Rd. 3 Notes: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

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April 03, 2011
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff

Weather: Mostly sunny and pleasant with highs in the low-80s. Winds were from the S/SE at 5-15 mph with some gust to 25 mph.

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Tom Lehman bogeyed his first hole to drop back into a tie at 12-under par with Jeff Sluman, but the former PGA TOUR Player of the Year put down the accelerator and pulled away from the field for a four-stroke victory at Fallen Oak. Lehman birdied Nos. 4, 6 and 8 to build a three-stroke margin at the turn and never looked back. It was his second win of the season and his fourth on the Champions Tour.

• Lehman earned a check for $240,000 as well as 240 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race. The victory pushed his season earnings to $718,038 on the Champions Tour to lead that category, and he also has a commanding lead in the Charles Schwab Cup race with 694 points. Nick Price is second with 478 points.

• So far in 2011, Lehman has posted 12 consecutive rounds in the 60s in as many starts and now ranks T2 in that category on the all-time Champions Tour list along with Fred Couples. Hale Irwin is the all-time leader with 13 in 1999.

• In his current run of 12 straight rounds in the 60s, Lehman is a combined 58 strokes under par and his scoring average is 66.91.

• Lehman's win on Sunday came 20 years after he won a Ben Hogan Tour (now Nationwide Tour) at Windance CC in Gulfport, Miss., in a playoff with Tim Straub and John Wilson. One of the other competitors in that event was Olin Browne, who finished T5, the same finish he posted on Sunday at Fallen Oak.

• Here are Tom Lehman's statistics for the event: Fairways Hit -- 35 of 42 (83.3 percent/T2) Greens in Regulation -- 41 of 54 (75.9 percent/T14) Putts Per Round -- 28.0/T4 Driving Distance -- 287.5/10

• Playing in the final group continues to pay dividends on the Champions Tour. Lehman is the fourth consecutive winner to come out of the final group in 2011.

• Lehman also became the fourth straight former major championship winner to claim a Champions Tour crown in 2011. Lehman began the string with his win at the Allianz Championship and he was followed by Bernhard Langer (The ACE Group Classic) and Price (Toshiba Classic).

• Irwin reached a milestone with his T7 finish. It marked the 200th top-10 finish in his career. He now trails the all-time leader, Bob Charles, by just three on the all-time list.

Jeff Sluman extended his streak of par/better rounds to 24, dating to last year.

• Browne posted his fourth straight top-10 finish in as many starts in 2011 with his T5 effort. Browne has also posted 12 straight sub-par rounds this year.

Jay Haas' T5 finish was his first top-10 effort of the season.

Mark Brooks finished T18 in his Champions Tour debut and fellow "rookie" Jim Gallagher Jr., finished T45.

Steve Lowery's T7 finish was his first on the Champions Tour in six starts. Lowery turned 50 last October.

• Sunday's gusty winds certainly had an effect on the final-round scoring average. The field averaged 72.000, a jump from 69.987 on Saturday. There were just 17 rounds in the 60s compared to 37 rounds on Saturday and there were 35 rounds under par, 17 fewer than Saturday.

• Price had his third consecutive strong outing. His T2 finish was his third straight top-3 finish. He won the recent Toshiba Classic and was T3 at The ACE Group Classic.

• Hole No. 18 was the most difficult for the event with an average score of 4.316 (+.316), while No. 6 was the easiest at 4.466 (-.534). Hole No. 5 yielded just one birdie on Sunday and the honors belonged to Larry Nelson.

• Of the top 15 finishers, only one player birdied No. 18 on Sunday -- Haas.

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