Round 3 Notebook: Greater Gwinnett Championship
April 21, 2014
By Champions Tour staff, PGATOUR.COM
- Bernhard Langer finished two strokes behind winner Miguel Angel Jimenez. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
Weather: Mostly sunny with temperatures reaching the low-70s and winds from the NE at 10-20 mph. Preferred lies were utilized for the third consecutive day.
Miguel Angel Jimenez 65-70-67---202 (-14)
Bernhard Langer 68-68-68---204 (-12)
Jay Haas 71-68-67---206 (-10)
Fred Couples 69-68-70---207 (-9)
David Frost 72-68-69---209 (-7)
Steve Pate 68-71-70—209 (-7)
Duffy Waldorf 71-68-70---209 (-7)
Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez’ debut on the Champions Tour did not disappoint. Professional golf’s most interesting man was rock solid in the final round, carding a bogey-free, 5-under-par 67 at TPC Sugarloaf on Easter Sunday to cruise to a two-stroke triumph over Germany’s Bernhard Langer. Jimenez was tied with Langer after seven holes in the final round, but at the par-3 8th hole, his short birdie putt, coupled with Langer’s bogey provided just the margin he needed. Jimenez added three more birdies over the first four holes on the back nine and was never threatened the rest of the way. Overall, Jimenez made 15 birdies and an eagle in his 54 holes and did not make a bogey in his last 32 holes of the event.
With His Win Today…Miguel Angel Jimenez
He claims his first career victory on the Champions Tour, becoming the 18th player in the history of the circuit to win in his debut. Along with Jeff Maggert’s win at the previous event, the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Presented by C-Spire, it marks the first time since 1980 that back-to-back Champions Tour tournaments have been won by players making their debuts. In 1980, the first two official events ever played on the Champions Tour were won by Don January (Atlantic City International) and Roberto DeVicenzo (U.S. Senior Open). Here’s a full list of the players who have won in their first start on the Champions Tour:
Year Player Event 1980 Don January Atlantic City Invitational 1980 Roberto De Vicenzo U.S. Senior Open 1980 Arnold Palmer PGA Seniors Championship 1983 Rod Funseth Hall of Fame Tournament 1985 Gary Player Quadel Seniors Classic 1989 George Archer Gatlin Brothers Southwest Senior Classic 1990 Jack Nicklaus The Tradition 1999 Bruce Fleisher Royal Caribbean Classic 2000 Lanny Wadkins ACE Group Classic 2001 Bobby Wadkins Lightpath Long Island Classic 2004 Mark McNulty Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am 2007 Mark Wiebe SAS Championship 2009 Tom Lehman Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf 2009 Michael Allen Senior PGA Championship 2009 Tom Pernice Jr. SAS Championship 2013 Rocco Mediate Allianz Championship 2014 Jeff Maggert Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Presented By C-Spire 2014 Miguel Angel Jimenez Greater Gwinnett Championship Presented By Mitsubishi Electric
• He also joins Rod Funseth (1983 Hall of Fame Tournament) and Bruce Fleisher (1999 Royal Caribbean Classic) as just the third player to go wire-to-wire in his first start on the Champions Tour.
• At 50 years, 3 months, 15 days, he’s the second youngest winner on the 2014 Champions Tour (Jeff Maggert-50 years, 1 month, 3 days/Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Presented By C-Spire).
• He becomes the second player from Spain to win on the Champions Tour, a first since Jose-Maria Canizares claimed the 2001 Toshiba Classic.
• He becomes the sixth different winner on the Champions Tour this year.
• He becomes the first sponsor exemption to win on the Champions Tour since Phil Blackmar prevailed at the 2009 AT&T Championship in San Antonio.
• He becomes the first player ever to win a European Tour event and a Champions Tour event in the same season. Jimenez won the last of his 20 European Tour titles at the 2013 UBS Hong Kong Open in December.
• His victory earns him an immediate exemption for one full year from today and qualifies him into the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai field for the next two years.
• He earns a check for $270,000 and collects 270 Charles Schwab Cup points.
• Made six appearances on the PGA TOUR at TPC Sugarloaf and missed the cut three times. Best effort was a T36 at the 1999 BellSouth Classic.
• Last week at Augusta National, Jimenez finished fourth in his 15th career start at The Masters the second-best performance by a player over 50 (50 years, 3 months, 8 days) at this event after Sam Snead’s T3 at the 1963 Masters, at age 50 years 10 months and 10 days. Jimenez was two strokes off the lead entering the final round.
Category Figures/Percentage Rank Driving Accuracy 28/42 (66.7%) T56 Driving Distance 280.4 8th Greens In Regulation 42/54 (77.8%) T4 Putts Per Round 27.3 T16
• For the second time on the 2014 Champions Tour, there was a 1-2-3-4 finish. It also happened in early February at the Allianz Championship.
• Bernhard Langer’s third consecutive 68 today led to his 15th career runner-up performance as a member of the Champions Tour and he’s now finished among the top three in five of his six starts on the Champions Tour this year. He extended his streak of finishes among the top 10 to 16 straight on the Champions Tour and 17 overall, including a T8 at last week’s Masters Tournament. The last time Langer was not in the top 10 in a Champions Tour event was when he was T14 at the 2013 U.S. Senior Open in Omaha (July 14). Langer now has 19 straight sub-par rounds dating back to his 64 in the opening round of the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn. Langer’s round today also gives him 28 straight par/better scores dating back to last year. He moved out of a tie with Lee Trevino (1992), Raymond Floyd (1995), Bruce Summerhays (1995) and Bruce Fleisher (2002) for solo fourth place on the all-time list. Loren Roberts holds the all-time record for par/better scores, registering 37 straight during the 2006-2007 seasons.
• Jay Haas’ final-round 67 gave him a second straight third-place finish on the Champions Tour. The 60-year-old Haas has now been among the top five in five of his six appearances and he’s a cumulative 73-under for the 2014 season. Of his 18 rounds this year on the Champions Tour, 15 have been in the 60s.
• Langer earned 158 Charles Schwab Cup points this week to increase his total in the season-long race to 869 points. Langer widened his lead in the Schwab Cup race to 264 points over Fred Couples who finished fourth this week at TPC Sugarloaf and earned 107 points. At the end of the official season, the player earning the most Schwab Cup points will collect a $1 million payout.
• In addition to Jimenez debuting this week, four-time PGA TOUR winner Joe Durant carded a final-round 67 to move up into a T21 in his first Champions Tour start. Durant turned 50 on April 7.
R1 – Miguel Angel Jimenez (65), Kenny Perry (68)
R2 – Marco Dawson (69)
R3 – Willie Wood (66), Miguel Angel Jimenez (67), Jim Rutledge (67), Larry Mize (68)
• Trevor Dodds made the first ace in Greater Gwinnett Championship history, holing a PW from 127 yards at the par-3 2nd hole today. It marked the third straight event on the Champions Tour that an ace was made. At the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Presented By C Spire, Nick Price made the first ace in event history in the final round, his first hole in one as a member of the Champions Tour. D.A. Weibring had an ace in the second round of the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif. For Dodds, it was his first hole-in-one since the 1991 Hardee’s Classic on the PGA TOUR.
• Willie Wood’s 6-under 66 was the low round of the day and moved him up 13 spots into a T8. Wood was T45 after the first round. His performance this week was his best on the Champions Tour since a T6 at last year’s Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative 2013 Cumulative Friday 37.025 36.747 73.747 ---- 73.800 Saturday 36.519 36.152 72.671 73.209 73.810 Sunday 36.165 35.063 71.228 72.549 73.722
• The par-4 12th hole yielded just 17 birdies for the week, including one on Sunday from Miguel Angel Jimenez, the eventual champion. No. 12 played to an average of 4.312. Last year, the 12th hole was ranked as the eighth most difficult (4.129).
• Steve Pate’s T5 finish this week gives him three consecutive top 10s on the Champions Tour for the first time. Last month, Pate finished T2 at the Toshiba Classic and followed that performance up with a T6 at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic presented by C-Spire.
• Colin Montgomerie was T8 this week at the Greater Gwinnett Championship and he’s not been out of the top-10 in his five appearances on the Champions Tour in 2014. Montgomerie has now gone 274 consecutive holes without a three-putt, the longest current streak on the circuit.