Champions Tour Statistical Winners
Arnold Palmer Award (official money title) ' Jay Haas, $2,420,227
Haas total was the highest since Hale Irwin won a record $3,028,304 in 2002. Haas finished $54,832 ahead of No. 2 Loren Roberts. He also became the first player on Tour to win both the Arnold Palmer Award and the Charles Schwab Cup in the same year since Tom Watson did so in 2003.
Byron Nelson Award (lowest scoring average) -- Loren Roberts, 69.01
Roberts' stroke average in 2006 was the lowest on the Champions Tour since Tom Watson in 2003 (68.81). Jay Haas finished second (69.07). Of his 67 rounds played on the Champions Tour this year, Roberts had 52 sub-par scores and recorded 40 rounds in the 60s. The .06 differential between Roberts and Haas was the closest race since 2000 when Gil Morgan (68.83) nipped Larry Nelson (68.87).
Driving Distance -- Dan Pohl, 293.0
For the second consecutive year, Pohl topped the Champions Tour in Driving Distance. In 2005, his average drive was (300.5). Pohl led the PGA TOUR in Driving Distance in 1980 (274.3) and 1981 (280.1).
Driving Accuracy Percentage -- David Edwards, 83.79%
Edwards led the PGA TOUR in Driving Accuracy in 1994 (81.6%). He topped the field in this category at four events (Senior PGA Championship, 3M Championhip, Boeing Greater Seattle Classic, JELD-WEN Tradition).
Greens In Regulation Percentage -- Tom Watson, 76.42%
Watson's percentage was the highest on the Champions Tour since Tom Kite in 2000 (78.0). Watson finished second in this category in 2002 with a previous-best of 74.87.
All-Around -- Jay Haas, 87
Haas didn't finish lower than 26th (Driving Accuracy Percentage) in any individual stats category and was among the top 5 in Birdie Average (first), Putting Average (second), Scoring Average (second) and Greens In Regulation Percentage (fourth).
Total Driving -- Mark James, 24
James claimed this stats category for the second time in three years. He won in 2004 with 41. He became the first international player to claim this stats category twice. Scotland's Brian Barnes also was the Champions Tour's leader in Total Driving in 1996 (30). Last year, James ranked 11th in Driving Accuracy Percentage (77.08%) and 13th in Driving Distance (278.7).
Putting Average -- Loren Roberts, 1.726
Nicknamed 'The Boss of the Moss', Roberts' average was the best on the Champions Tour since Rodger Davis in 2003 (1.726). He was the PGA TOUR's leading putter in 1994 (1.737). Roberts had 439 one-putts and only three-putted 19 times in 21 Champions Tour events in 2006.
Birdie Average -- Jay Haas, 4.51
Haas had 302 birdies in his 67 rounds played on the Champions Tour this year. Last year, his birdie average was 4.33.
Eagles (Holes per) -- Hajime Meshiai, 92.0
Meshiai made nine eagles in the 828 holes he played on the Champions Tour this year.
Sand Save Percentage -- Jerry Pate, 62.07
Pate made 36 saves in 58 attempts from the sand in 2006. He was perfect getting it up-and-down out of the bunker in five of the 14 events he played this year before surgery shortened his season in mid-July.
The 2006 Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year will be voted on by active members of the Champions Tour. An announcement about the winners will be made in December.
Information courtesy of the PGA TOUR
McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School
One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.
McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.
It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.
McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).
Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).
Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.
Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award
The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.
The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.
Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.
The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.
A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.
Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4
Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.
Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.
South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.
Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.
The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout
It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.
Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.
Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.
"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."
Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.
Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.