Greater Hickory Classic: Final-Round NotebookSeptember 16, 2007
By Phil Stambaugh PGA TOUR Staff
CONOVER, N.C. -- R.W. Eaks' victory Sunday at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn gives him multiple wins in a season for the first time in his Champins Tour career. Earlier this year, Eaks won the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in western New York. He became the fifth multiple winner on the Champions Tour this year, joining Jay Haas, Brad Bryant, Tom Watson and Denis Watson.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS FINAL LEADERBOARD Player Score 1. R.W. Eaks 199 -17 T2. Jay Haas 201 -15 T2. Rod Spittle 201 -15 4. Scott Simpson 203 -13 T5. Des Smyth 205 -11 T5. Gil Morgan 205 -11 T7. Nick Price 207 -9 T7. Keith Fergus 207 -9 T7. Denis Watson 207 -9
• Eaks' victory Sunday erased a heartbreaking playoff loss to Andy Bean last year at this event.He became the first player since Allen Doyle at the 2000 Toshiba Classic to claim victory after losing in a playoff the year before.
• Eaks became the second consecutive wire-to-wire winner of the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. He is the third wire-to-wire winner on the Champions Tour this year, joining Fred Funk (Turtle Bay Championship) and Jay Haas (Principal Charity Classic).
• Eaks 54-hole score of 17-under 199 is a new tournament record, eclipsing Jay Haas' 16-under 200 score in 2005. Eaks' two-stroke victory margin also matched the winning margins of Craig Stadler (2003) and Jay Haas (2005).
• Eaks' 9-under 63 in the first round was the lowest start by a winner on the Champions Tour this year. Mark James (Allianz Championship) and Bobby Wadkins (ACE Group Classic) had posted 8-under 64s earlier this year en route to victory.
• Eaks earned 240 Charles Schwab Cup points for his victory and increased his yearly total to 1,438 points (6th). Jay Haas earned 128 points for his tie for second this week and increased his lead over Brad Bryant.
• Haas now has 2,405 points on the year, 386 points more than Bryant. Loren Roberts remains in third place with 1,840 points. Schwab Cup points are awarded on a per-thousand basis basis for top-10 finishes and at the end of the official season, the player earning the most Charles Schwab Cup points will collect a $1 million annuity.
• Eaks also earned a check for $240,000 and increased his 2007 official earnings total to $1,464,738 (fourth). Eaks' previous-best season on the Champions Tour was in 2006 when he earned $751,923 and placed 25th on the money list last year.
• In addition to his two wins, Eaks now has recorded 11 top-10 finishes in 2007. He came into this year with only 14 career top-10 performances on the Champions Tour.
• Canadian Rod Spittle's runner-up finish this week was the best of his Champions Tour career to date. Spittle's check for $128,000 almost doubled his 2007 earnings ($296,011) and moved him up into 48th place on the money list. Should Spittle remain among the top 50 in official earnings this year, he would secure a partial exemption on the Champions Tour for 2008.
• Jay Haas' second-place effort this week was his fourth runner-up effort this year to go with his four victories. Haas now has 36 top-10 finishes in 56 career starts on the Champions Tour and his 16 top-10s in 2007 top the circuit. The Wake Forest product only made one bogey this week at Rock Barn and played his last 43 holes of the event without a bogey.
• Gil Morgan now has reeled off 13 consecutive sub-par rounds at Rock Barn and this week, recorded his best finish ever in Hickory, a tie for fifth. Dana Quigley's 1-under 71 Sunday extended his streak of consecutive sub-par rounds at Rock Barn to 10 straight. Quigley maintained his run of never finishing worse than tied for 14th in this event (2004), placing second in 2005 and fourth last year.
• Morgan's tie for fifth Sunday and $70,400 check moved him over the $1 million mark ($1,011,278) for the 11th consecutive season, an all-time record on the Champions Tour. Morgan came into the 2007 season tied with Hale Irwin for consecutive million-dollar seasons. Irwin reeled off 10 straight seven-figure earnings years from 1996-2005.
• The field scoring average this week was 71.538 compared to 71.333 last year.
• Defending champion Andy Bean finished tied for 31st.