E-Notes – September 14, 2011
FedExCup top 5 and the BMW Championship
No. 1 – Webb Simpson
Simpson finished T61 at the 2009 BMW Championship, his only previous start at the event. After opening with a 1-under 70, he closed with rounds of 74-73-76.
No. 2 – Dustin Johnson
Johnson is making his third start at the BMW Championship (T30-2009, 1-2010).
No. 3 – Matt Kuchar
This year marks Kuchar’s fourth start at the BMW Championship. He finished T60 in 2003 and then did not tee it up again at the event until the 2009 season, finishing T10. A year ago, he jumped out to the opening-round lead with a 7-under 64, shared the second-round lead with Ryan Moore and then entered the final round one stroke behind tournament-leader Moore before finishing T3.
No. 4 – Luke Donald
Donald will be making his 10th start at the BMW Championship, enjoying his best finish in 2004 (T3). As a PGA TOUR Playoffs event, he has finished T30 (2007), T10 (2009) and T37 (2010).
No. 5 – Brandt Snedeker
Snedeker will be making his sixth start at the BMW Championship. After missing the cut in 2004, he has finished T14 (2007), T55 (2008), T10 (2009) and T37 (2010).
Eight of the 11 rookies who began the Playoffs have advanced to the BMW Championship, compared to just two a year ago (Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy):
FEC Entering Playoffs
Age breakdown for the top 30 in the FedExCup standings entering the BMW Championship:
In 18 PGA TOUR playoff events, only Camilo Villegas (2008 BMW Championship, 2008 TOUR Championship), Dustin Johnson (1010 BMW Championship, 2011 The Barclays) and Webb Simpson (2011 Deutsche Bank Championship) have won in their 20s.
Three players began the Playoffs ranked Nos. 101 – 125 and have advanced to the BMW Championship, with Ernie Els having also played his way into the Playoffs via the Wyndham Championship (last regular season event):
Twenty-seven players in the BMW Championship are seeking their first trip to the TOUR Championship: Webb Simpson (No. 1 FedExCup), Chez Reavie (9), Gary Woodland (11), Mark Wilson(17), Keegan Bradley (19), Fredrik Jacobson (23), Bill Haas (24), Charl Schwartzel (27), Kyle Stanley (30), Brian Davis (33), Rickie Fowler (37), Spencer Levin (41), Brendan Steele(42), Chris Kirk (43), Robert Karlsson (44), Scott Stallings (46), D.A. Points (49), Jhonattan Vegas (50), Jimmy Walker (51), Tommy Gainey (54), Blake Adams (57), Scott Piercy (60),George McNeill (61), Brendon de Jonge (64), Cameron Tringale (66), Johnson Wagner (67) and Chris Stroud (70).
After sharing an off week with the PGA TOUR, the Nationwide Tour begins a run of seven events this week that will lead to the end of the 2011 season. The field for this week's 22nd Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft includes all top-25 money winners, 58 of the top 60 and 90 of the top 100.
Albertsons Boise Open week kicked off on Monday with the "Battle of the Big Guns" shoot out, featuring John Daly and RE/MAX World Long Drive Champion Jamie Sadlowski. The pair will compete in the tournament itself as sponsor exemptions. Sadlowski carries a +1.1 handicap. His club head speed and ball speed have been measured at 148 mph and 213 mph, respectively.
Harris English announced on Tuesday that he is turning pro and accepted membership to join the Nationwide Tour that was available to him when he won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational as an amateur in July. English will make his debut next week at the Soboba Golf Classic in San Jacinto, Calif. He has indicated he will also play in Midland, Texas, Chattanooga, Tenn. and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Jerry Foltz on the Nationwide Tour's third youngest member, 21-year-old Danny Lee, in a recent PGATOUR.COM feature: "He's got some star qualities although he's a shy kid. He's certainly one of the most talented players on Tour and without a question he'll be successful." The 2008 U.S. Amateur champion ranks 2nd in Birdie Average, 4th in Scoring Average and All-Around Ranking and T7 in Driving Distance.
Rookie Aaron Goldberg is pledging $5 for every birdie he makes this year for a charity in the city in which he is playing. The contributions are multiplied by getting friends and acquaintances to pledge along with him. The Carlsbad, CA, resident has posted 142 birdies in 10 starts this year.
A series of short films are being promoted on Golf Channel featuring Champions Tour professional Tom Lehman and the PGA TOUR’s Kevin Streelman. The short films focusing on the Charles Schwab Mentor Project, an episodic documentary that follows a series of dramatic mentorships. This is the first of several films that can be viewed at www.SchwabFilms.com
Champions Tour professional Loren Roberts, along with Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, are the newest players added to the PGA TOUR Ballot to be considered for inclusion in the World Golf Hall of Fame for its Class of 2012.
The defending champion of the upcoming Songdo IBD Championship presented by Korean Air, Russ Cochran, is currently sixth in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
Fred Funk, who lost in a one-hole playoff to Russ Cochran last year, will not return to the Songdo IBD Championship this year due to injuries to his right knee and left thumb. He underwent surgery for both in early August.
Through 19 events on the Champions Tour this season, eight players have earned $1 million or more, three more than at this point a year ago.
The battle for the coveted top-30 spots on the money list and a spot in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park continues. With a $3-million purse available in South Korea, it could have a bearing on which players earn a spot in the tournament. Through the most recent event, 26 players have already exceeded the $500,000 figure, and 16 of those have surpassed the $600,000 mark—an amount that easily qualified for a spot in the tournament a year ago. Last year’s 30th spot was $593,125 by Brad Bryant.
Exciting finishes have become the norm on the Champions Tour in the last month. The last three events have been won with a birdie on the final hole.