About Us Contact Us Advertise Newsletter

Golf news, golf reports, golf headlines, golf updates,golf features

Golf Today > News Archive > 2006 Archive >


Major winners head to Tucson

Although the top players in the world are competing at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship this week, the Chrysler Classic of Tucson also features some prominent and talented players.

Among the contestants in the the field this week are former major championship winners Rich Beem, Mark Brooks, David Duval, Steve Jones, Shaun Micheel, Larry Mize, Nick Price, Jeff Sluman and Bob Tway.

The purse this week totals $3 million, with the winner pocketing $540,000. The runner-up will get $324,000, while the third-place finisher will receive $204,000.

The tournament again returns to its longtime home at the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa. Course architect Bruce Harris created the 7,193-yard, par-72 Catalina Course in 1963, and it has subsequently has been revamped by Robert Van Hagge and Bruce Devlin in 1981 and again by Tom Lehman in 2005.

Ryder Cup Captain Lehman redesigned the seventh and eighth holes for this year's tournament. The par-3 seventh was increased from 202 to 247 yards and the par-5 eighth was increased from 528 to 587 yards.

Bob Tway is the all-time money leader at this event with $819,610 in earnings. Brendan Jones aced the par-3 164-yard fourth hole during round one with an 8-iron. It was the first hole-in-one at this event since Brandt Jobe aced the same hole in 2001.

Miller Barber is the only player in event history to win after reaching 40. Barber was 40 years, nine months and 23 days when he won the 1972 Tucson Open. When Ian Leggatt captured the 2002 event, he also became the second Canadian to win this event, joining countryman George Knudson, the 1968 winner.

There have been eight wire-to-wire winners at this event, the last coming in 1982, when Craig Stadler won. Other wire-to-wire winners are: Johnny Miller (2), Don January, Bob Charles, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Bruce Lietzke.

Phil Mickelson was the last player to successfully defend his title at this event, when he posted back-to-back wins in 1995-96. Mickelson is a three-time champion here, while Johnny Miller captured this tournament four times. When Mickelson won the event in 1991, he became the last amateur to win a PGA Tour stop.

Past Tucson winners scheduled to compete this week include Heath Slocum, Frank Lickliter II, Ian Leggatt, Garrett Willis, Jim Carter, Gabriel Hjertstedt, David Duval, Jeff Sluman and Larry Mize. Only one winner from the past nine years is missing, as defending champion Geoff Ogilvy is competing in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Last year, Ogilvy birdied the second playoff hole to win his first career PGA Tour title. Ogilvy, Mark Calcavecchia and Kevin Na finished 72 holes tied at 19-under-par 269. In the playoff, Calcavecchia made a mess of the first extra hole, No. 18, flying over the green and into a bunker with his second, then leaving his bunker shot in the sand. He pitched out with his fourth and two-putted for double-bogey.

Na missed the green to the right, but got up and down for par as he drained a 27-footer. Ogilvy was standing on the green the whole time looking at a 28-foot birdie putt. He missed his birdie try and after kicking in his par putt, it was off to the 10th along with Na.

Both players found the right rough off the tee. Ogilvy pitched out from his poor lie, while Na played an excellent shot to the back edge of the green with his second. Ogilvy dropped his third 18 feet from the cup, while Na rolled his chip eight feet by the hole. Ogilvy stepped up and sank his birdie putt. He then watched as Na missed his eight-footer for birdie, giving Ogilvy the his first PGA Tour win.

Ogilvy became the 14th player to win his first PGA Tour event in Tucson and fifth in the last six years. The only non first-time winner in that span was 2003 champion Frank Lickliter II. Last year's playoff was the ninth in tournament history and the first since Gabriel Hjertstedt defeated Tommy Armour III in 1999.

In the 56 years that the tournament has gone 72 holes, 33 of the players who have either held or shared lead after 54 holes have gone on to win, including Ogilvy last year. The par-4 18th hole ranked the toughest of the tournament last year with a scoring average of 4.303.

Next week, the PGA Tour moves to the state of Florida for a four-week stay, as the players prepare for the Players Championship and the Masters. First up is the Ford Championship at Doral, where world No. 1 Tiger Woods is the defending champion.

February 22, 2006


Golf Today Classifieds

Bookmark page with:
What are these Email This Page Subscribe Follow us on Twitter Top of Page
News Tours Rankings Tuition Course Directory Equipment Asian Travel Notice Board

© Golftoday.co.uk 1996-2014