Week 24 Approach Shots: AT&T ChampionshipOctober 21, 2009
PGA TOUR staff
The final full-field event of the 2009 Champions Tour season is this week in San Antonio. The AT&T Championship welcomes back John Cook, who will be going for his third consecutive AT&T title. He comes into the tournament hot, having won last week at the Administaff Small Business Classic. Playing with a stomach ailment during the final round in San Antonio a year ago, Cook still went on to a successful title defense. Besides his win last week, Cook lost in a playoff to Mike Reid at the JELD-WEN Tradition. He's also had nine top-10s and is fifth in both the Charles Schwab Cup standings and on the money list. Following the Tour's stop in San Antonio, the top-30 money-winners this season will travel to Sonoma, Calif., for the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Mark James is in the precarious 30th position, $7,663 ahead of Tim Simpson, who holds down the 31st position.
Quick facts WHAT: 24th of 25 official Charles Schwab Cup events WHEN: Oct. 23-25 WHERE: San Antonio COURSE: Oak Hills Country Club ROUND 1 TV: GOLF, Fri., 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. ET ROUND 2 TV: GOLF, Sat., 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. ET ROUND 3 TV: GOLF, Sun., 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. ET KEY LINKS: Scores | Champions Tour Insider | Tournament site
ROOKIE SUCCESS: John Cook's 2007 and 2008 victories marked the fifth and sixth straight years the AT&T Championship has been won by a rookie. Cook was technically a rookie in 2008 because he played in just two events in 2007. A rookie victory has now taken place 13 times in the 24-year history of the tournament. Don January (1985), Bruce Crampton (1986), Jim Dent (1990), Lee Trevino (1991), David Graham (1997), John Mahaffey (1999), Doug Tewell (2000), Craig Stadler (2003), Mark McNulty (2004), Jay Haas (2005) and Fred Funk (2006) are the others to do it.
BACK TO BACK: When he won last year, John Cook became the third player to post back-to-back victories in this tournament. Lee Trevino (1991-92) and Jim Albus (1994-95) are the only other players to win on the Champions Tour in San Antonio in consecutive years. Trevino's first victory in 1991 came in the only rain-shortened event in tournament history.
BETTER GO LOW: In the 24-year history of the tournament, only two winners have recorded any round of par or higher -- J.C. Snead (a second-round 73 in 1993) and Jim Albus (a third-round 73 in 1994). Eleven of the last 13 winners of this event have posted three consecutive rounds in the 60s, and five of the last eight AT&T Championship winners have had one round of 64 or lower en route to their victories. John Cook had a second-round 63 last year.
BETTER STAY AHEAD: The largest come-from-behind win in tournament history is surprisingly only two strokes, and it has happened seven times, most recently in 2007 when John Cook came from two down to beat 36-hole leaders Tom Kite and Mark O'Meara.
Weather forecast for the AT&T Championship FRIDAY, Rd. 1 SATURDAY, Rd. 2 SUNDAY, Rd. 3 Sunny
Temp: 74 high/49 low
Temp: 72 high/52 low
Temp: 78 high/55 low
AT&T Championship snippets Coming up aces: Champions Tour veteran Bruce Fleisher has made two aces at the AT&T Championship, both coming at this week's site, Oak Hills Country Club. The first occurred in 2005 (No. 9) and the second came in 2008 (No. 18). Cook sizzles in Texas: Two-time defending AT&T Championship winner John Cook, a California native, has taken a liking to Texas since joining the Champions Tour in 2007 -- all three of his Champions Tour victories have come in the state. Starting a new streak: Zimbabwe's Nick Price had his streak of consecutive rounds in the 60s end at 11 after a second-round 74 at last week's Administaff Small Business Classic. It's the longest streak on Tour this season.
TEXAS TWO-STEP: Jay Haas' victory in 2005 made him the sixth player to capture both a Champions Tour and PGA TOUR event in San Antonio. John Mahaffey, the 1999 AT&T Championship winner, also won the 1985 Texas Open. Don January was the first player to win on both Tours, claiming the inaugural event at The Dominion in 1985 after winning the 1975 Texas Open on the PGA TOUR. Other double winners in the Alamo City include: Bruce Crampton (1964 Texas Open/1986 Benson & Hedges Invitational), Chi Chi Rodriguez (1967 Texas Open/1987 Vantage at The Dominion), Lee Trevino (1980 Texas Open/1991-92 Vantage at The Dominion, 1998 Southwestern Bell Dominion).