David Toms, winner of the 2001 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, enters this week’s action in excellent form. He finished T9 at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in his first start since withdrawing due to a hip injury at the John Deere Classic in early July. Toms sits 10th in the current FedExCup standings on the strength of a victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and a runner-up at THE PLAYERS Championship.
Four players that finished among the top 10 at the 2001 PGA Championship are in the field 10 years later: David Toms (1), Phil Mickelson (2), Jim Furyk (T7) and Scott Verplank (T7).
With just two weeks remaining in the PGA TOUR Regular Season, the follow notables are on the FedExCup 125 bubble, looking to collect enough points to secure a spot at The Barclays, the first event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup:
Player FEC Worth noting
Camilo Villegas 125 In 2008, captured final two Playoff events to finish third in FedExCup
Ernie Els 126 One of five players to appear in all four previous TOUR Championships in FedExCup era
Tiger Woods 129 Two-time FedExCup champion (2007 and 2009)
Padraig Harrington 130 Finished seventh in FedExCup in 2009
Justin Leonard 142 Finished eighth in FedExCup in 2008
Louis Oosthuizen 145 2010 British Open hopes to mend rookie season
Paul Casey 147 Turf-toe injury has hampered play after playing TOUR Championship in 2010
2011 FedExCup notes
- Top 10 of 10/30 of 30/49 of 50 in current FedExCup standings are in the field at the PGA Championship.
- With 600 points awarded to the winner at the PGA Championship, 11 players mathematically can pass No. 1 Nick Watney with a victory this week.
- Webb Simpson (No. 9) is the highest-seeded player in the FedExCup standings without a victory in 2011.
- 12 players under the age of 30 are currently inside the top 30 in the FedExCup standings.
- Three rookies (Charl Schwartzel/Keegan Bradley/Scott Stallings) are inside the top 30 in the FedExCup standings.
The PGA Championship has not favored the twenty-something golfer. Since 1990, only John Daly (1991), Tiger Woods (1999, 2000) and Martin Kaymer (2010) have won the event when they were under the age of 30. Only Daly, Shaun Micheel (2003) and Kaymer have made the PGA Championship their maiden TOUR win since 1990.
Active consecutive major appearances (including the 2011 PGA Championship):
Player Consecutive major starts
Sergio Garcia 49
Adam Scott 42
K.J. Choi 39
With his win last week at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Adam Scott moved to second in the International Presidents Cup Team Standings and locked up his fifth appearance in the event when it is staged in November in his home country of Australia. Scott will not need one of Greg Norman’s captain’s picks, as he had to rely on for the 2009 event when he finished ranked No. 14 in the standings.
Tiger Woods entered last year’s PGA Championship 119th in the FedExCup standings and finished T28 to move to 108th in the standings and assure himself a start in the first Playoff event, The Barclays. He eventually finished 42nd in the final standings, playing through the third Playoff event, the BMW Championship. Currently 129th, Woods needs to finish approximately 14th this week to move inside the top 125.
Scott Piercy’s victory at the Reno-Tahoe Open came one day after he set the Montreux G&CC course-record 11-under 61 – which included eight-consecutive birdies on Nos. 2-9. The win earned an invitation into this week’s PGA Championship – which will mark his third start in a major championship (MC-2008 U.S. Open, T51-2011 U.S. Open).
Steve Elkington, winner of the 1995 PGA Championship, finished T6 at last week’s Reno-Tahoe Open for his first top 10 since a T5 finish at the 2010 PGA Championship.
Following a T54 in his first PGA TOUR start at the 2011 Sony Open in Hawaii, rookie Matt McQuillan missed the cut in his next 10 starts. Since that time, he has made four cuts in five starts, including a career-best T3 at the John Deere Classic and a T6 last week at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
The win at the 3M Championship was Jay Haas’ 15th career victory, tying him with Bernhard Langer on the all-time list for Champions Tour victories. The pair is tied for 16th on the list.
Jay Haas made an opening-round ace at the 3M Championship and became the first player since Jeff Sluman to make an ace and go on to win the event. Sluman did so at the 2009 Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
Hale Irwin matched his age for the second consecutive week and the third time in his career when he fired a 6-under-par 66 in the final round of the 3M Championship. Irwin also added another top-10 finish (T8) to his record career total and now has 205 for his career.
70.333 – The scoring average for the field at last week’s 3M Championship, the same exact average as in the 2010 3M Championship.
Although Tom Lehman increased his lead to 291 points over Olin Browne, none of the top-15 players in the Charles Schwab Cup standings changed positions after last week’s 3M Championship. 3M Championship winner Jay Haas jumped from 21st to 16th in the standings while joint runner-up Kenny Perry moved from 26th to 20th.
World Golf Hall of Fame member Larry Nelson will receive the highest honor accorded by the PGA of America when he will be awarded the Distinguished Service Award in a ceremony on August 10 in conjunction with the 93rd PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club. The award coincides with the 30th anniversary of Nelson’s first major championship win at the same venue. Mark Brooks, the 1996 PGA Championship winner, will join Nelson as the two Champions Tour professionals in the field at this week’s championship.
Mark O’Meara will attempt to become the second player in event history to repeat as Constellation Energy Senior Players champion. Arnold Palmer was the first player with consecutive Senior Players in 1984-85.
No player has ever won the Senior British Open (Russ Cochran, 2011 winner) and Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship in the same season.
With his second win in a row on Sunday (Cox Classic), J.J. Killeen is now one victory away from earning an immediate promotion to the PGA TOUR. Leading money winner Mathew Goggin also has two wins. Goggin’s money list lead shrunk to $17,266 over Killeen, who fired 22-under-par totals in both his Omaha and Utah Championship wins.
For the 26th time in 35 tournaments this year, a Nationwide Tour alumnus has won on the PGA TOUR. Scott Piercy’s Reno-Tahoe Open win on Sunday was the 314th overall.
This week’s Price Cutter Charity Championship in Springfield, Mo., may hold more pro-ams during its event than any other on TOUR. Eleven will be held between Aug. 5-10. The event has generated $8.4 million for Children’s Charities in the Ozarks of Missouri since 1990, including $712,000 in 2010 alone.
Cox Classic runners-up Danny Lee and Jonas Blixt played the last 69 and 56 holes, respectively, without a bogey.
Ben Bates, who has played in more tournaments than any other player in Nationwide Tour history (409), made his Champions Tour debut last week at the 3M Championship (T69).
The “Nationwide Tour Hawaiian Getaway” promotion was launched on Golf Channel last Thursday. One lucky winner and a guest will attend the Sony Open in Hawaii where the Nationwide Tour class of 2011 will make its PGA TOUR debut of 2012.