Moving On the 15 Graduates of the 2000 BUYCOM Tour
1. SPIKE McROY - Number 1 on the Buy.Com money list, Spike McRoy is back again for another go at the PGA Tour. He previously played the regular tour in 1997 and 1998, but last year won the Buy.Com Tour Championship and was named Buy.Com Player of the Year. He had won the Dakota Dunes Open earlier in the year. McRoy first was a member of the Buy.Com Tour in 1992 after a collegiate career at the University of Alabama. He is an aficionado of the stock market.
2. MARK HENSBY - A native of Australia who now lives in Phoenix, Ariz., Hensby begins his first year of play on the regular tour. Mark became a father last year for the first time, daughter Chase born in February. He entered 29 Buy.Com events last year and was in the top 10 five times. Hensby held the top spot in the money list for sixteen weeks, surrendering it at the Buy.Com Tour Championship to McRoy with a tie for 39th.
3. TIM CLARK - This South African was born in Durban but played college golf at North Carolina State University. Only 5-7 and 150 pounds, he played the Buy.Com tour for two years before finally breaking through. He won twice in 2000 within three weeks' time, at the Fort Smith Classic and the Boise Open. The Boise win gave him a first-place check of $100,080, largest in the tour's 11-year history. In 1997, he was Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year.
4. BRINEY BAIRD - Briney, the son of Senior Tour pro Butch Baird, was a member of the PGA Tour in 1999 and the Buy.Com in 1997-98 and 2000. A South Florida native, he played in 26 events last year, finishing in the top 10 an even 10 times and the top 25 14 times. He won the Monterrey Open and was never lower than eighth after the first nine events of the season. Baird played high school soccer and was Most Valuable Player of the team.
5. IAN LEGGATT - A native of Canada, Leggatt spent only one year on the Buy.Com Tour. He made the cut in 11 of the first 12 Buy.Com events and finished in the top 10 six times and in the top 25 10 times. Leggatt won at the Dayton Open, one of four Canadians to win on the Buy.Com Tour last year. He served as athletic director for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Tx., and was a former national speed skating champion of Canada.
6. CHRIS SMITH - Three-time holder of a PGA Tour card, the last time in 1999, Smith had seven top-10s and 13 top-25s. He established a Buy.Com record with five runner-up finishes and is No. 1 on the all-time Buy.Com money list with $605,332. He was out for seven weeks last year with a wrist injury incurred at the Omaha Classic. Smith has a drive of 427 yards at the 1999 Honda Classic, a PGA Tour record. He was an All-American at Ohio State in 1991 and Indiana State Amateur Champion in 1990.
7. KENT JONES - A member of the Buy.Com Tour for three years and the PGA Tour in 1998-99, Jones was the first two-time winner of the 2000 Buy.Com season. He won both the Shreveport Open and the Greensboro Open. His 263 score broke a Buy.Com Greensboro record. College teammate of PGA Tour's Tim Herron at New Mexico, he played the Canadian Tour in 1993 and 1994 and the Hooters Tour in 1995.
8. TRIPP ISENHOUR - Isenhour is playing on the PGA Tour the first year, having been a member of the Buy.Com Tour for four years. He won a Buy.Com event for the first time last year when he won the Mississippi Gulf Coast tournament. A native of Saulsbury, N.C., Isenhour went to Georgia Tech and graduated in 1990. He was an All-American at Georgia Tech in 1990.
9. PAUL GOW - This Aussie was a four-year Buy.Com performer, having played the tour from 1996 to last year. He joined the American tour after playing five events on his native Australian Tour. He played 15 Buy.Com events last year and finished in the top 10 in nine of them. Included among his high finishes was a win at the Hershey Open. Winner of the 2000 Canon Challenge, he finished sixth last year on the Australian Order of Merit (money ranking.)
10. JOHN RIEGGER - This 38-year-old was a member of the Buy.Com Tour back in 1991, but after a tie for third in the Tour Championship, he moved up from the No. 16 position to gain another PGA Tour card. He earned more money last year ($200,904) than he had in 29 starts on the regular tour in 1998 ($150,874.) Riegger was the winner of the 1985 Southland Classic as a collegian at Lamar University. He has also won several international titles.
11. DAVID BERGANIO, JR. - Berganio is a four-year Buy.Com performer - 1996 and 1998-2000 - after playing on the PGA Tour for one year. He had a victory in the 2000 Wichita Open and had four top-10 finishes. He was introduced to the game while growing up in an economically depressed area of Los Angeles by a local priest who gave him his first set of clubs. A college career at the University of Arizona followed with Berganio turning pro in 1993.
12. JEFF GALLAGHER - Hailing from the golfing Gallagher family - Brother Jim, Jr., was a former Ryder Cupper and sister Jackie Gallagher-Smith plays the LPGA - Jeff has been a member of the PGA Tour three of the past six years. The other eight he has played the Buy.Com, since its establishment in 1990. He played in 14 events in 2000 and finished in the top 10 six times, including a victory in the South Carolina Classic. He stands ninth of the all-time Buy.Com money list.
13. J.J. HENRY - His first year on the PGA Tour coming up, Henry was a member of the Buy.Com in 1999 and 2000. He entered 29 events in 2000 and finished in the top 10 five times. Henry won the Knoxville Open and added holes-in-one at the Greater Cleveland Classic and the Tri-Cities. The 1998 Co-College Player of the Year, he was undefeated in four years of high school competition. Brother Kevin is a member of the University of Tulsa golf team.
14. KELLY GRUNEWALD - A Texan by birth, Grunewald played just one year on the Buy.Com Tour. Nine times he finished in the top 10, six times in the top five. He failed, however, to break though with a victory. Leading money-winner of the 1999 TearDrop Tour and 1995 Lone Star Tour Player of the Year, Grunewald was also Southland Conference Player of the Year.
15. JEFF HART - Forty-year-old grinder who has been off and on the PGA Tour since turning pro in 1983. He captured his first victory at the Buy.Com Steamtown Classic last year. The victory came in his 209th professional event - 129 PGA Tour events and 80 on the Buy.Com. Had his best season on the regular tour in 1989, when he finished 169th on the money list. Jeff is a 1981 third-team All-American at Southern California, and 1982 first-teamer.
M. Jutanugarn finally joins sister in LPGA winner's circle
LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn won the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open by two shots for her first victory in six years on the LPGA Tour, joining sister Ariya as the second siblings to win on the tour.
The 23-year-old from Thailand shot a 3-under 68 for a 12-under 272 total Sunday at Wilshire Country Club in the tour's return to Los Angeles after a 13-year absence.
Jutanugarn won in her 156th start after three career runner-up finishes, including at the Honda LPGA Thailand in February. She had 21 top-10 finishes before winning.
Seven-time winner Ariya tied for 24th after a 70. She joined the predominantly Asian crowd to follow her older sister's final holes, crying as Moriya two-putted to close out the win.
Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam were the first sisters to win on the LPGA Tour.
Hall of Famer Inbee Park shot a 68 to tie for second with Jin Young Ko (70).
Park had opportunities, but she wasn't able to put pressure on Jutanugarn playing in the final threesome. However, Park will return to No. 1 in the world when the rankings come out Monday, knocking off top-ranked Shenshen Fang, who tied for 12th.
Jutanugarn began the final round with a two-shot lead and never wavered in fulfilling the potential she first displayed as the LPGA Rookie of the Year in 2013. After a birdie at the second hole, she reeled off nine consecutive pars before sinking birdie putts at 12 and 13.
She overcame a tee shot that narrowly missed going out of bounds for another birdie at 15 to lead by three.
Jutanugarn ran into trouble on the par-4 16th. Her approach landed on the green and rolled off it, stopping inches from dropping into a bunker. Her chip shot ran well past the hole and her par putt just missed catching the edge of the cup. That left her with a short putt for bogey, her first in her previous 28 holes, trimming her lead to two shots.
Ko's tee shot on 18 landed about 4 feet from the hole, giving her a chance to cut Jutanugarn's lead to one shot with the Thai facing a long birdie attempt.
But Ko missed, leaving Jutanugarn room to maneuver. Her birdie putt came up a couple feet short, but she calmly parred the hole to win. Ariya rushed onto the green and joined others in emptying water bottles on her sister before they embraced.
So Yeon Ryu (68) finished fourth at 7 under. American Emma Talley (67) and Eun-Hee Ji (71) tied for fifth at 6 under, making Ji one of four South Koreans to place in the top five.
After Further Review: Tour players embracing new ideas
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On players embracing new ideas on the PGA Tour ...
PGA Tour players are trying to tell commissioner Jay Monahan something: They like new.
In the second year of the two-man team format at the Zurich Classic, 10 of the top 14 players in the world have signed up, including all four reigning major champions. It’s the first time all four have been in the same field since the Tour Championship. If the laid-back event offered world-ranking points – it doesn’t, and that’s part of the appeal – the winner would have received 62 points. That’s the same as the Genesis Open.
Sure, some sponsor obligations are involved in boosting the field here, but there’s no other way to look at this: Today’s PGA Tour players are not only willing to play events that are a departure from the 72-hole, stroke-play norm. They’re encouraging it. - Ryan Lavner
On Moriya Jutanugarn's breakthrough win ...
As much love as there is between the Jutanugarn sisters, it couldn’t have been easy for Moriya, watching her baby sister, Ariya, soar past her as one of the LPGA’s dominant stars the last few years. Mo, though, never betrayed an inkling of frustration or envy.
That’s what made Mo’s breakthrough LPGA victory Sunday at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open especially meaningful for everyone who has admired Mo’s devotion to her sister. Mo was always a fixture, waiting in the wings to celebrate whenever Ariya hoisted a trophy.
So emotions were high late Sunday, with Ariya waiting in the wings this time, with Ariya sobbing in Mo’s arms after the victory was secured. It was heartwarming for more than Apple, the mother who raised these talented, loving sisters. As always, Apple was there, too, soaking both her daughters in tears of joy. – Randall Mell
On the tough scheduling decisions facing the PGA Tour ...
According to multiple sources, officials at Colonial are poised to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Charles Schwab Corporation on Monday.
While this is good news for the folks in Fort Worth, Texas, who were in danger of finding themselves on the wrong side of timing, there remain some tough decisions to be made in the next few weeks.
If the PGA Tour’s plan is to end its season before Labor Day beginning in 2019, something must give. Currently, the Houston Open, a staple on Tour since 1946, and The National are without sponsors. When the music stops in a few weeks and the circuit announces the ’19 schedule, there’s a good chance one, or both, of those events will be the victims of bad timing. – Rex Hoggard
Triplett hole-out wins Legends of Golf playoff
RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Kirk Triplett holed out from a bunker for birdie on the first playoff hole Sunday in the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf to lift himself and partner Paul Broadhurst past Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman.
''Well, you're trying to make it, but you know realistically it doesn't go in very often,'' Triplett said. ''You're trying to give your partner a free run at it. You don't want to hit it up there 20 feet past or do something silly. I'm just trying to hit it the right distance and get it on the right line.''
Langer and Lehman took it in stride.
''You kind of learn to expect it,'' Lehman said. ''These guys out here are so good and Kirk Triplett is a magician around the greens. The odds of making that shot are probably not good, but you certainly expect him to hit a great shot and he did and it went in.''
Lehman and Langer missed birdie putts after Triplett holed out.
''I kind of felt like we both hit pretty good putts, misread them, both of them,'' Lehman said. ''I hit mine probably too hard and Bernhard's was too soft, but you have to hand it to the guys who hit the shot when they have to hit it.''
Broadhurst and Triplett closed with a 6-under 48 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course to match Langer and Lehman at 24 under. Langer and Lehman had a 47, playing the front nine in alternate shot and the back nine in better ball.
The 56-year-old Triplett won his sixth PGA Tour Champions title.
''That's a big roller-coaster - three good shots and mine, right?'' Triplett said. ''I'm feeling a little dejected walking down that fairway there, a little sheepish. To knock it in it just reminds you, this game, you know, crazy stuff.''
Broadhurst claimed his third senior victory.
''I don't get too emotional, but that was something special,'' the 52-year-old Englishman said.
Spanish stars Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal had a 48 to tie for third with 2017 winners Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco. Singh and Franco, the third-round leaders, shot 50.
Mark Calcavecchia-Woody Austin (48), John Daly-Michael Allen (49), Steve Stricker-Jerry Kelly (50) and David Toms-Steve Flesch (52) tied for fifth at 20 under.
Mullinax (T-2) comes up short of maiden win
The Valero Texas Open saw an unheralded player break through to earn a maiden victory, but unfortunately for Trey Mullinax his day will have to wait.
Mullinax started the final round within a shot of the lead, having fired a course-record 62 during the final round. He trailed Andrew Landry by one shot for much of the final round while racking up six birdies over his first 11 holes, but a pair of late miscues meant the former Alabama standout had to settle for a share of second place, two shots behind Landry.
A final-round 69 marked a career-best finish for Mullinax, who is playing this season on conditional status and whose lone prior top-10 this season came after he Monday qualified for the Valspar Championship.
"I know my game's there, I'm playing really well," Mullinax told reporters. "Give all credit to Andrew, he played really well today, rocksteady. He was putting great, hitting great shots."
Given time to reflect, the 26-year-old will likely look back on the final two holes where nerves appeared to get the best of him. Looking to put some pressure on Landry, Mullinax chunked his pitch on the short 17th hole into a greenside bunker, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on the course.
Then Mullinax was unable to convert a 9-foot birdie putt on the final green, which would have forced Landry to make his 8-foot par putt to avoid a playoff. Afforded the luxury of two putts for the win, Landry rolled in his par save to cement a two-shot win.
"Made a bad bogey on 17, but just you've got to hit some bad shots," Mullinax said. "Would have liked to have got the putt on 18 to fall to put a little bit of heat on him, but this experience that I'm gaining right now is just going to help me down the road."