Tucson Becoming Breakout Tour Stop


2005 Chrysler Classic at TucsonWith the golf world's top players all gathered at La Costa for the WGC - Match Play Championship, the PGA Tour also makes a visit to the Arizona desert for the Chrysler Classic of Tucson.
Played opposite the Match Play event every year since 1999, the Chrysler Classic may not have the big names but it is starting to become a place that gets players started in the right direction of becoming a big name.
David Duval
David Duval has made the cut in three of the four events he has played in 2006.
Five of the last six winners in Tucson have made the event their inaugural victory on the PGA Tour. It's no coincidence that that streak started the same year it began playing opposite the WGC - Match Play Championship. With guys like Tiger, Lefty and Vijay out of the equation, the field at the Chrysler Classic is truly wide open with a great opportunity for someone to have their breakout victory on tour.
Prior to 1999, the list of winners read in part like this: Palmer, Trevino, Watson, Stadler, Mickelson and Duval. Since the playing of duel events began, the honor roll is noticeably absent of superstars: Hjertstedt, Carter, Willis, Leggatt, Lickliter, Slocum and Ogilvy (and that's Geoff, not Joe). Not star power precisely, but their wins still go down in the record books as an official PGA Tour victory.
A fact not to be forgotten when discussing breakout victories was that 15 years ago Phil Mickelson turned the tour upside down when he won his maiden PGA Tour title here in Tucson - as an amateur.
In that vain, here our five players currently without a PGA Tour victory to watch for in Tucson:
Harrison Frazar
A four-time runner-up on tour, Frazar has finished inside the top-100 on the money list in each of his eight full seasons on tour. He missed two cuts to start '06 but has improved in the standings in each of last three events, including a 19th-place finish at the Nissan. He seems to perform well in the heat as top performances have come in places like Hawaii, Texas and Las Vegas.
Bill Haas
Son of Champions Tour star Jay, the former three-time All-American from Wake Forest is in his rookie season on tour. He made the cut in 13 of his 19 previous starts on the PGA Tour with his best finish a T9 at the 2004 Deustche Bank Championship. Best result thus far in 2006 is a solid performance at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic were he tied for 14th.
Bo Van Pelt
Finished 51st and 39th on the money list in each of the last two seasons on tour and currently is sitting in the 46th position after his solid showing at the Nissan Open where he tied for 11th. He had a pair of top-3 showings at last year's Memorial Tournament and Chrysler Championship. Tied for 17th at the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol.
Justin Rose
Playing the PGA Tour on a conditional status beginning in 2003, Rose has steadily blossomed into a legitimate threat to jump into the winner's circle. He posted 10 top-25 finishes in 2004 and then added two third-place outings last year. Rose has four international victories including the dunhill championship and British Masters on the European Tour. The 25-old-year Rose held a share of the lead at the Nissan following an opening-round 64.
David Duval
Sure he shouldn't be on this list because of his 13 career PGA Tour victories including the 2001 British Open, but he's in here because it certainly feels like he has never won a tournament. Although his last visit to the winner's circle was back in 2001, the former world No. 1 is showing signs of life with three cuts made in his first four starts this year. He made only one cut in 20 attempts in 2005.
The Omni Tucson National Golf Resort and Spa will play host to the event for the fifth straight year.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Chrysler Classic of Tucson
  • Golf Channel Airtimes