TOUR Notes 20somethings on a Run

By Pga Tour MediaApril 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
 
PGA Tour (75x100)PGA TOUR:
  • This week will mark the 40th playing of the Verizon Heritage. Since the first playing in 1969, major championship winners have won the event 28 times. Among the past champions at Harbour Town are Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Bob Goalby, Tom Watson (twice), Hale Irwin (3 times), Johnny Miller (twice), Nick Faldo, Davis Love III (5 times), Bernhard Langer, Greg Norman, Payne Stewart (twice), Nick Price, Bill Rogers, Bob Tway, Justin Leonard, Fuzzy Zoeller (twice) and Hubert Green (twice).
     
  • Winning the Verizon Heritage has often led to outstanding seasons. Of the previous 39 winners, 19 finished in the Top-10 by seasons end with 13 finishing among the Top-5.
     
  • Davis Love III has not only won this event a record five times, hes also finished in the Top-5 nine times and the Top-10 11 times.
     
  • The last three winners on the PGA TOUR have been in their 20s. Andres Romero (26) started the streak at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans followed by Johnson Wagner (28) at the Shell Houston Open. Trevor Immelman (28) continued the trend last week at the Masters Tournament.
     
  • More on the 20-somethings: Six of the first 17 events this year have been won by players in their 20s'D.J. Trahan, J.B. Holmes, Sean OHair, Andres Romero, Johnson Wagner and Trevor Immelman.
     
  • One more on young guys: Of the Top-30 players on the FedExCup points list, eight are in their 20s--the six players listed above, plus Brandt Snedeker and Steve Marino.
     
  • With Trevor Immelman taking this week off, Bernhard Langer (1985) will remain the last player to win the week after winning the Masters. The closest anyone has come since was Vijay Singh who finished T3 in 2000 at the Verizon Heritage.
     

     
    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
  • The Champions Tour heads to the TPC Tampa Bay this week for the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. The course was the fourth hardest on Tour last year, playing to a stroke average of 74.071 (+3.071). It was the toughest non-major course on the 2007 Tour. Four holes'4, 8, 15 and 18'ranked among the 50 toughest holes on Tour last year.
     
  • He has a remarkable record at many places, but Hale Irwin has been particularly successful at the TPC Tampa Bay. In 10 career starts, Irwin has a victory, three seconds and a third among his eight Top-10 finishes. Irwin, by the way, is celebrating his 40th year as a professional this season.
     
  • Two Champions Tour members made the cut last week at The Masters. Rookies Ian Woosnam (44th) and Sandy Lyle (45th) each survived to play the weekend at Augusta.
     
  • When Tom Watson won last years Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am it marked his first career victory in the state of Florida after going winless in 93 previous starts in the state.
     

     
    Nationwide Tour NATIONWIDE TOUR:
  • The Nationwide Tour returns to Georgia this week for the third annual Athens Regional Foundation Classic. International players have won both previous events'Paul Gow of Australia in 2006 and Martin Laird of Scotland in 2007. The early portion of the 2008 season has continued that trend with four Australians winning in the first six events of the year.
     
  • Since the Nationwide Tour began in 1990, it has grown as an international destination. To date, players from 19 different countries have won on the Tour.
     
  • Fifteen former Nationwide Tour players made the cut last week at The Masters. Former Nationwide Tour winners Brandt Snedeker and Stewart Cink led the way with T3 finishes.
     
  • After taking last week off, the Nationwide Tour will be in action for the next eight weeks before taking a one-week break following the Rex Hospital Open in Raleigh, NC.
     
    Related Links:
  • PGA TOUR Statistics
  • Champions Tour Statistics
  • Nationwide Tour Statistics
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    Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


    Updated Official World Golf Ranking


    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

    There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

    Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

    By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”

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    Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

    Hoylake in 2006.

    That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

    So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

    With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

    “The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”