Current FedExCup leader Luke Donald has yet to claim a top 10 in seven previous U.S. Open starts, his best finish being T12 at Winged Foot GC in 2006. Donald has produced eight top 10s in nine events in 2011, tied for most on the PGA TOUR (Matt Kuchar).
Three of the five players that have played in all four TOUR Championships by Coca-Cola are currently in the top 30 in the FedExCup standings (Phil Mickelson/3, Steve Stricker/12, Hunter Mahan/17).
Phil Mickelson has five runner-up finishes (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009) at the U.S. Open, the most by any player. Players with four runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open: Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus. Mickelson has nine top-10 finishes in 18 professional starts at the U.S. Open.
Eleven players that played the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional CC are in the 2011 U.S. Open field: Ernie Els (1); Jim Furyk (T5); Stewart Cink (T13); Lee Westwood (T19); Steve Stricker(T36); Phil Mickelson (T43); Fred Funk (T43); Robert Allenby (MC); Padraig Harrington (MC); and David Toms (WD).
Eight PGA TOUR rookies are in the 2011 U.S. Open field: Kevin Chappell; Andres Gonzales; Justin Hicks, Sunghoon Kang; Robert Karlsson; Louis Oosthuizen; Alex Rocha and Charl Schwartzel.
Fred Funk, who qualified for the U.S. Open this week, played in his first career PGA TOUR event at Congressional Country Club in 1982, the Kemper Open. He finished T51 and earned $947..
Sergio Garcia, who earned a position in the U.S. Open via the 36-hole qualifier, will be playing in his 48th consecutive major, tops among active players. Vijay Singh (67) and Mike Weir (48) end streaks of consecutive majors this week.
Active consecutive major appearances (including the 2012 U.S. Open):
Player Consecutive major starts
Garcia, Sergio 48
Scott, Adam 40
Choi, K.J. 37
With Harrison Frazar’s first win in his 355th career start last week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, below is a list of active players with the most TOUR starts without a victory.
Player Starts without a PGA TOUR victory
Skip Kendall 410
Brett Quigley 397
Marco Dawson 386
Jay Williamson 373
Michael Allen 364
Nine consecutive events on the PGA TOUR in 2011 have been decided by either one stroke or in a playoff, dating back to the Valero Texas Open. The nine consecutive events decided either by one stroke or in a playoff is the longest streak on TOUR since 11 events in 1983 (U.S. Open-Sammy Davis Jr. Greater Hartford Open).
Mark Wiebe earned 263 Charles Schwab Cup points with his playoff win over James Mason at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn which moved him up 21 spots into eighth place in the season-long race with 536 total points on the year. Tom Lehman continues to lead the 2011 Charles Schwab Cup race with 1,494 points and Nick Price’s 77 points last week moved him into second place with 899 points on the year.
James Mason, who Monday qualified, earned himself a spot in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in two weeks with his runner-up finish at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.
The Champions Tour’s all-time record for most birdies made in a 54-hole tournament was shattered as 1,147 were made in regulation at this year’s Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. The old mark was set at the 2010 Allianz Championship when 1,012 were made on the Old Course at Broken Sound.
Loren Roberts (T5), Hal Sutton (T15) and Peter Senior (T31) all turned in bogey-free tournaments this week, marking the first time in Champions Tour history that as many as three players were bogey- free in the same tournament.
With 69 of the 81 players in the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn field shooting sub-par rounds in the opening round, it smashed the previous-best sub-par round numbers for any round on the Champions Tour in a 54-hole event (63/Round 3/2000 Gold Rush Classic).
There were only seven eagles made during the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn and Tom Kite had three of them. Kite became the first player in Champions Tour history to make a trio of eagles on the same nine (Round 2).
Successful qualifiers for this week’s U.S. Open Championship include Hale Irwin’s son, Steven, Arnold Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders, and Fred Funk, who celebrates his 55th birthday on Tuesday, June 14.
Mark Wiebe defeated James Mason in a three-hole sudden-death playoff at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn just hours before his induction into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.
Scott Hoch, who was born in Raleigh and played college golf at Wake Forest before becoming successful on both the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, has been voted into the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame. Hoch, who ranks 14th on the all-time career money list with $21.6 million, will be inducted on August 14.
Phil Blackmar’s son, Mark, was taken in the 16th round of Major League Baseball draft (pick #485) last week by the Baltimore Orioles. Mark is a pitcher who had been at Temple Junior College.
The next Champions Tour event on the schedule is the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open at En-Joie GC in Endicott, NY on June 20-26. Senior PGA champion Tom Watson is scheduled to appear at En Joie GC for the first time since 1976 when he finished T21 at the BC Open on the PGA TOUR.
86 – The number of consecutive holes Hal Sutton has played on the Champions Tour without making a bogey.
Congratulations to 1997 Nationwide Tour alumnus Harrison Frazer on winning his first PGA TOUR event, the FedEx St. Jude Classic, after 355 starts. It was the 308th time an alum has won on TOUR.
Reflective of the level of competition on the Nationwide Tour, 18 players who earned their 2011 PGA TOUR cards via the Nationwide Tour or Q-School are inside the top 125 on the PGA TOUR money list. Sixteen of those 18 played the Nationwide Tour on a regular basis last year (20+ starts, except one who had 14).
Eight current Nationwide Tour members played their way into this week's U.S. Open -- Sang-Moon Bae, Elliot Gealy, Jon Mills, Matthew Richardson, Geoffrey Sisk, Kirk Triplett, Ty Tryonand Will Wilcox. Also qualifying was amateur and U. of Georgia star Russell Henley, who won the Stadion Classic at UGA.
At age 15, Carter Jenkins of Raleigh, NC became the third youngest competitor in a Nationwide Tour event last week at The Rex Hospital Open. Michelle Wie was 13 when she played in Boise in 2003. Gregory LaVoie was 15 at the 1999 Tri-Cities Open in Richland, WA. Jenkins shot 76-80.
Former U. of Washington All-American Troy Kelly occupies the No. 2 spot on the money list, thanks to runner-up finishes in Athens and Raleigh. He collected first-place money in Athens whenRussell Henley grabbed the title.