TOUR Notes Tougher Courses to Greet Players


News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
PGA Tour (75x100) PGA TOUR:The next four events are in Florida and TOUR professionals will find four difficult courses waiting for them. The Honda Classic starts this week on the Champion Course at PGA National'it was the eighth most difficult course on TOUR last year (out of 55). The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook is up next week and it ranked 15th. The TOUR then moves to the Bay Hill course (seventh) and finally Doral (16th).
Tiger Woods has taken over the lead in the FedExCup points chase following his victory last week. Hes the fifth different person to lead the competition in the first eight weeks of the season and the third different player in the last three weeks.
  • Brian Gays victory last week at the Mayakoba Classic at Riviera Maya was his first on the PGA TOUR after 293 career starts. Hes the first, first-time winner on TOUR this year.
  • Roland Thatcher began the year number two in his category (#24), but with the reshuffle scheduled for the end of the last week, he was in danger of dropping a considerable amount. He put on a show on the weekend, though, shooting a course record 61 in Mexico on Saturday before a Sunday 68 to finish T9. Hes now 14th following the re-order. The reshuffle occurs throughout the season and rewards players in his category the chance to move up the priority rankings with good play.
  • Who made the biggest move in the reshuffle? Rookie Dustin Johnson parlayed his strong play in the first eight weeks to climb from 34th all the way to first. John Merrick moved from 44th to 2nd while rookie Chez Reavie did nearly as well, jumping from 33rd to sixth.
  • U.S. players posted a strong record last week at the World Golf Championships'Accenture Match Play Championship. American players posted a 21-12 record in matches against players from outside the U.S. The U.S. players held an 8-7 lead over European players and won by a 13-5 margin over the rest of the International field.

    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
    Two Champions Tour players made the cut at last weeks PGA TOUR stop in Mexico. Nick Price finished in a T42 while defending champ Fred Funk finished T63. Two players who will join the Champions Tour later this year also played well. Joey Sindelar (50 on March 30) finished T28 while Larry Mize (50 on Sept. 23) finished T22.
    The Champions Tour is off this week but will return next week in Newport Beach, CA, at the Toshiba Classic. Sandy Lyle, a two-time major championship winner, is expected to make his Champions Tour debut at that event.
  • Sandy Lyle is one of five former major championship winners who will be joining the Champions Tour this year. In addition to Lyle, the Champions Tour will also welcome Ian Woosnam (March 2), Hal Sutton (April 28), Larry Mize (Sept. 23) and Steve Jones (Dec. 28).
  • Allen Doyle might be a man to watch next week at the Toshiba Classic. In nine career starts at the event, hes been in the Top-10 seven times including a win, two seconds and a third.

    Nationwide Tour NATIONWIDE TOUR:How important is it to win one of the two events Down Under? In the previous six years of Nationwide Tour play in Australia and New Zealand, 10 of the 12 winners have gone on to graduate to the PGA TOUR that season. Peter OMalley, twice a winner in New Zealand, is the only player who failed to graduate to the TOUR after his victory since he didnt continue to play on the Nationwide Tour the remainder of the year.
  • Brian Gays victory last week in Mexico was the 221st by a former Nationwide Tour player on the PGA TOUR.
  • Only one player had Top-10 finishes in both events Down Under'D.A. Points finished T5 and T7 in New Zealand and Australia, respectively.
  • Tee McCabe had his eagle eye working last week at the Moonah Classic. He made four eagles on the week'one in each round. The Nationwide Tour record for one tournament is five set by Chris Smith at the 1997 Cox Classic.

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  • Nationwide Tour Statistics