Establishment (Toms) vs. Youth (Fowler)October 11, 2011
Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents
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 McGladrey Classic we've selected David Toms and Rickie Fowler. The two will be paired together with Paul Casey during the first two rounds at Sea Island (Thursday at 12:40 p.m. off No. 1 and Friday at 8:10 a.m. off No. 10).
Fowler enters the penultimate event in the Fall Series with momentum -- if not a little jet-lagged. The 22-year-old picked up his first pro victory at the Korea Open on Sunday, closing with a 68 to beat Rory McIlroy by six shots.
YEARS ON TOUR: Tom is in his 19th season on the PGA TOUR. He has 13 victories, including the 2001 PGA Championship.
OVERVIEW: During his nearly two decades on TOUR, Toms has been one of the game's steadiest players. The former LSU All-American won his first PGA TOUR title at the 1997 Quad City Classic, then added two more victories in 1999. Over the next seven years, Toms only had one winless season. His career year came in 2001 when Toms picked up his first major as he beat Phil Mickelson at the Atlanta Athletic Club. He also won two other tournaments that year. Toms has experienced a resurgence in 2011, breaking a five-year victory drought when he won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial -- one week after losing to K.J. Choi in extra holes at THE PLAYERS Championship. He credits his son Carter with his added enthusiasm for the game. Toms will bring an overall record of 6-7-1 that includes a 2-1 mark in Singles to Royal Melbourne for the Presidents Cup in Novembber.
HISTORY IN THIS EVENT: Toms fired rounds of 64 and 66 to claim the 36-hole lead at Sea Island last year. A third-round 70 left Toms two strokes off the lead and he closed with a 68 to tie for third.
OUTLOOK THIS WEEK: Toms has been playing very well this season with seven top-10s, four of which have come since his win at Colonial. Toms should be rested, too, after having the last three weeks off to enjoy his top-ranked LSU Tigers football games.
YEARS ON TOUR: This is Fowler's second full season on the PGA TOUR. HE was named Rookie of the Year in 2010 after posting seven top-10s and finishing 22nd in the FedExCup.
OVERVIEW: Much has been expected from the elecrtifying Fowler, who started playing golf at the age of 3 and nearly won his second start as a pro on the PGA TOUR in 2009. Fowler reached a three-way playoff with Jamie Lovemark and eventual champ Troy Matteson at that Frys.com Open. He went on to tie for 15th at q-school and earn his TOUR card for 2010. Fowler, who honors his Oklahoma State roots by dressing head-to-toe in orange on Sundays, posted two runner-up finishes as a rookie at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Memorial Tournament. He was also one of Corey Pavin's Captain's Picks at the Ryder Cup and responded by making birdie on hhis final four holes to halve his match with Edoardo Molinari. Fowler picked up his seventh and final top-10 of the 2010 season when he tied for fourth at the Frys.com Open.
HISTORY IN THIS EVENT: Fowler didn't play in the inaugural McGladrey Classic a year ago. He's had four top-10s on TOUR this season, and he'll be making his first start in the States since bowing out of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup after the BMW Championship.
OUTLOOK THIS WEEK: Fowler should be confident after beating another of the game's young guns, reigning U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy by six strokes in Korea. That said, it's a long commute from South Korea to the southeastern Georgia coast so conserving energy will be key.
Here are the results of the previous matchups this year Score/Finish Tournament Score/Finish 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)
Toms should also come to Sea Island with confidence after tying for third in last year's inaugural McGladrey Classic. He won the Crowne Plaza Invitational presented by Colonial earlier this year and will play in his fourth Presidents Cup next month in Australia.