The Greenbrier Classic champion Scott Stallings became the sixth rookie winner of the season, the most on the PGA TOUR since 1970. He joins 2011 rookie winners Jhonattan Vegas, Charl Schwartzel, Brendan Steele, Keegan Bradley and Chris Kirk. The previous high for rookie winners was five in 2004 (Todd Hamilton (2), Zach Johnson, Vaughn Taylor, Andre Stolz and Ryan Palmer).
Scott Stallings was the 10th first-time winner on the PGA TOUR in 2011. Look for the trend of first-time winners to continue this week at the Reno-Tahoe Open. In the 12-year history of the event, the Reno-Tahoe Open has produced six first-time winners, most recently Matt Bettencourt in 2010. Other players who collected their first PGA TOUR victory at the Reno-Tahoe Open were Notah Begay III (1999), Chris Riley (2002), Vaughn Taylor (2004), Will MacKenzie (2006) and Parker McLachlin (2008).
The average age of the age of the last four winners of World Golf Championships events (Nick Watney, Luke Donald, Francesco Molinari and Hunter Mahan) is 29 years, 1 month and 6 days. The prior six winners of World Golf Championships (Ernie Els, Ian Poulter, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods) had an average age of 36 years and 6 months.
The defending champion of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational Hunter Mahan is one of four players that has notched top-10s in the first two World Golf Championships of 2011. The others include Cadillac Championship winner Nick Watney, Accenture Match Play Championship winner Luke Donald, along with Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar. Mahan is also one of four past winners of the Bridgestone Invitational in the 2011 field.
The final two invitations to the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational were awarded to England’s Simon Dyson, who captured the Irish Open on the European Tour and Scott Stallings, winner of The Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR.
Nine of the top 10 and 25 of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings are in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational field. With 550 points available to the winner, 10 players could mathematically overtake current leader Nick Watney with a victory.
Thirteen of the top 30 players in the current FedExCup standings are under the age of 30.
With his victory at The Greenbrier Classic, Scott Stallings jumped from 88th to 26th in the FedExCup standings. He is one of five rookies among the top 30 heading into this week’s action. The others: Charl Schwartzel(21), Keegan Bradley (25), Scott Stallings (26), Chris Kirk (29) and Jhonattan Vegas (30).
Seven-time World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational champion Tiger Woods is set to make his first start on the PGA TOUR since THE PLAYERS. Woods enters the week ranked 135th in the FedExCup standings. To move inside the top 125 and qualify for The Barclays, Woods will likely need the equivalent of one seventh-place finish, or two 24th-place finishes or three 40th-place finishes over the remaining the weeks of the Regular season.
For the 2011 Reno-Tahoe Open, the nines have been switched at Montreaux G&CC that should provide additional drama down the stretch. The finishing holes feature a demanding par-3 in the 220-yard 16th, a long par-4 in the 464-yard 17th and a risk-reward par-5 in the 616-yard 18th. In 2010, Shiv Kapur made a double eagle at what was then No. 9, one of six double eagles on the PGA TOUR last year, holing his second shot from 297 yards with a 3-wood. With water guarding the approach to the green, the new 18th yielded one double eagle, three eagles and 121 birdies, but 60 bogeys, eight double bogeys and 11 triple bogeys or worse were also carded by the field.
Olin Browne set a U.S. Senior Open 9-hole scoring record with a 5-under-par 29 on the back nine in Round 3. Browne’s 29 broke the 9-hole scoring record of 30 which was set in 1983 by Richard King and was matched 15 times, most recently by Browne on the front nine in last year’s final round at Sahalee CC.
Olin Browne has now won at least one event on the Nationwide Tour, PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, joining Ron Streck, Keith Fergus, Tom Lehman and Gary Hallberg with that honor.
Hale Irwin became the Champions Tour’s all-time leader in top-10 finishes with his T4 at the U.S. Senior Open. It was the 204th of his career, one more than Bob Charles. Irwin also fired a 5-under-par 66 in Round 3, matching his age for the second time in his career. He posted a 65 at last year’s AT&T Championship in San Antonio.
Mark Calcavecchia (3rd) was the only player in the U.S. Senior Open field who posted four consecutive rounds in the 60s.
Peter Jacobsen, a two-time winner on the Champions Tour (both majors), has been awarded the Old Tom Morris Award, the highest honor given by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. The award is given annually to a person who “through a continuing lifetime commitment to the game of golf has helped to mold the welfare of the game in a manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris.” Jacobsen, who has designed several golf courses with Jim Hardy, will be the 30th recipient of the Award.
Double Charles Schwab Cup points were awarded at last week’s U.S. Senior Open and Olin Browne’s victory earned him 1,000 points. He now has 1,330 points and jumped from 23rd to second behind Tom Lehman, who leads with 1,533 points. Mark Calcavecchia is now third with 1,238 points and Nick Price is fourth with 1,181. Mark O’Meara, runner-up to Browne last week, jumped from 34th to 10th in the standings.
Eight-time PGA TOUR winner Brad Faxon turned 50 on August 1 and is scheduled to make his Champions Tour debut at the 3M Championship. Nationwide Tour veteran Ben Bates will also make his first appearance on the Champions Tour via a sponsor exemption. Bates has made 409 starts for two wins on the Nationwide Tour. He has also played in 122 PGA TOUR events.
Minnesota native Tom Lehman will make his first appearance in the 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities. Lehman also served as a co-designer of the course with Arnold Palmer.
2,303 - The number of dollars separating Hale Irwin and Kenny Perry on the all-time money leader’s list. Irwin’s T4 at the U.S. Senior Open earned a check of $117,077 to move him just ahead of Perry as the ‘all time money leader’. Irwin has $32,032,585 while Perry, who earned $25,200 for his T39 at last week’s Greenbrier Classic has $32,030,282.
In the 18-year history of the 3M Championship, no player has managed to defend his title at this event.
Hale Irwin was the closest, tying for second in 2000.
His Utah Championship win was J.J. Killeen's first on the Nationwide Tour. It moved him from the "bubble boy" at No. 25 to No.5. Killeen's dad, Joe, a Lubbock, Texas obstetrician and gynecologist, caddied for his son.
All of this year's 11 non-amateur Tour winners are scheduled to be in this week's Cox Classic field in Omaha, Neb., plus 25 of the top 25 and 87 of the top 100. Golf Channel will air all four rounds.
Erik Compton makes his first appearance on the Nationwide Tour since winning the Mexico Open on June 26th. His last two starts have been on the PGA TOUR - AT&T National and The Greenbriar Classic.
Recent Nationwide Tour winners Harris English (Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational) and Russell Henley (Stadion Classic at UGA) were among four early selections to next month's U.S Walker Cup team. The other two were Patrick Cantlay and Peter Uihlein.
Smiling Scott Stallings' win at The Greenbriar Classic was Nationwide Tour alumni win No. 313 on the PGA TOUR.
Five players who competed regularly on the Nationwide Tour last year and have won on the PGA TOUR this year are currently among the top 30 in FedExCup points - Gary Woodland (7th) and PGA TOUR rookiesKeegan Bradley (25th), Scott Stallings (26th), Chris Kirk (29th) and Jhonattan Vegas (30th). Another alumnus, rookie and '11 winner Brendan Steele is 43rd.