News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
When Zach Johnson finished sixth last week at the Verizon Heritage, he became only the third player to win the Masters and then Top-10 the following week since 1985. Bernhard Langer won both events in 1985 and Vijay Singh followed his 2000 Masters victory with a T3 at Hilton Head.
You might want to look for a first-time winner this week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Four of the last five winners'K.J. Choi (2002), Steve Flesch (2003), Tim Petrovic (2005) and Chris Couch (2006)'all claimed their first TOUR titles in the Crescent City.
Speaking of Steve Flesch, he simply loves Louisiana. In addition to winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2003, hes also been the runner-up twice and finished sixth. In addition, he finished second at the 1998 Louisiana Open, T5 at the 1997 Shreveport Open and T15 at the 1997 Louisiana Open on the Nationwide Tour.
Befitting an international city like New Orleans, this weeks field at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans features players from 17 different countries. The tournament has a history of international winners with tournaments won by players from England, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Wales, Paraguay, South Korea and Fiji.
Boo Weekleys victory at the Verizon Heritage was the 202nd by a former Nationwide Tour player and the sixth this season. Hes the 14th player to graduate from the Nationwide Tour and then win the following season on the PGA TOUR.
It was a week for healthy jumps up the FedExCup points board. Winner Boo Weekley gained 28 spots to climb into eighth place while runner-up Ernie Els also gained 28 positions and is now 18th on the list. The biggest improvement, however, was made by Stephen Leaney who advanced 58 places to 45th on the season.
Andy North and Tom Watson will be looking to win their third consecutive Raphael Division (50-69 years of age) crown at this weeks Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. The duo has not made a bogey in the last two years. Jimmy Powell and Orville Moody will also be looking for a third consecutive title in the Demaret Division (70 years plus).
Doug Ford will be making his 30th consecutive appearance in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. Hes the only player to have competed in all 30.
Jay Haas will be looking to defend the individual crown he collected last year the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. He won last years tournament by five strokes, one of two events last year in which he had that big a margin over the runner-up. He also won the Administaff Small Business Classic by five.
Loren Roberts will be looking to extend his record streak of consecutive rounds of par or better this week in Savannah. He has 35 in a row entering the competition.
This weeks field at the Athens Regional Foundation Classic will feature 33 players who have won a total of 76 PGA TOUR titles during their careers. Included on this list are winners of the Masters (Larry Mize) and U.S. Open (Steve Jones). The field has four former Ryder Cup team and two Presidents Cup team members.
The Nationwide Tour is international, too. This weeks field will feature players from 15 countries.
The Athens Regional Foundation Classic will offer familiar surroundings for several players this week. No less than six players in the field attended the University of Georgia in Athens'Chip Beck, Justin Bolli, Paul Claxton, Erik Compton, Franklin Langham and Matt Peterson.
John Kimbell, who won last weeks South Georgia Classic, didnt take up the game of golf until he was 23 years old. A native of Atlanta, the 38-year old is a rookie on the Nationwide Tour this year.