News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
Since the Masters was first played in 1934, only three players'Jack Nicklaus (1970-73), Tom Watson (1980-83) and Tiger Woods (1999-2002)'have won majors in four consecutive seasons. Phil Mickelson has a chance to join that group this week.
Eight of the first 14 tournament winners this year on the PGA TOUR are ranked among the top 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Speaking of the Official World Golf Ranking, this week marks the 21st birthday for the system. Amazingly, five players who were ranked in the top 200 in the very first ranking are still among the top 200 today'Bernhard Langer (No. 1 and now 139), Corey Pavin (9-104), Fred Couples (42-110), Scott Verplank (133-67) and Jeff Sluman (193-147).
With his win last week, Adam Scott has five career titles to his credit. Only Sergio Garcia with six has more among players still in their 20s.
More on the 20-somethings: Of the17 players still in their 20s who have TOUR victories, 10 are Americans, three are Aussies and there is one each from England, Sweden, Spain and South Africa.
Scotts victory last week moved him into the top 10 on the FedExCup points list for the first time. He jumped up 23 spots to sixth on the season-long list. Stuart Applebys T2 allowed him to move up 76 spots to 31st.
Final on Scott: His win in Houston made him the eighth Australian winner of the Shell Houston Open and Applebys runner-up effort made him the seventh Aussie to finish second at the tournament.
This weeks Masters field will include 31 former Nationwide Tour players and eight current Champions Tour players.
With his win last week at the Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach, Keith Fergus becomes just the second player to win on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour. Ron Streck was the first to achieve the feat in 2005.
With his T2 last week, Hale Irwin has finished first or second 87 times in his Champions Tour career. That comes to 31.2% of his 279 career starts in which hes been on top or just missed.
Ben Crenshaw is having his best year yet on the Champions Tour. Hes been in the top 15 in four of his starts this year and has collected $257,463. Hes only bettered that mark once in his previous five seasons on tour.
Mark OMeara has made a strong debut on the Champions Tour finishing in the top 10 in four of his five starts, including a T2 last week.
For the second consecutive week, the winner on the Nationwide Tour has established a record for most time between victories. First, it was Skip Kendall and last week it was Omar Uresti. Urestis victory last week at the Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship came 12 years, 11 months and 27 days since he won the 1994 Shreveport Open.
Urestis final-round 76 equaled the second highest final-round score by a winner in tour history. Only a final-round 79 by Roger Salazar at the 1991 South Texas Open was higher. In fact, his final two-day total of 150 has been topped only once as well'also by Salazar who finished his final 36 holes in 151 strokes. In addition, Urestis winning total of even par is the second-highest winning score in tour history, topped only by Salazars 3-over total in 1991.
Why the high scores? The Course at Wente Vineyards played extremely difficult. In fact, it played to a stroke average of 3.235 over par for the week, making it the ninth-most difficult course in tour history. Through the first five events of the year, the course contributed four of the five most difficult holes on tour.