Looking to ride the wave of confidence that comes with winning a major, Els seeks his second win in a tournament where he has always fared well. Having six top-sevens in his last eight starts, including a win in 2000 and last year's tie for third, the Big Easy performs well at the only PGA Tour event where stroke play is not involved.
Here the unique, modified Stableford scoring system is in place where golfers are given eight points for a double eagle, five for an eagle and two for a birdie. No points are awarded for a par, one is taken away for a bogey, and three points are deducted for a double bogey or worse.
Aggressive play is rewarded at this event, and that suits Els and fellow tournament record-holder Phil Mickelson just fine.
Lefty, known of course for his go-for-broke style, is the only two-time winner of the event and shares the event record for points with 48. Though his last win came in 1997, he has placed second twice in the last four years, most recently to Els in 2000.
Last years surprise winner, Tom Pernice, Jr., will be back to defend at the monsterous 7,559-yard par-72 course at Castle Pines Golf Club, in Castle Rock, Colo. But he will indeed have his hands full because of the last five champions, he is the only one not among the top-10 players in the official world rankings.
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This year's field, which boasts V.J. Singh, Sergio Garcia, Chris DiMarco, and former champion Brad Faxon, will be playing for part of the $4.5 million purse, with $810,00 going to the winner.
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