News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
If The Presidents Cup teams were settled today, the top 10 International team members would all be ranked among the top 21 in the Official World Golf Ranking. The U.S. team would have six players among the top 21. The overall average of the top 10 International players on the OWGR is 12.1 while the U.S. team averages 21.0 on the rankings. The points will be finalized after the PGA Championship and captains Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus will also select two players to each squad.
2005 Rookie of the Year Sean OHair got off to a very slow start this season, missing the cut in five of his first six starts. Through the PODS Championship, OHair was 197th on the FedExCup points list, but since then he has climbed to 57th place thanks to a stretch where hes finished T14-T14-7-T15 and T25.
This weeks Wachovia Championship field features all but five of the 47 different tournament winners since the start of the 2006 season. The only players missing are Mark Calcavecchia, Chris Couch, Fred Funk, Paul Goydos and David Toms.
Jonathan Byrd leads the TOUR in sand saves, converting 76.09% of the time. He enters this weeks Wachovia Championship with 10 consecutive sand saves to his credit.
At the official halfway point in the PGA TOURs regular season, the leader in the FedExCup points race is Vijay Singh. Holding down the 144th and final spot in the chase to reach the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup is Kenny Perry. Perry has 673 points while Steve Lowery is currently the first man outside the top 144. He has 672 points.
The Champions Tour will make the first of three stops in Texas this week at the FedEx Kinkos Classic in Austin. No native Texan has won a event in the state since John Mahaffey took home the title at the 1999 AT&T Championship in San Antonio.
If Jay Haas successfully defends his title this week at the FedEx Kinkos Classic, he will join Hale Irwin as the only players in Champions Tour history to win the same two tournaments back-to-back in consecutive seasons. Haas completed the first half of the feat when he won his second straight Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf title recently. Irwin won the 1997 Senior PGA Championship and Las Vegas Senior Classics in consecutive events and won the same two titles in consecutive weeks the following season.
Two-time PGA TOUR winner Donnie Hammond is the latest player to reach age 50 and he will make his Champions Tour debut this week in Austin. His last TOUR victory came at the 1989 Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
Aussie Nick Flanagan claimed his first Nationwide Tour title last week at the Henrico County Open and in the process became the 50th different international player to win an event in tour history. International players from 18 different countries have won 69 tour events since the Nationwide Tour began in 1990. Australians have won 28 of those.
Speaking of Australians, they currently hold down six of the Top 25 spots on the Nationwide Tour money list. In fact, international players hold 11 of the spots on the coveted 25.
Darron Stiles is back in Fort Smith, Ark., this week to defend his title at the Fort Smith Classic presented by Stephens, Inc. If he successfully defends, hell be the first player in tour history to do so.