News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
This is the final week of the 2007 PGA TOUR Official Money season and Ted Purdy enters the week in the 125th and final exempt spot with $758,734. Thats $190,675 more than the 125th spot entering the seven-event Fall Series.
Two players moved into the Top 125 after last weeks Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro. Shigeki Maruyama made the biggest jump going from 137th to 103rd following his T2 effort. Cameron Beckmans T5 vaulted him from 128th to 118th. If two moved in, two moved out. They were J.B. Holmes and Kevin Stadler who are 126th and 127th, respectively. Holmes will be fully exempt next season anyway thanks to his victory at the 2006 FBR Open.
It was also a good week for Daisuke Maruyama (no relation). The second-year TOUR player from Japan finished T16 last week to move from 154th on the money list to 146th. Players who finish 126-150 keep some playing privileges for the following year and are exempt into the Finals of the Qualifying Tournament.
Daniel Chopras win last week at the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro was the 12th this year by an international player. Vijay Singh (Fiji) and K.J. Choi (South Korea) have each won twice while Aaron Baddeley (Australia), Angel Cabrera (Argentina), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), Henrik Stenson (Sweden), Adam Scott (Australia), Mike Weir (Canada), Rory Sabbatini (South Africa) and Chopra (Sweden) have each won once.
With just this weeks Childrens Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart to go, a record 97 players have already eclipsed the $1 million mark in earnings with a record 32 having topped the $2 million plateau.
When Johnson Wagner finished T39 last week and collected $18,000, he became the seventh rookie this year to top the $1 million mark in earnings. He joined Brandt Snedeker, John Mallinger, Jeff Quinney, Anthony Kim, George McNeill and Steve Marino. There were a record eight last year.
Proving that you can play fast and play well, Jim Thorpe completed his first round last week at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in two hours and 35 minutes. His 64 was good for the first round lead.
More on Thorpe: Winning the season-finale extended Thorpes string of consecutive years with at least one win to a Champions Tour best eight. Hale Irwin holds the record winning at least once in 11 consecutive seasons.
Tom Kite finished the year on a high note with 20 consecutive rounds or par-or-better.
Last year, Loren Roberts lost the Charles Schwab Cup points race on the final hole of the year to Jay Haas. This year, Roberts was able to secure the $1 million annuity by 165 points over Haas.
A record $775,000 purse is up for grabs this week at the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship at Barona Creek. With $139,500 going to the winner, every player in the field has a mathematical chance at finishing in The 25 and earning a PGA TOUR card for next season.
Daniel Chopras win this past week on the PGA TOUR was the 216th by a former Nationwide Tour player on the TOUR and the 20th this year.
The Nationwide Tour Championship at Barona Creek will offer free admission this week with those in attendance asked to make a donation to help the Red Cross Fire Relief Fund established in the wake of the disastrous fires in San Diego County last week. In addition, the PGA TOUR and Nationwide will donate a minimum of $200,000 to the relief effort with the Birdies for Relief program.
Roland Thatcher begins the week with a $46,538 lead at the top of the money list over #3 Jon Mills. Nick Flanagan, the #2 man on the list, earned an automatic promotion to the PGA TOUR back in August and will not be competing this week. The #1 player at seasons end is fully exempt on the PGA TOUR in 2008. Even if Thatcher should finish last this week, Mills would need to finish solo third or better to catch him.