Toms Takes Winning Streak Into Nelson

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IRVING, Texas (AP) -- David Toms is on a winning streak.
 
After winning on the PGA Tour for the first time in nearly 20 months last weekend, Toms spent Monday night as the third-base coach for his 5-year-old son's T-ball team, a 21-20 winner.
 
'You know I did send a couple of kids home when it was a close play at the plate,' Toms said Wednesday. 'It's so intense.'
 
Now Toms is back on the golf course, hoping to build on last weekend, when he ended his victory drought in the Wachovia Championship.
 
'It feels good to finally be back,' Toms said. 'It's been a long while and it's been laying on me pretty heavily. Hopefully, I can ride the wave longer.'
 
Even though Toms is sixth on the money list ($1.9 million), he had missed five of the first 11 cuts. He missed just seven cuts in 55 tournaments while making more than $7 million the previous two seasons.
 
That inconsistency was wearing on Toms.
 
'I was up and down. It was tough for me to take,' he said. 'Any time that you are missing cuts, you don't have a chance at all at your goal for that week, and it takes a toll. At least on me mentally.'
 
Toms finished fourth in last year's Nelson, and has been in the top 20 three straight years.
 
Shigeki Maryuama is the defending champion of the $5.6 million tournament, which plays its first two rounds over two par-70 courses, the TPC Four Seasons and Cottonwood Valley.
 
After finishing 16th on the money list last season, the highest finish ever for a Japanese player, Maryuama goes into the Nelson ranked 82nd with just $325,636.
 
Maryuama has entered just 12 tournaments this year, missing seven cuts and withdrawing from two other events because of a neck injury. He took some time off last month to return to Japan to see a doctor.
 
'There is no accurate, or adequate cure to my injury right now,' he said. 'So I feel that from this time on, that I need to try hard to come back.'
 
The tour's top three money-winners, Davis Love III, Masters champion Mike Weir and Tiger Woods, aren't in Texas this week.
 
Woods is defending his Deutsche Bank-SAP Open title in Germany, and Love and Weir are taking the week off.
 
Hank Kuehne enters the Nelson as the tour's longest driver (312.6 yards), and finally as a member of the PGA Tour.
 
While Kuehne's Tour status is temporary for now, it's something the 1998 U.S. Amateur champion went out and earned this season.
 
'I've got a little card that says so,' said Kuehne, 27.
 
By using sponsor's exemptions and finishing third at the BellSouth Classic and second at the Houston Open last month, Kuehne gained special temporary member status.
 
Kuehne turned professional four years ago, then went through left shoulder and left elbow surgeries in 2000. He failed to earn his card in three trips through the PGA Tour's Qualifying School.
 
After winning twice and finishing in the top 10 four other times in 12 Canadian Tour events last year, Kuehne failed again at Q-School.
 
So, he decided to try to earn his card with his play this season. He would take advantage of sponsor's exemptions to get into PGA Tour events and earn enough money to finish in the top 125 on the money list.
 
His $569,100 would put him 51st, but his money won't count until the end of the year. He has already won more than No. 117 on last year's final list and that would earn him his card for 2004.
 
'I'm very, very pleased with where I am. I'm not satisfied,' Kuehne said. 'My goals have somewhat changed. There are a lot of other things I would like to achieve this year having status. I'm definitely not going to just sit and say, `Oh great, I have my PGA Tour card.''