the most Schwab Cup points will receive a $1 million payout.
Loren Roberts shot a final-round 65 at the Regions Tradition and moved up 10 spots into third place and became the only player to finish among the top five in the last two professional events at Shoal Creek. Roberts was T5 in the 1990 PGA Championship.
Each of the last two major championships on the Champions Tour has had a 1-2-3-4 finish and Michael Allen and Loren Roberts were involved in both of them. This week at the Regions Tradition, Roberts finished third and Allen fourth. At last year’s Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, Mark O’Meara won the event followed by Allen. Roberts finished third and Jeff Sluman was solo fourth.
Steve Pate, Jim Carter andJoel Edwards – three players who will become eligible for the Champions Tour when they turn 50 this year – all made the cut at the Stadion Classic at UGA, last week’s Nationwide Tour event.
Steve Pate will make his Champions Tour debut at the Senior PGA Championship. Pate turns 50 on Thursday, May 26, the opening round of the championship.
3 – The current streak of consecutive playoffs on the Champions Tour (John Cook def. Jay Don Blake, 2011 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am; Mark McNulty/David Eger def. ScottHoch/Kenny Perry, 2011 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf; Tom Lehman def. Peter Senior, 2011 Regions Tradition). The record is four, set in 2005.
On the first tee of last week’s Regions Tradition Pro-Am at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Alabama, basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley broke his driver on his opening tee shot. The club-head traveled further than his ball. Fuzzy Zoeller, the Champions Tour professional playing with Barkley, suggested he autograph the club-head and auction it for charity. The autographed, broken club is currently available for auction on eBay until Friday and proceeds will be donated to the Tornado Disaster Relief efforts and the Children's Hospital of Alabama. The link to the auction is: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320695623518http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320695623518.
On Sunday, U. of Georgia senior Russell Henley became only the second amateur in the 22-year history of the Nationwide Tour to win a Tour event. He captured the Stadion Classic at UGA on his college team's home course, matching Daniel Summerhays' 2007 feat (Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational). The Macon, Ga. native is weighing his options regarding Nationwide Tour membership that come with the win.
This week’s PLAYERS Championship field includes nine Nationwide Tour alumni who will be playing in the event for the first time – Keegan Bradley, Tommy Gainey, Hunter Haas, Chris Kirk, Michael Sim, Brendan Steele, Josh Teater, Jhonattan Vegas andGary Woodland. By virtue of leading the money list last year, Jamie Lovemark was eligible but forced to withdraw due to a lingering back issue. A similar fate sidelined Sim (shoulder) last year after he topped the 2009 money list.
There are 91 Nationwide Tour alumni in THE PLAYERS field of 145, including defending champion Tim Clark. From 2007 to 2011, the figures were 79, 85, 81, 89 and 91, respectively.
There have been eight playoffs on the PGA TOUR this year. All eight have been won by former Nationwide Tour members.
The alumni win count on the PGA TOUR is now 304 following Lucas Glover's win on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship. Glover is a 2003 Nationwide Tour graduate.