3M Championship: Final-round notebookJuly 20, 2008
Phil Stambaugh, PGA TOUR Staff
BLAINE, Minn. -- R.W. Eaks claimed his third career victory on the Champions Tour, matching his win total on the Nationwide Tour. Eaks' win Sunday was his first since last year's Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn and ended a drought of 19 starts since his last title. He also became the 14th different winner on the circuit this year.
Inside the Numbers Final Leaderboard Player Score 1. R.W. Eaks 193 -23 T2. Gary Hallberg 199 -17 T2. Bernhard Langer 199 -17 4. Gene Jones 200 -16 5. Ron Streck 201 -15 T6. Rod Spittle 202 -14 T6. Tom Kite 202 -14 T6. Mike Goodes 202 -14 T9. Jeff Sluman 203 -13 T9. Dana Quigley 203 -13 T9. Loren Roberts 203 -13
• R.W. Eaks's winning score of 23-under-par 193 was the third lowest 54-total ever posted on the Champions Tour in relation to par. Loren Roberts carded a 25-under 191 at the 2006 MasterCard Championship at Hualalai, while Bernhard Langer carded a 25-under 191 at the 2008 Administaff Small Business Classic.
• R.W. Eaks' winning score of 23-under-par 193 shattered the old tournament record (19-under 197 by Ed Dougherty at Bunker Hills). The previous-best three-round total at the TPC Twin Cities was 18-under 198 by D.A. Weibring last year.
• Prior to Sunday, Eaks had never finished in the top 10 at the 3M Championship. His best performance in four previous appearances at the TPC Twin Cites was a tie for 11th in 2002. His previous-best 54-hole total at this event was 7-under-par 209.
• R.W. Eaks' six-stroke victory over Bernhard Langer and Gary Hallberg Sunday was the largest winning margin in tournament history, surpassing Hale Irwin's three-stroke win in 2002. Eak's final-round 65 also matched the tournament record for lowest finish by a winner. In the inaugural event in 1993, Chi Chi Rodriguez shot 65 in the final round at Bunker Hills en route to victory.
• R.W. Eaks earned 263 Charles Schwab Cup points for his win and moved up into 24th place in the season-long race with 312 total points. Jay Haas remains in the lead after 18 of the 29 official events. Haas has 1,671 points while Bernhard Langer, a runner-up at the 3M Championship, now has 1,553 points. Loren Roberts, last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner, continued his climb up the standings and this week, he jumped over Scott Hoch into third place. Roberts now has 1,049 points while Hoch has 1,026 points.
• At the end of the official season, the player with the most Schwab Cup points will earn a $1 million payout. Points are earned throughout the year on a per-thousand basis for top-10 finishes only.
• R.W. Eaks also earned a check for $262,500, his largest check ever, and increased his 2008 earnings total to $543,774. Eaks' moved from 39th position into the 18th spot on the official earnings list.
• Gary Hallberg's final-round 65 moved him up into a tie for second along with Bernhard Langer. This was Hallberg's best finish in a TOUR-sponsored event since he won the 2002 Northeast Pennsylvania Classic on the Nationwide Tour.
• Gary Koch's 8-under-par 64 was the low round of the day and was his best round on the Champions Tour since opening with 10-under 62 at the 2004 ACE Group Classic. Koch shot 65 in the final round of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open two week ago to finish second in the event. Koch's 64 Sunday allowed him to make the biggest jump, vaulting up 34 spots into a tie for 15th.
• Three-time 3M Championship winner Hale Irwin carded a final-round 70 to finish solo 12th . His performance in Minnesota this week was his best of the year and marked the first time in 2008 that he posted three straight sub-par scores in a tournament.
• Defending champion D.A. Weibring finished tied for 15th. His 4-under 68 today gives him 15 consecutive sub-par scores in as many rounds as he has played on the TPC Twin Cities course.
• For the second consecutive year, an open qualifier made a valiant run at the 3M Championship title. This year, Gene Jones, playing in the final group for the first time on the Champions Tour, carded a final-round 69 but finished solo fourth, equaling his best effort on the circuit (4th-Commerce Bank Championship). Last year at TPC Twin Cities, Mitch Adams, the co-medalist at the open qualifier, finished tied for third in the 3M Championship, his best finish ever on the Champions Tour.
• In the Greats of Golf Challenge, a better-ball exhibition, Chi Chi Rodriguez' team won for the fourth consecutive year. Rodriguez, along with partners Lee Trevino and Charles Coody, finished with a 10-under-par 62. Team Army (Arnold Palmer, Miller Barber and Don January) were second with a 6-under 66 while Team Ryder Cup (Billy Casper, Gene Littler and Tony Jacklin) finished third with a 2-under 70.
• The Sunday field scoring average was 70.115 compared to 70.208 on Sunday last year and 71.385 in the final round in 2006. There were 34 rounds in the 60s today compared to 31 sub-70 scores on Sunday last year and 21 sub-70 scores on Sunday two years ago. The cumulative field scoring average for the tournament was 70.056, the all-time lowest in event history, eclipsing last year's previous record of 70.698. This year, there were a whopping 106 total rounds in the 60s compared to 86 total rounds in the 60s last year. There were 160 total rounds below par versus 145 rounds below par last year.
• Dan Forsman, a five-time winner on the PGA TOUR, finished tied for 39th in his Champions Tour debut.