Bill Haas’ FedExCup and TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola victory win by the numbers: The fifth champion to win at East Lake GC with four rounds in the 60s (the only player to perform the feat this week), joining Phil Mickelson (2000), Bart Bryant (2005), Adam Scott (2006) and Tiger Woods (2007)…Seventh winner in 20s at the TOUR Championship and first since Camilo Villegas in 2008…Wins in the ninth playoff at the TOUR Championship and first since Villegas defeated Sergio Garcia in 2009…Wins in the longest playoff at the event (3 holes)…First player in his 20s to win the FedExCup…Records the 17th win (15 players) by players in their 20s this year, equaling the same numbers for players in their 30s…Third player to win the TOUR Championship in his first appearance, joining Chad Campbell (2003) and Bart Bryant (2005).
FedExCup champion Bill Haas led the field in Putting – Strokes Gained at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola at 2.048 strokes per round, the fifth TOUR winner to lead the category since it was officially introduced at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. The others: Lucas Glover (Wells Fargo Championship), Fredrik Jacobson (Travelers Championship), Nick Watney (AT&T National) and Webb Simpson (Wyndham Championship). Note: Putting – Strokes Gained statistics were not calculated at the U.S. Open, British Open or PGA Championship.
The PGA TOUR Fall Series, comprised of four tournaments and beginning this week with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, features late-season drama as players will be vying to finish in the top 125 on the PGA TOUR Official Money List to earn their cards for 2012. Other benefits include:
- Tournament winners receive a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR including an invitation to the season-opening, winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
- The potential to finish in the top 30 on the money list which would earn a spot in the 2012 Masters.
- The opportunity to accrue Official World Golf Ranking points towards entry into the World Golf Championships events (The Accenture Match Play Championship invites the top 64 available players in the OWGR two weeks prior; the Cadillac Championship invites the top 50 and the Bridgestone Invitational invites event winners with OWGR strength of field rating of 115 points or higher).
Roland Thatcher finds himself in familiar territory as he checks into the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open No. 126 on the money list. Thatcher has finished No. 121 (2009) and No. 122 (2010) the last two seasons.
In one of the most dramatic finishes in PGA TOUR history, Jonathan Byrd earned his fourth-career victory in historic fashion by recording the first-ever playoff hole-in-one to win the 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Using a 6-iron, Byrd aced the par-3, 204-yard 17th hole – the fourth extra hole – for the victory. Byrd this week is looking to become only the second player (Jim Furyk/1998-1999) to win the PGA TOUR’s Las Vegas event in consecutive years.
Top five -- all-time Fall Series money list
McNeill, George $2,248,894
Ames, Stephen $1,943,202
Leonard, Justin $1,901,360
Garrigus, Robert $1,778,992
Beckman, Cameron $1,764,602
The oldest winner in the last 11 events dating back to the Viking Classic was Scott Piercy (32 years, 9 months and 1 day). The average age of winners during that time period was 28 years, with eight of the 11 champions under the age of 30.
Through 41 events, Steve Stricker (John Deere Classic) is the only player to have successfully defended a title in 2011.
Statistical leaders through the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup:
Scoring Average Luke Donald 68.86
Driving Distance J.B. Holmes 318.4 yards
Driving Accuracy Percentage Joe Durant 75.88 percent
Greens in Regulation Percentage John Senden 70.99 percent
Strokes Gained - Putting Luke Donald .773 strokes per round
Putting Average Luke Donald 1.706
Sand Save Percentage Brian Gay 63.50 percent
Total Driving John Merrick 56
All-Around Ranking Webb Simpson 233
Total Eagles Bubba Watson 15
Total Birdies Brian Davis 379
The Regions Tradition, the first major championship of the 2011 season won by Tom Lehman in a playoff over Peter Senior at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Alabama, was voted the “Best Charity Event in Birmingham” by readers of Birmingham Magazine. Lehman currently leads the Champions Tour money list and the Charles Schwab Cup points race. Attached is a link to the online list of achievers which is also included in this month’s print issue http://www.bhammag.com/best_of_bham_2011-5.aspx
2011 3M Championship winner Jay Haas was at East Lake in Atlanta last week to watch his son, Bill, win the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and capture the season-long $10 million FedExCup in the process.
Tom Lehman has won Player of the Year honors on both the Nationwide Tour (1991) and PGA TOUR (1996). Should he go on to earn similar honors on the Champions Tour, he would become the first player in history to accomplish that feat.
With an appearance at the SAS Championship, Tom Kite will become just the 12th player in history with at least 1,000 official PGA TOUR/Champions Tour starts in his career and first since Hale Irwin hit 1,000 events at the 2010 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Two years ago, Leonard Thompson made his 1,000th combined-career start at the SAS Championship.
There have been three straight playoffs and the all-time Champions Tour record for most consecutive playoffs is four in a row, established in 2005 and matched earlier this year. However, there has never been a playoff at the SAS Championship, the only current event that has played the first 10 years without an overtime session.
35 – The number of double eagles recorded in Champions Tour history, the most recent coming from Keith Fergus at the par-5 17th hole in the second round of the 2010 SAS Championship, holing a 3-iron shot from 210 yards.
The last four Champions Tour events have been won with a birdie on the last hole and the winner of the event has come from the last group in the last six events.
Ted Potter, Jr. became the third two-time winner of 2011, joining J.J. Killeen and Mathew Goggin. A third win would mean an immediate promotion to the PGA TOUR for the remaining events of 2011 and fully-exempt status on the PGA TOUR next year.
Ted Potter, Jr. has been up one week and down the next over the last seven tournaments -- T6, MC, T3, MC, T3, MC, Win.
Only $575 separates "bubble boy" Brenden Pappas and No. 26 Garth Mulroy on the Nationwide Tour money list.
The Nationwide Tour returns to the Midland/Odessa, Texas area this weeki for the 20th straight year. Past champions of the WNB Golf Classic include PGA TOUR winners Charley Hoffman(2004), Brandt Snedeker (2006), Garrett Willis (2009) and area native Chad Campbell (2001).
With $3,758,600 (13th) in earnings, Keegan Bradley set a new mark for most money won by a Nationwide Tour alumnus in his rookie year on the PGA TOUR. He replaces Brandt Snedeker($2,836,643 / 2007).
Former University of Georgia standouts Russell Henley and Harris English finished T31 and T49, respectively, in their professionals debuts last week at the Soboba Golf Classic.
Leading money winner J.J. Killeen is looking to become the second consecutive San Diego native to capture the Nationwide Tour money title. Jamie Lovemark did so last year. Killeen leadsMathew Goggin by $42,102 with five events remaining.
Sunday's Soboba Golf Classic playoff was only the second of the year on the Nationwide Tour. The record for fewest playoffs in a single season is two, set in 1997.