E-Notes – August 30, 2011
With his win at The Barclays, Dustin Johnson joined Tiger Woods (3), Steve Stricker (2), Camilo Villegas (2), Vijay Singh (2) and Phil Mickelson (2) as the only players with multiple victories in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. The victory is Johnson’s fourth top 10 in the PGA TOUR Playoffs. In addition to his two victories, he finished T9 at The Barclays in 2010 and T4 at the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2009.
Eleven of the 35 PGA TOUR rookies qualified for The Playoffs, with 10 advancing to this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship: Keegan Bradley (14), Charl Schwartzel (28), Scott Stallings (38), Kyle Stanley (39),Chris Kirk (41), Jhonattan Vegas (43), Robert Karlsson (46), Brendan Steele (54), Kevin Chappell (74), William McGirt (96). Michael Thompson finished No. 115 and was eliminated after The Barclays.
In the 17 previous events of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, only Camilo Villegas (2) and Dustin Johnson (2) have won while in their 20s. Johnson won the 2010 BMW Championship and last week’s The Barclays, while Villegas won the BMW Championship and the TOUR Championship in back-to-back starts in 2008. The only player in his 20s to win the Deutsche Bank Championship was Adam Scott in 2003, before the debut of the FedExCup.
With his victory at The Barclays, Dustin Johnson joined Phil Mickelson (8 years dating to 2004) as the only players with wins in each of the last four seasons on TOUR. Zach Johnson (2007-10) and Geoff Ogivly(2008-10) still have a chance to extend their streaks and join Johnson and Mickelson as the season winds down.
A look at the last five 54-hole events on the PGA TOUR:
2011 The Barclays (Dustin Johnson)
2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (Dustin Johnson)
2005 BellSouth Classic (Phil Mickelson)
2002 Southern Farm Bureau Classic (Luke Donald)
2000 BellSouth Classic (Phil Mickelson)
The top five in current FedExCup standings and their career history at the Deutsche Bank Championship:
No. 1 – Dustin Johnson
Johnson will be making his third start at TPC Boston, finishing T4 in 2009 and T57 in 2010. He owns six rounds in the 60s at the event, with bookend 73s in 2010 the only exceptions.
No. 2 – Matt Kuchar
This year marks Kuchar’s eighth start at the Deutsche Bank Championship. In 2010, he opened with rounds of 66-65 to sit one shot behind Brandt Snedeker and Jason Day, before rounds of 72-71 led to a T11 – the best of three top 20s at the event (T11-2010, T15-2009, T17-2004).
No. 3 – Nick Watney
After missing the cut in his first five starts at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Watney has since finished T46 (2009) and T33 (2010).
No. 4 – Webb Simpson
Simpson will be making his third start at the Deutsche Bank Championship, missing the cut in 2009 (71-75—146) and 2010 (75-71—146).
No. 5 – Luke Donald
If the past is any indication, a win could be in the cards for Luke Donald at this year’s Deutsche Bank Championship. In four previous starts, he has improved his position each year, missing the cut in 2003, finishing T60 in 2007, T54 in 2009 and T2 in 2010.
Kyung-tae Kim, currently fifth in the International Team standings for the 2011 Presidents Cup, joined the PGA TOUR as a special temporary member on August 29. The South Korea native’s 2011 non-member earnings ($601,809 in nine starts) exceed No. 150 on the 2010 final money list (Michael Letzig - $563,729), allowing him special temporary membership status for the remainder of the 2011 season. Kim is eligible to receive unlimited sponsor exemptions for the four Fall Series events -- the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (Sept. 26-Oct. 2), Frys.com Open (Oct. 3-9), The McGladrey Classic (Oct. 10-16) and Children’s Miracle Network Classic (Oct. 17-23). To earn his PGA TOUR card for 2012, Kim’s total non-member earnings would have to equal or surpass the money earned by the player that finishes No. 125 on the 2011 official money list, currently $563,752 (David Mathis).
Mathew Goggin has regained the money list lead after finishing T8 in the News Sentinel Open on Sunday. The Aussie relinquished it for one week to J.J. Killeen after being No. 1 the previous 13 weeks. Goggin’s lead is $6,345.
Kirk Triplett became the oldest winner of a Nationwide Tour event when at age 49 years, 4 months and 29 days he captured victory in Knoxville. Steve Pate formerly held the mark, winning in Bogota, Colombia in 2010 at 48 years, 9 months and 11 days.
Gary Williams of Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” on the Nationwide Tour last week: “It is one of the greatest things that has happened to American golf in the last 50 years.”
Arnold Palmer is honorary chairman of this week’s Nationwide Tour event in western Pennsylvania for the second year in a row. The Mylan Classic will be played at Southpointe CC in the Pittsburgh suburb of Canonsburg.
Fan favorites Rocco Mediate of nearby Greensburg, Pa., and John Daly are among the 156 players entered in the Mylan Classic. This will be the second of three straight Daly appearances on the Nationwide Tour. He played in Knoxville last week (T32) and is scheduled to play in Boise after next week’s Tour off week.
The second Mylan Classic has had terrific success with its “TICKETS Fore CHARITY” program. Sales are up from $234,000 last year to $411,000 in 2011, a 76-percent increase, with one week remaining.
There has been just one playoff this year on the Nationwide Tour. The fewest in a single season was two in 1997. The most was 13 in 1995.
Golf Channel will air all four rounds of this week’s Mylan Classic Thursday through Sunday.
For the first time in the last five years, the winner of the Boeing Classic did not post three straight rounds in the 60s. In 2006, Tom Kite shot 71 in the first round and eventually won in a playoff. Mark Calcavecchiaposted 70-67-65—202 (-14).
This year’s overall scoring average (72.911) was the highest in the history of the Boeing Classic. The previous high stroke average for the field at this event was 72.485 last year. Mark Brooks (72/R1) and Gary Hallberg(66/R2) recorded the only bogey-free rounds for the week.
Chip Beck, who recorded his first top-10 finish in a major on the Champions Tour at the recent Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship (T6), birdied four of the last five holes to finish third at the Boeing Classic. This is the first time since 2006, his first year on the Champions Tour, that Beck has recorded back-to-back top-10 finishes in a season.
Hale Irwin, the Champions Tour’s all-time victory leader with 45 titles, recorded the first ace of his Champions Tour career in the first round of the Boeing Classic at the par-3 9th hole with a 6-iron shot from 185 yards.
Tom Lehman continues to lead the Charles Schwab Cup race after 19 events with 1,985 points. Mark Calcavecchia’s Boeing Classic victory moved him up into second place with 1,578 points. Peter Senior remains in third place with 1,410 points.
The Champions Tour will return to Korea in two weeks for the second year after Russ Cochran won the inaugural and historic event in 2010 when he defeated Fred Funk in a playoff. It was the first official Champions Tour tournament in Asia. The 2011 tournament will again be played at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea but will sport a new name – the Songdo IBD Championship presented by Korean Air.
4 – The number of players with nine top-10 finishes on the Champions Tour in 2011 (Jeff Sluman, Tom Lehman, Nick Price and Peter Senior). Mark Calcavecchia leads the list with 10 top-10 finishes.
In an 11-week period, beginning July 14 and ending September 25, there will be 10 different Tour events, sanctioned by six different professional Tours, played on Jack Nicklaus-designed courses located in five different countries. Two of the 10 events include last week’s Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge and the next event on the Champions Tour schedule, the Songdo IBD Championship presented by Korean Air at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.