| - March 10, 2004
- Since old records don't exist on this subject, it can't be said that
Craig Parry's eagle two to win his playoff last week is the first in TOUR history. However, among tournaments still in existence on TOUR, it appears to be the first such occurence. It has happened before on the Nationwide Tour, however. Tag Ridings won the 2002 Permian Basin Charity Classic by holing out for an eagle two on the first playoff hole to defeat Mark Hensby.
- Coincidence? The last memorable holeout from the fairway to win on the
PGA TOUR was by Robert Gamez on the final hole of the 1990 Bay Hill Invitational. Gamez, just like Parry, holed out from 176 yards. The 18th hole at Bay Hill was the toughest on TOUR in 1989 and the 18th at Doral has been the toughest on TOUR so far this year. Need more? Both Gamez and Parry had their brothers caddying for them. It was also the second career win for each.
- Retief Goosen has posted 29 consecutive rounds of par-or-better over
the past two seasons. He had eight in a row to conclude the 2003 season and has begun this year with 21 more. He's 73-under par over that stretch.
- Holding a lead has been commonplace this year on TOUR. In the first
nine stroke-play events of the year, 54-hole leaders (or co-leaders) have gone on to win eight times. The only come- from-behind win this season was that of Ernie Els at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
- International players have won five of the first 10 events on TOUR this
year. Stuart Appleby (Australia), Ernie Els (South Africa), Vijay Singh (Fiji), Mike Weir (Canada) and Craig Parry (Australia) have all won in 2004.
- Craig Parry will be looking for a rare double this week. Only one
player, Lee Trevino in 1973, has won the Ford Championship at Doral and The Honda Classic in the same year. When Trevino did it, however, the events were not in consecutive weeks.
- Just like last week, look for someone with Florida ties to win at The
Honda Classic. Eight of the last 10 winners of the tournament had ties to the state. Only Tim Herron (1996) and Justin Leonard (2003) have won in the last decade at the tournament without Florida ties.
- Through the first 10 events of the year, Phil Mickelson has the most
rounds in the 60s with 17. Vijay Singh is second with 16.
- Peter Jacobsen will make his Champions Tour debut this week at the SBC
Classic in Valencia, CA. Jacobsen has enjoyed a great deal of success in California, winning three of his seven PGA TOUR titles there. While it may be his first start on the Tour, it won't be his first start at Valencia CC. He played in the 1998 Nissan Open at the course, missing the cut.
- Just like the PGA TOUR, the Champions Tour is an international
destination for great players. Last week's field at the MasterCard Classic in Mexico featured players from 13 countries outside the U.S. Three of them earned Top-10 finishes -- Graham Marsh (second), Hugh Baiocchi (third) and Sam Torrance (T7).
- Jack Spradlin's T4 in Mexico last week was the best official finish of
his career in a PGA TOUR co-sanctioned event. He finished 2nd in an unofficial second TOUR event in 1978 in Oklahoma City. His best previous finish on the Champions Tour was a T7 at 2002 FleetBoston Classic.
- Keith Fergus and John Fought made their Champions Tour debuts last week
in Mexico. Fergus finished in a T39 while Fought finished T66.
- An alumni update -- former players have won 141 PGA TOUR titles,
including four this season by Stuart Appleby, Ernie Els, John Daly and Heath Slocum. At least one former player has finished in the Top-10 in 382 of the last 384 PGA TOUR events.
- With the favorable exchange rate at the events in Australia and New
Zealand, overall Nationwide Tour purses for 2004 are now expected to be in the range of $15.8-$15.9 million.
- The site of this summer's Pete Dye West Virginia Classic has undergone
a name change. The site is now known as the Pete Dye Sporting Club. It was previously called the Pete Dye Golf Club.
- The leader to date on the PGA TOUR from the Nationwide Tour Class of
2003 is Bo Van Pelt. Van Pelt currently stands in 31st place on the money list with $411,209. Mark Hensby is next on the list in 40th place with $349,647 in earnings./UL>