In his three PGA TOUR victories, Brandt Snedeker has come back from 54-hole deficits of five (Jeff Overton/2007 Wyndham Championship), six (Luke Donald/2011 RBC Heritage) and seven (Kyle Stanley/2012 Farmers Insurance Open) strokes.
With his T6 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open, John Huh posted the first top 10 by a rookie through three events. The previous best was T13 by Ted Potter Jr. at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Bobby Gates, who led the PGA TOUR in eagles in 2011 with 17, has posted a TOUR-best six eagles in just 12 rounds in 2012.
The last 10 champions of the Waste Management Phoenix Open have combined for just one bogey on the par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale (Hunter Mahan, Round 2, 2010), with last year’s winnerMark Wilson making par on the hole all four rounds. Phil Mickelson (1996) was the winner to play the 16th hole over par for the week.
Last week’s Farmers Insurance Open rewarded school spirit during the third round. For the second year, all fans and TOUR players were encouraged to wear their own university colors in support of Farmers “University of Farmers” advertising campaign. For “extra credit,” Farmers made donations to college golf programs from players posting the best third-round, 18-hole scores. The player with the low third-round score, Florida State University graduate Jonas Blixt (65) received $20,000 for his alma mater’s golf team, while Cameron Tringale (66) received $10,000 for Georgia Tech for posting the second-lowest score. Any player who wore his school colors on Saturday had $500 donated in his name to his college’s golf program.
After opening the 2012 season with rounds of 72-72, FedExCup standings leader Johnson Wagner has reeled off a TOUR-best 10 straight rounds in the 60s. He’ll put that streak to the test this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he has three missed cuts and a T60 in four starts at TPC Scottsdale with a scoring average of 71.40.
Twenty-four of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings are scheduled to play the Waste Management Phoenix Open, including the top three: Johnson Wagner; Brandt Snedeker; and Mark Wilson, the defending champion.
Two-time Waste Management Phoenix Open winner Phil Mickelson will be playing the event for the 23rd time. He is one of six former Arizona State Sun Devils scheduled to play, joining with Matt Jones (sponsor exemption) Billy Mayfair, Pat Perez, Jeff Quinney (sponsor exemption) and Chez Reavie.
Among those making their first starts of 2012 are Scottsdale resident Arron Oberholser, on the comeback trail from multiple hand surgeries that have prevented him from playing on TOUR since late 2009, and Ian Poulter, whose wife Katie gave birth to the couple’s fourth child, Joshua, on January 26.
J.B. Holmes, the 2006 and 2008 champion of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, will make his second start since undergoing brain surgery in late 2011. Holmes missed the cut in his first start of the year at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Gary Koch will be among 13 athletes scheduled for induction into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2012. Koch, from Tampa, joined the PGA TOUR in 1975 and won six events over two decades. He became a television analyst in 1990 and also plays on the Champions Tour, where he has three runner-up finishes.
The Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples at Westchester Country Club in August, will be known as the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS when it is played at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh, Pa., in June this year.
Allianz Life will be donating $1,000 for every birdie from 2011 Champions Tour Player of the Year and Allianz-sponsored golfer Tom Lehman during the 2012 Allianz Championship.
Dan Forsman, who leads the Charles Schwab Cup after winning the season-opening event, finished 56th in last year’s Charles Schwab Cup race, 2,333 points behind winner Tom Lehman.
310 – The number of yards John Huston’s tee shots averaged during the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Huston leads the Driving Distance statistical category, seven yards ahead of second-ranked Kenny Perry. The winner of the tournament, Dan Forsman, averaged 288.2 yards and ranked T11.
Former President Bill Clinton will attend the Nationwide Tour’s season opening Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship in two weeks, marking the first time a sitting or former U.S. president will visit a Nationwide Tour event. President Clinton will attend a gala event on Tuesday, February 15, benefiting his Foundation’s work in Colombia, and will play in the next day’s pro-am.
On Saturday, PGA TOUR rookie and 2011 Nationwide Tour graduate Jonas Blixt earned $20,000 for the golf team at Florida State University, his alma mater (2008), when he posted the best round of the day (65) as part of the Farmers Insurance Open’s University Day.
Sunday’s Farmers Insurance Open runner-up Kyle Stanley spent 2010 honing his skills for the PGA TOUR on the Nationwide Tour. The two-time, first-team Clemson University All-American competed in 26 of that year’s 29 tournaments, finishing 35th on the money list, with six top 10s and a best finish of T4.
The Nationwide Tour alumni win total on the PGA TOUR was upped to 324 with Brandt Snedeker’s win at Torrey Pines. The 2004 Vanderbilt University grad earned his PGA TOUR card via the Nationwide Tour two years later.