Looking Back at the First-Timers Part 2


PGA Tour (75x100)First-time winners were more frequent than inclement weather this season on the PGA Tour. Eighteen players recorded their maiden tour victories, with three winning on multiple occasions. That number easily broke the old tour record of 14, set in 1991.
From Jerry Kelly winning the first full-field event to Luke Donald winning the last, here is a brief look at winners 10-18 this season.
Spike McRoy
McRoy reached his professional pinnacle by winning the B.C. Open, but plummeted soon after. He missed eight cuts in his last 11 starts. McRoy made $378,000 for his win in Endicott, N.Y., which made up more than half of his $616,814 yearly income. His 110th-place finish on the money list was the worst by a tour winner since Ed Dougherty ended 1995 in the 122nd position.

Craig Parry
The stout Australian followed in Kevin Sutherlands footsteps in making a World Golf Championships event his first tour victory. He snapped a 235-tournament winless streak by capturing the NEC Invitational. Parry, who at one time was the tours leading money earner without a win, made $1 million for his triumph at Sahalee. That accounted for nearly 70 percent of his 2002 winnings.

Chris Riley
As was the case when Sutherland won the Match Play and Ian Leggatt won in Tucson, a pair of first-timers won again in the same week. Riley prevailed in the Reno-Tahoe Open, which was played simultaneously to the NEC Invitational. Riley denied Jonathan Kaye his first tour title by winning in a playoff.
The 29-year-old continued his ascent up the money list. He was 112th in his rookie season of 1999; 71st in 2000; 45th in 2001; and 23rd this year.

John Rollins
Rollins shot 65 in the final round of the Bell Canadian Open, and then watched as Neal Lancaster double-bogeyed the final hole to force a playoff. Rollins rolled in a 20-footer for birdie on the first extra hole to defeat Lancaster and Justin Leonard. He earned $720,000 en route to finishing 25th on the money list. He made almost $170,000 in his rookie year of 2001, and a shade under $2 million in his sophomore season.

Charles Howell III
Shouldered with weighty expectations since turning professional in 2000, the lithe Howell finally got his first title at the Michelob Championship. It didnt take as long as it did for the likes of Parry, but Howell was much relieved after career start No. 56. The 23-year-old Augusta, Ga., native made over $2.7 million in 2002 to finish ninth in earnings.
Howell started the year with three top-10s in his first five starts, before struggling in the middle of the season. After his opening-round 70 at the Michelob, though, he concluded the campaign with 16 consecutive sub-70 rounds.

Phil Tataurangi
Tataurangi shot 10-under 62 in the final round to win the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas. He became the 15th first-time winner of the season, officially breaking the old tour record. Tataurangi, who has suffered all his life with a heart malady, made $900,000 for his victory, and vaulted into position to try and qualify for The Tour Championship. Instead, he decided to skip the remainder of the year, and finished 33rd on the money list.

Bob Burns
Burns held off Tiger Woods to win the Disney Golf Classic. The former Buy.Com Tour Player of the Year won his first PGA Tour event in his 173rd start. He made $630,000 to surpass the seasonal $1-million mark for the first time in his career.

Jonathan Byrd
The tour freshman played a five-hole stretch in 7-under-par on the back nine Sunday to win the Buick Challenge. Byrd shot 63 to keep David Toms out of the winners circle this year. He was the first rookie to win on the PGA Tour in 2002. He finished 39th on the money list, just ahead of fellow Rookie of the Year candidates Pat Perez (40) and Peter Lonard (41).

Luke Donald
Donald became the fifth consecutive first-timer to win on tour when the final round of the Southern Farm Bureau Classic was washed out. The 24-year-old Englishman was leading in Mississippi through three days when rain wiped out play Sunday and Monday. He joined Byrd as the only rookies to win on tour this season. Donald was 58th in earnings.
Look at winners 1-9.