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Gene Littler (1977)
The Woodlands CC
- January 20, 2004
This ought to make you feel a little older. Six players on the 2004 PGA TOUR were born in the 1980's. The list includes Kevin Na (9-15-83), Hunter Mahan (5-17-82), Aaron Baddeley (3-17-81), Justin Rose (7-30-80), Adam Scott (7-16-80) and Sergio Garcia (1-9-80).
The members of the 2004 PGA TOUR hail from 42 states (all but Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming) and 22 countries.
With his win at the Sony Open, Ernie Els became the first player to win the same event in consecutive years in playoffs since Nick Faldo won the 1989 and 1990 Masters.
There are more Oklahoma State alums (nine) competing this year than any other school. Florida, Texas and UCLA have seven each, while Georgia Tech and Wake Forest each have six.
Nationwide Tour alums make up 59% of the 2004 membership of the PGA TOUR.
There are 30 rookies on the PGA TOUR in 2004. They range in age from 20-year old Kevin Na to 40-year old Wes Short.
In 2004 there are 12 players who are 6-4 or taller (part-time player Phil Blackmar at 6-7 is the tallest) and 10 that weigh 225 pounds or more (Blackmar is 245 with Guy Boros and Craig Stadler at 240). The smallest player is 5-3 (Brian Kortan) and the lightest is Hidemichi Tanaka (136 pounds).
Stuart Appleby's victory at the Mercedes Championships was the 138th (Ernie Els became the 139th at the Sony Open) by a Nationwide Tour alum on the PGA TOUR. Appleby has finished second or better in four of his last seven starts and is 87-under par over that stretch dating back to last year's 84 Lumber Classic of Pennsylvania. He's been in the 60s in 19 of his last 27 rounds.
There are 16 rookies on the Champions Tour this year, including seven that won on the PGA TOUR -- Keith Fergus, John Fought, Jay Haas, Peter Jacobsen, Jerry Pate, Mike Reid and Ron Streck.
The number of international players coming to the U.S. continues to increase. The PGA TOUR has 71 members from 22 countries, the Champions Tour has 23 from 12 countries and the Nationwide Tour has 35 from 15 countries.
The three Tours will compete in official money events in 37 states and eight countries this year.
A total of 20 active TOUR players begin this season with 10 or more victories. Three others -- Jim Furyk, Jay Haas and David Toms -- need just one more to join them.
In case you missed it, 60-year old Champions Tour player Dave Eichelberger Monday qualified for last week's Sony Open in Hawaii. Eichelberger missed the cut in his first PGA TOUR start since making the cut at the 2000 U.S. Open.