October 18, 2011
Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents
CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK HOSPITALS CLASSIC: Rankings | Inside the field | The course
One of the themes for the 2011 PGA TOUR season is the competition involving the younger players and the established ones. How will the veteran players -- those with significant TOUR experience and long-standing championship pedigree -- fare against the hungry up-and-comers who are looking to nudge their way into the TOUR's elite?
Each week, PGATOUR.COM will select two players and analyze their chances heading into the tournament. We'll then track which player has the better score for his team, and keep a running team tally throughout the year.
For the pressure-packed finale of the PGA TOUR Fall Series, we've selected Justin Leonard, a 12-time winner on TOUR, and rookie Billy Horschel.
YEARS ON TOUR: Leonard is completing his 17th full season on the PGA TOUR. He's won 12 times, including the 1997 British Open and the THE PLAYERS Championship the following year.
OVERVIEW: Leonard is one of four players to have earned his playing privileges without going to q-school. (That number will soon be five, thanks to Bud Cauley's stellar summer in 2011). The Texas grad has been nothing if not consistent, topping seven figures in earnings in 12 of the last 13 seasons. Depending on what happens at Disney this week, though, Leonard could be headed for his lowest total since he earned $748,793 as a rookie in 1995 )and to show you how purses have grown, that total put the veteran 22nd on the money list). He has earned $445,362 this season and is still looking for his first top-10 finish.
HISTORY IN THIS EVENT: Leonard has played in the CMN Hospitals Classic four times. It's been feast or famine, too -- missed cuts in 2010 and 2006 with ties for second in 2009 and sixth in 2007.
OUTLOOK THIS WEEK: Leonard hasn't had a great Fall Series -- playing six rounds in two events and only breaking 70 once. He tied for 60th at the Frys.Com Open and missed the cut last week in Sea Island. He does have some success at Disney to build on, though.
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YEARS ON TOUR: This is Horschel's rookie year on the PGA TOUR.
OVERVIEW: Horschel started the 2011 campain on a major medical extension after his rookie season was curtailed by an injury to his left wrist that required surgery. He earned his first top-10 on TOUR in his 20th start at the Reno-Tahoe Open. Since that tie for 10th he has put together a very solid string, tying for 30th at the Wyndham Championship and finishing 20th or higher in his next three starts. One of those was a confidence-builder of a tie for seventh at the Frys.com Open. Horschel actually had a great chance to win The McGladrey Classic last week as he entered the final round trailing Michael Thompson by one stroke. He went on to shoot a 75, though, which sent him tumbling to a tie for 20th.
HISTORY IN THIS EVENT: Horschel, who went to school in nearby Gainesville, Fla., has never played in the CMN Hospitals Classic.
OUTLOOK THIS WEEK: Horschel has definitely been trending upwards in the last two months. If he can shake off the disappointment of Sunday's stumbling finish, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the former Gator -- who should have plenty of support at Disney -- contend again.
|Here are the results of the previous matchups this year|
| ||Steve Stricker ||20 under (T-4th) ||Hyundai TOC ||Dustin Johnson ||14 under (T-9th) || |
| ||Ernie Els ||4 under (T-42nd) ||Sony Open ||Jason Day ||8 under (T-20th) |
| ||Stewart Cink ||5 under (MC) ||Bob Hope Classic ||Bubba Watson ||7 under (MC) |
| ||Davis Love III ||5 over (MC) ||Farmers Insurance Open ||Rickie Fowler ||5 under (T20) |
| ||Angel Cabrera ||7 under (T-49th) ||Waste Management Phoenix ||Jhonattan Vegas ||2 under (MC) || |
| ||Padraig Harrington ||2 over (T63) ||AT&T Pebble Beach National ||Dustin Johnson ||Even (T55) |
| ||Jim Furyk ||1 under (T35) ||Northern Trust Open ||Louis Oosthuizen ||3 over (T62) || |
| ||Vijay Singh ||9 over (MC) ||The Honda Classic ||Anthony Kim ||7 over (MC) |
| ||Luke Donald ||11 under (T6) ||WGC-Cadillac Championship ||Jhonattan Vegas ||2 under (T31) || |
| ||Sergio Garcia ||7 under (T15) ||Transitions Championship ||Matteo Manassero ||6 under (T20) || |
| ||Phil Mickelson ||1 under (T24) ||Arnold Palmer Invitational ||Graeme McDowell ||9 over (MC) || |
| ||Fred Couples ||Even (T60) ||Shell Houston Open ||Gary Woodland ||10 under (T13) |
| ||Tiger Woods ||10 under (T4) ||The Masters ||Martin Kaymer ||6 over (MC) || |
| ||Justin Leonard ||2 under (T30) ||Valero Texas Open ||Anthony Kim ||7 over (MC) || |
| ||Jim Furyk ||5 under (T21) ||The Heritage ||Jason Day ||7 under (T9) |
| ||David Toms ||7 under (T18) ||Zurich Classic of New Orleans ||Brandt Snedeker ||2 over (MC) || |
| ||Phil Mickelson ||10 under (T9) ||Wells Fargo Championship ||Bubba Watson ||3 under (T48) || |
| ||Tiger Woods ||Withdrew ||THE PLAYERS Championship ||Charl Schwartzel ||6 under (T26) |
| ||Paul Goydos ||5 under (T10) ||Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial ||Jason Day ||3 under (T31) || |
| ||Vijay Singh ||5 over (T27) ||HP Byron Nelson Championship ||Nick Watney ||1 over (T8) |
| ||Jim Furyk ||8 over (MC) ||the Memorial Tournament ||Bubba Watson ||1 under (T42) |
| ||David Toms ||5 over (MC) ||FedEx St. Jude Classic ||Camilo Villegas ||8 under (3) |
| ||Ernie Els ||6 over (MC) ||U.S. Open ||Graeme McDowell ||2 under (T14) |
| ||Padraig Harrington ||4 under (T63) ||Travelers Championship ||Aaron Baddeley ||11 under (T24) |
| ||K.J. Choi ||11 under (2nd) ||AT&T National ||Adam Scott ||9 under (T3) || |
| ||Stewart Cink ||3 under (MC) ||John Deere Classic ||Louis Oosthuizen ||3 under (MC) || |
| ||Tom Watson ||6 over (T22) ||British Open ||Bubba Watson ||9 over (T30) || |
| ||Mike Weir ||(WD) ||RBC Canadian Open ||Matt McQuillan ||5 over (T31) |
| ||Davis Love III ||2 over (MC) ||The Greenbrier Classic ||Jeff Overton ||Even (T49) |
| ||Steve Stricker ||7 under (14) ||WGC-Bridgestone Invitational ||Nick Watney ||2 under (T23) || |
| ||Tiger Woods ||10 over (MC) ||PGA Championship ||Dustin Johnson ||7 over (MC) |
| ||Davis Love III ||11 under (T12) ||Wyndham Championship ||Bill Haas ||2 under (MC) || |
| ||Phil Mickelson ||8 under (T43) ||The Barclays ||Keegan Bradley ||1 over (MC) || |
| ||Ernie Els ||8 under (T16) ||Deutsche Bank Championship ||William McGirt ||3 under (T42) || |
| ||Jim Furyk ||Even (T22) ||BMW Championship ||Rickie Fowler ||4 over (48th) || |
| ||Vijay Singh ||Even (T16) ||TOUR Championship ||Webb Simpson ||2 over (22ndth) || |
| ||Bob Estes ||11 under (T40) ||JT Shriners Hospitals ||Martin Laird ||11 under (T40)|
| ||Tiger Woods ||7 under (T30) ||Frys.com Open ||Patrick Cantlay ||1 over (T67) || |
| ||David Toms ||Even (MC) ||The McGladrey Classic ||Rickie Fowler ||3 over (MC) || |
Leonard enters the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic -- a tournament he nearly won in 2009 -- ranked 144th on the money list. Horschel, who is winding up his rookie season, is seven spots better than Leonard at No. 137. The former Florida standout has some momentum, too, after finishing 20th or better in his last three starts.