With a second-place effort at THE PLAYERS Championship and a victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, David Toms has moved from No. 56 to No. 4 in the FedExCup standings in the last two weeks. Toms, who has qualified for The Presidents Cup three times in his career (2003, 2005, 2007), has also moved from No. 36 to No. 9 in the U.S. Team standings.
The T4 finish for Zach Johnson at last week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial marked just the second top 10 for a defending champion in 21 events on the PGA TOUR in 2011. In January,Bill Haas lost in a playoff to Jhonattan Vegas in defense of his Bob Hope Classic title.
Putting was a key factor for Charlie Wi’s runner-up finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, as he finished first in Strokes Gained – Putting for the week at 3.170 strokes per round. David Tomsfinished eighth in the category for the week at 1.487. Strokes Gained-Putting, recently introduced as a new statistic on the PGA TOUR, takes into account putting proficiency from various distances and computes the difference between a player’s performance on every green – the number of strokes needed to hole out – against the performance of the other players for each round.
Bill Lunde birdied No. 13 at Colonial Country Club in the final round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational in to move to 11-under par for the year on the Kodak Challenge leaderboard. Lunde sits two strokes ahead Kevin Na, Paul Goydos and Charley Hoffman. Now in its third year, the Kodak Challenge awards $1 million to the player with the lowest collective score over the 30 events that feature a Kodak Challenge hole. In order to qualify, players must play at least 18 of 30 events with Kodak Challenge holes over the course of the season.
Local favorite Jordan Spieth returns to the HP Byron Nelson Championship, playing on a Sponsor Exemption. One year ago, at the age of 16 years, 9 months and 24 days, the former U.S. Junior Amateur Champion became the sixth-youngest player in TOUR history to make a cut. Spieth is currently a senior at Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas (he is set to graduate Saturday at 4 p.m. CT, a potential conflict if he makes the cut) and has signed a letter of intent to play golf at the University of Texas.
The 2007 HP Byron Nelson Championship winner Scott Verplank will be making his 25th start at the tournament. Just three players have made more starts (28 - Lanny Wadkins and Tom Watson; 27 – Ben Crenshaw). Last year, Verplank finished T5.
Eight players earned positions in the 2011 British Open Championship on Monday, May 23 in an International Qualifier at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas: Brian Davis; Chad Campbell;Nathan Green; Davis Love III; Spencer Levin; Chris Tidland; Bob Estes; and Jerry Kelly. Kelly survived a six-player playoff with Justin Hicks, Brandt Snedeker, Marc Leishman, D.A. Points and Chris DiMarco. The scheduled 36-hole qualifier was reduced to 18 holes due to thunderstorms. Love will be playing in his 25th consecutive Open Championship in July when the event will be contested at Royal St. Georges, where he finished T4 in 2003.
Steve Pate makes his Champions Tour debut at the Senior PGA Championship. Pate turns 50 on Thursday, May 26, the opening round of the championship.
As is the case in all five major championships, double points in the Charles Schwab Cup race will be awarded to all top-10 finishers at the Senior PGA Championship.
There have been three consecutive playoffs in Champions Tour events heading into the Senior PGA Championship. The last time there were four straight playoffs was in 2005, with the first of those four coming at the Senior PGA Championship at Laurel Valley GC when Mike Reid defeated Dana Quigley and Jerry Pate.
A total of 11 players in the field made the cut at both the 1996 and 2000 PGA Championships when it was staged at Valhalla. The group includes Paul Azinger, Mark Calcavecchia, Fred Funk, Wayne Grady, Jay Haas, Scott Hoch, Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Kenny Perry, Jeff Sluman and Tom Watson.
Hale Irwin’s 12-stroke victory in the 1997 Senior PGA Championship was the largest winning margin for a 72-hole event in Champions Tour history, but it is not the largest margin of victory in tournament history. Sam Snead prevailed by 15 strokes in 1973.
7 – The number of bogey-free rounds by Tom Lehman this season (29 total rounds).
Round(s) Event Score(s) Finish
R1 Mitsubishi Electric 66 (-6) 2nd
R1 Allianz Championship 65 (-7) Won
R1 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic 67 (-5) Won
R1 & R4 Regions Tradition 67 (-5), 69 (-3) Won
R3 Waste Management (TOUR) 69 (-2) T37
R3 Mayakoba (TOUR) 66 (-5) T13
Tour rookie Russell Knox carded 11 birdies on Friday at Carolina Country Club en route to a 63 in the BWM Charity Pro-Am. The Scotsman’s lone blemish was a double-bogey on the 11th hole which came after he had made seven birdies in his first 10 holes.
Purdue University graduate Travis Hampshire had hit 58 shots when he stood over his 125-yard approach in the 18th fairway at Carolina Country Club last Thursday. Hampshire, who had only played one Nationwide Tour event prior to this year, hit it hole high and made the 25-footer to become the 15th Tour player to shoot 60, one off the Tour's all-time mark.
Danny Lee, 2008 U.S. Amateur champion, has made five cuts in five starts this year, with finishes of T7, T5 and 3rd in his last three. The South Korean, who moved to New Zealand at age 8, leads the Nationwide Tour in All-Around Ranking, Greens In Regulation and Birdie Average and is second in Scoring Average and Driving Distance. He is 10th on the Tour's money list. He has also made seven starts on the European Tour.
Former CBS golf announcer and area resident Ben Wright's familiar voice welcomed every pro, celebrity and amateur at the 18th green at Carolina Country Club during last week's BMW Charity Pro-Am.
The Nationwide Tour alumni win count on the PGA TOUR now stands at 305 following 1995 graduate David Toms' win on Sunday at Colonial.
The Nationwide Tour is off this week before heading to the Washington, D.C. area next week for the Melwood Prince George's County (Md.) Open at the University of Maryland Golf Course in College Park.