News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
Tiger Woods will be looking for his fourth consecutive Buick Invitational title this week in San Diego. Only four players in TOUR history have won the same event four consecutive times'Young Tom Morris (British Open), Walter Hagen (PGA Championship), Gene Sarazen (Miami Open) and Woods (Arnold Palmer Invitational). Woods will have a chance later this season to win his fourth in a row at both the WGC-CA Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Look for a Southern Californian to win this week in San Diego. Eight of the last 10 Buick Invitational champs have been natives of Southern California'Scott Simpson (1998), Tiger Woods (1999, 2003, 2005-07) and Phil Mickelson (2000-01). In fact, 12 of the last 16 and 14 of the last 20 winners of the tournament have been from the area.
Dont expect a first-time winner this week. The last player to claim his first career title at the Buick Invitational was Jay Don Blake back in 1991.
Last weeks winner, D.J. Trahan, has already surpassed his FedExCup point total of last year. Trahan earned 2,766 regular season points last year (117th place) and after winning the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic last week, he has 4,546 this year and stands third on the list.
Scott McCarron finished T70 last week at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in his first start since midway through the 2006 season. Hes been recovering from elbow surgery in August of 2006.
Theres a host of NCAA champions teeing it up this week in San Diego. The field at the Buick Invitational boasts nine players who have won the NCAA individual title'Phil Mickelson (1989-90, 1992), Todd Demsey (1993), Justin Leonard (1994), Tiger Woods (1996), Charles Warren (1997), Charles Howell III (2000), Troy Matteson (2002), Ryan Moore (2004) and Jamie Lovemark (2007). Lovemark is still an amateur.
Fred Funk enters this weeks Turtle Bay Championship full of confidence. Not only did he win last weeks MasterCard Championship at Hualalai, he won last years Turtle Bay Championship by 11 strokes'the largest winning margin of any 54-hole event in Champions Tour history.
Fred Funk will be looking to become the third player to win the MasterCard Championship at Hualalai and the Turtle Bay Championship in the same season. Hale Irwin won the Hawaii Slam in 1997 and Loren Roberts repeated the feat in 2006.
Hale Irwin will be looking for his seventh Turtle Bay Championship title this week. His six victories in this event are far and away the best in Champions Tour history. No one else has ever won the same event more than four times. He also holds the record for winning the same event the most times in a row'five at the Turtle Bay Championship.
D.A. Weibring, Loren Roberts and Mark Wiebe extended streaks last week that began in 2007. Weibring now has 20 consecutive rounds of par or better while Roberts has 16. Wiebes streak of consecutive holes without a 3-putt has reached 288.
The Nationwide Tour will kick off its 19th season this week at the Panama Movistar Championship. Three of the four past champions of the event are scheduled to compete this week at the Panama GC'Vance Veazey (2005), Tripp Isenhour (2006) and Miguel Carballo (2007).
The field in Panama includes 24 players who have won on the PGA TOUR a total of 36 times.
The Nationwide Tour has five players 22 years of age or younger among its membership. D.H. Lee (4-9-87) is the youngest followed by Won Joon Lee (10-23-85), Brendon Todd (7-22-85), Colt Knost (6-26-85) and Chris Kirk (5-8-85).
D.J. Trahans win at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic last week was the 219th win on the PGA TOUR by a former Nationwide Tour player.