News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
Scott Verplank added to his streak of consecutive par-or-better rounds last week at the Northern Trust Open. On his way to a T5 finish, Verplank stretched his streak to 27 consecutive rounds of par-or-better dating back to last season. Hes a little more than halfway to the record 52 in a row set back in 2001 by Tiger Woods.
When Stuart Appleby tees it up on Wednesday at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, he will continue to be the only player to compete in every World Golf Championship event since their inception. The Accenture Match Play Championship will be his 27th consecutive World Golf Championship tournament.
When Phil Mickelson won last weeks Northern Trust Open, he became just the third player to win all four of the current California TOUR events. Mickelson joins Billy Casper and Johnny Miller as the only players to win the Buick Invitational, Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and Northern Trust Open in their careers.
Phil Mickelson is the new leader in the FedExCup points race. Hes the fourth different player to hold the top spot this year joining Daniel Chopra, K.J. Choi and J.B. Holmes. This weeks Accenture Match Play Championship will offer 4,725 FedExCup points with the winner earning 26,250.
When there is a short match at the Accenture Match Play Champion;ship, Stephen Ames is often involved. Ames has won a match 8&7 (Robert Karlsson, 2007) and lost matches 9&8 (Tiger Woods, 2006) and 7&6 (Mark Hensby, 2005).
This weeks Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya will feature nine players who have won major championships on the TOUR--Mark Brooks, John Daly (2), Lee Janzen (2), Shaun Micheel, Larry Mize, Greg Norman (2), Corey Pavin, Nick Price (3) and Bob Tway.
For the first time since 1994, the first four tournament winners of the season came from behind the final day to win. Fred Funk, Jerry Pate and Scott Hoch (twice) have all started the final round behind the leader.
When Scott Hoch won last weeks ACE Group Classic, it marked the first time in his career that he collected titles in consecutive starts. The closest he came was when he won the 1996 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill and then finished T3 in his next start at the Deposit Guaranty Classic.
Gary Players second-round 70 last week at The ACE Group Classic bettered his age by two. Its the eighth time hes done that and the 18th time hes at least shot his age on the Champions Tour.
Tom Kite finished T2 last week in Tampa for his 16th career runner-up finish on the Champions Tour. He had 29 second-place efforts during his PGA TOUR career. He also has nine Champions Tour victories and 19 PGA TOUR titles to his credit.
Last weeks HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship was rain-shortened to 36 holes and while the money was official for Darron Stiles, the victory was not. It was the fourth scheduled 72-hole tournament in Tour history to be reduced to 36 holes and the first since the 2001 Price Cutter Charity Championship.
More on Stiles: His victory boosted his career earnings on the Nationwide Tour past the $1 million mark. He joins Paul Claxton and Tom Scherrer as the only players in Tour history to eclipse that figure.
While this is the seventh consecutive year the Tour has visited Australia, this weeks Moonah Classic is considered a new event. The previous Tour stop in Australia was played in Adelaide while this weeks tournament will be held in Fingal, outside of Melbourne.