News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
Hunter Mahan won last years Travelers Championship after finishing second the previous year. Hes the fourth player in the history of the event to perform that feat joining Wayne Levi (1989-90), Nick Price (1992-93) and Greg Norman (1994-95).
One more on Mahan: He closes well at the Travelers Championship. Hes shot 65 in the final round in each of the last two seasons.
This streak will continue. Hale Irwin remains the last player to win the U.S. Open and then win the following week. Irwin accomplished this back in 1990.
Several players made quantum leaps in the FedExCup standings thanks to their finishes at the U.S. Open. Runner-up Rocco Mediate had the biggest leap going from 127th all the way to 48th (+79) while Lee Westwood gained 52 spots to reach 72nd and Eric Axley jumped up 30 places to 125th on the list.
With his U.S. Open victory, Tiger Woods now has 13 wins in his native state of California. Hes won two U.S. Opens, six Buick Invitationals, two World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championships, one Mercedes-Benz Championship, one AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and one WGC-CA Championship.
When Justin Leonard ousted Robert Allenby from the playoff recently at the Stanford St. Jude Classic, it snapped Allenbys perfect playoff record of 10-0 worldwide and 3-0 on the PGA TOUR. It also erased the Shell Houston Opens claim of being the only event on TOUR with two former champions sporting unblemished multiple tournament playoff records. Allenby won the Shell Houston Open in 2000 while Phil Blackmar won in 1997 and ended his TOUR career with a 3-0 playoff mark.
Jay Haas will be looking for his third consecutive Champions Tour victory when he tees it up this week at the Bank of America Championship outside of Boston. Hell also be looking to win his second consecutive title in that event. The Bank of America Championship has seen a number of players successfully defend their titles'Don January (1983-84), Chi Chi Rodriguez (1986-87-88), Bob Charles (1989-90), Hale Irwin (1997-98) and Larry Nelson (2000-01).
One more on Haas: When he won last year in Boston, Haas was coming off a two-week break following his victory at the Principal Charity Classic. Guess what? Hes coming off a two-week break this year following a win at the Principal Charity Classic.
Hes off to the slowest start of his brilliant Champions Tour career, but a visit to Boston might just be the tonic for Hale Irwin. In 10 starts at the Bank of America Championship, Irwin has won twice, finished second twice and has failed to shoot par-or-better in just one of his 30 rounds.
There were 52 former and 11 current Nationwide Tour players in the field at last weeks U.S. Open. Six of them recorded Top-10 finishes'D.J. Trahan (T4), John Merrick (T6), Eric Axley (T9), Heath Slocum (T9), Brandt Snedeker (T9) and Camilo Villegas (T9).
The Tour is in Tennessee this week for the Knoxville Open presented by Food City. The tournament is one of the four original events remaining from the first Nationwide Tour season of 1990. The others are the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr. Pepper, the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open and the Albertsons Boise Open presented by First Health.
Six winners of the Knoxville Open presented by Food City have gone on to win on the PGA TOUR'Jeff Maggert (1990), Brian Henninger (1992), Tom Scherrer (1995), J.J. Henry (2000), Heath Slocum (2001) and Vaughn Taylor (2003). Only one other event on the Tour has seen more of its winners go on to victory on the PGA TOUR. That would be the Nationwide Tour Championship which has seen seven of its winners go on to also win on the PGA TOUR.