AT&T Championship: Second-Round NotebookOctober 20, 2007
By Phil Stambaugh PGA TOUR Staff
SAN ANTONIO -- Tom Kite and Mark O'Meara will play in the final grouping on Sunday for the second consecutive week on the Champions Tour, and both major championship winners will be shooting for significant victories.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS 36-HOLE LEADERBOARD Player Score T1. Tom Kite 131 -11 T1. Mark O'Meara 131 -11 T3. Mark James 133 -9 T3. John Cook 133 -9 T5. Dave Stockton 134 -8 T5. Loren Roberts 134 -8 T5. Mark Wiebe 134 -8 T5. Scott Simpson 134 -8 T5. Fred Funk 134 -8
• Kite has never won in Texas as a professional and has a victory drought in the Lone Star State of 0-119. His last of nine career wins on the Champions Tour came at the 2006 Boeing Greater Seattle Classic. Last week in Houston at the Administaff Small Business Classic, Kite finished third, his highest finish ever in Texas as a senior. At the 2004 AT&T Championship, Kite tied for fourth. Earlier this year at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am near Tampa, Tom Watson ended a personal victory drought of 0-93 in Florida.
• O'Meara is trying to claim his first-ever Champions Tour victory in his 16th start on the circuit. He finished second last week in Houston and also has runner-up finishes at the Ginn Championship and the Senior British Open in this his rookie season. His last victory on the PGA TOUR came at the 1998 British Open and his last victory of significance came at the 2004 Dubai Desert Classic. Should O'Meara win Sunday, he would also join Jay Haas as the second player to win a PGA TOUR and Champions Tour event at Oak Hills. O'Meara captured the 1990 H.E.B. Texas Open at this venue.
• O'Meara could also become the 13th different player (15th time) to win a PGA TOUR and Champions Tour event at the same venue. Earlier this year, Tom Watson claimed the Senior British Open at Muirfield, 25 years after winning the British Open at the same layout in Scotland.
• There's a good chance Sunday's champion will become the 20th different winner on the Champions Tour in 2007. The last time the circuit had 20 different champions was in 2004.
• Mark O'Meara's 68 Sunday stretched his run of sub-70 rounds to six straight and he's now 33 under par for this stretch that started with a final-round 65 (5 under) at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship.
• Mark O'Meara is also bidding to become the seventh player to win both a PGA TOUR and Champions Tour event in San Antonio. The others are Don January (1975 Texas Open, 1985 AT&T Championship), Bruce Crampton (1964 & 1986), Chi Chi Rodriguez (1967 & 1987), Lee Trevino (1980 & 1991-92, 1998), John Mahaffey (1985 & 1999) and Jay Haas (1982, 1993 & 2005).
• Mark O'Meara's record on the PGA TOUR when leading/co-leading heading into Sunday is 9 for 16. Tom Kite's Champions Tour record when leading/co-leading heading into the final round is 6 for 13.
• Second-round leaders/co-leaders have won this tournament 12 times in the previous 22 years. Since the event has been played at Oak Hills, only Jay Haas in 2005 came from behind to win. Thus far in 2007, leaders/co-leaders heading into the final round have won 17 of 28 events, including the last five tournaments played on the Champions Tour.
• The second-round stroke average for the field Saturday was 70.182 and for the first 36 holes this year, the field scoring average is 70.506. Last year at Oak Hills, the field averaged 70.667 on Saturday and the two-round stroke average was 70.782. There were 30 rounds in the 60s Saturday compared to 28 sub-70 scores Friday.
• For the second straight day, the par-3 13th hole played as the most difficult (3.299 Saturday vs. 3.260 on Friday). Just one birdie was made on the hole (Loren Roberts). The par-5 15th hole again played as the easiest (4.429 vs 4.442), yielding one eagle and 45 birdies among the 77 players who completed their rounds Saturday.
• Dave Stockton matched his age for the second time in his career Saturday. Stockton's 6-under 65 also equaled the low round of the day and moved him up into a tie for fifth. Earlier this year at the Toshiba Classic, Stockton shot a 65 in the second round.
• It figures to be a wild scramble to see who earns a spot in next week's Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Sonoma. Craig Stadler has appeared in the season-ending event in each of the last four years but is currently on the outside looking in. Both Jim Thorpe and Tom Jenkins have played in the Schwab Cup Championship eight straight years, however their streaks are also in jeopardy.
• A total of 240 Charles Schwab Cup points will go to the winner of the 2007 AT&T Championship. Loren Roberts' 5-under-par 66 Saturday put him in good position to widen his lead over Jay Haas. His 134 total is three shots off the lead, but more importantly, is two strokes lower the Haas' 36-hole total of 136.
• Roberts currently leads Jay Haas by just 69 points in the battle for the $1 million annuity. Last year at Sonoma Golf Club, Haas nipped Roberts by 20 points for the Charles Schwab Cup, the closest race ever. Points are awarded on a weekly basis for top-10 finishes only.
• Don't look for a playoff Sunday at the AT&T Championship. Only once in the previous 22 tournaments in San Antonio has the event gone to overtime.
• In 1999, John Mahaffey overcame two rain delays totaling nearly six hours and finally posted a final-round 70 to get into an overtime session with Bruce Fleisher and Jose Maria Canizares. In rapidly approaching darkness, Mahaffey rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole for his only Champions Tour victory.
• Of the top nine players on the leaderboard, all but Mark Wiebe have experience in the Ryder Cup. Among the contenders this week who went on to be Ryder Cup captains are Tom Kite, Mark James and Dave Stockton.
• Bruce Fleisher withdrew from the event after his round with a injured left arm. Fleisher was at 6-over-par 148 for 36 holes.