News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
Its been all or nothing for Stuart Appleby at the Shell Houston Open. In seven career starts in the event, Appleby has won twice, finished second twice and missed the cut three times.
More on Appleby: In his last three starts at the Shell Houston Open, Appleby has finished first (2006) and tied for second twice (2005, 2007). In the two years the tournament has been played at The Tournament Course at Redstone GC, Appleby is 33-under par with seven rounds in the 60s.
One more on Appleby: While TOUR players frequently do most of their damage on the par-5s, Appleby has excelled on the par-4s at Redstone. In the past two years, hes 21-under on the par-4s and just 12-under on the par-5s. His long putting may be the reason'hes made 13 of 26 putts between 10 and 15 feet in length and six over 25 feet during that span.
Theres a very strong field assembled in Houston this week with five of the Top-10 players in the current FedExCup standings on hand. Scheduled to compete this week are Phil Mickelson (2nd), K.J. Choi (4th), Justin Leonard (6th), Steve Stricker (7th) and Geoff Ogilvy (10th).
International players have dominated at the Shell Houston Open over the past 10 years. Players from outside the U.S. have won seven of the last 10 tournaments with Aussies winning four of them. Stuart Appleby was the winner in 1999 and 2006 while Robert Allenby won in 2000 and Adam Scott last year. Vijay Singh of Fiji won three times over the past decade'2002, 2004, 2005.
Andres Romero made the biggest leap in the FedExCup standings last week with his victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans vaulting him from 135th place all the way to 14th. Peter Lonard was nearly as successful, moving from 107th to 24th after finishing second.
It was a week to celebrate the international nature of the three Tours last week. International players won on all three last week'Andres Romero of Argentina on the PGA TOUR, Bernhard Langer of Germany on the Champions Tour and Gavin Coles of Australia on the Nationwide Tour.
When Billy Mayfair tees it up this Thursday at the Shell Houston Open it will be his 600th career start.
Tim Simpson finished in a T2 last week at the Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach for his best effort to date on the Champions Tour. It was his best finish on any of the Tours since finishing second at the 1995 Buffalo Open on the Nationwide Tour. His last victory came on the PGA TOUR at the 1990 Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic.
Bob Gilder played in his 100th consecutive Champions Tour event last week. Hes still way shy of Dana Quigleys all-time mark of 264.
This weeks The Cap Cana marks the Champions Tour first official money event in the Caribbean since the 1996 Senior Tournament of Champions was held in Puerto Rico.
Bernhard Langers eight-stroke victory last week at the Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach was the largest margin of victory on the Champions Tour since his eight-stroke win at the 2007 Administaff Small Business Classic.
More on Langer: He now has three Champions Tour victories in only 11 starts. He won three times on the PGA TOUR in 302 career starts.
Hes Mr. Even-Numbered Years. Gavin Coles won his fourth Nationwide Tour career title last week at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by Dynamic Industries. His four titles have come in 2002-2004-2006 and 2008.
With Gavin Coles winning last week, Australians have won three of the first five Nationwide Tour events this year. Coles joins Jarrod Lyle and Ewan Porter who won earlier this year.
Brendon de Jonge finished in a T3 last week for his best finish in 84 career starts on the Nationwide Tour. It was his second Top-10 of the season and it boosted him to 14th on the money list.
Five-time Nationwide Tour winner Chris Couch is a fully-exempt PGA TOUR member, but has not played on the TOUR yet this season while recovering from a shoulder injury. He returned to the Nationwide Tour last week for his first rehab start and made the cut in Louisiana, finishing in a T55.