The 18th hole at Annandale Golf Club. (Greenwood/Getty Images)
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM contributor
• COURSE: Annandale GC, 7,202 yards, par 72. Opened in 1981, the Jack Nicklaus design is built on the site of the former Annandale Plantation and ranked as Mississippi’s top course by Golf Digest. The course played host to the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 1986, before becoming home to Mississippi’s annual PGA TOUR stop in 1994. Though damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 forced the tournament to be pushed back a month, Annandale’s recovery received high marks when play commenced after just nine weeks. Circumstances weren’t so kind in 2009, when heavy rains and soggy conditions forced officials to cancel the tournament.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 300 points.
• CHARITY: Friends of Children’s Hospital, which helps provide Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children with everything from medical equipment to stuffed animals. Batson Hospital is Mississippi’s only facility built specifically for the treatment of children.
• FIELD WATCH: Charles Howell, who came up 18 points short of an Open Championship berth via the FedExCup standings, and former U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III head the roster, along with HP Byron Nelson Championship winner Sang Moon Bae. … Love and double U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen are among six major champions traveling to Mississippi, along with Masters winners Trevor Immelman and Mike Weir and PGA Championship victors David Toms and Shaun Micheel. … Steve Lowery makes his 19th start in Mississippi, most among active players. Dicky Pride plays for the 15th time.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 263, Dan Halldorson (1986 at Hattisburg GC). Annandale GC record: 264, Scott Stallings (2012).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Keith Clearwater (2nd round, 1996).
• LAST YEAR: Scott Stallings blistered Annandale with the lowest total since the tournament moved there, producing a two-shot victory that turned around an injury-plagued season. A pair of 64s helped Stallings finish at 24-under 264, two better than Annandale’s previous low and one off Dan Halldorson’s 1986 tournament record at Hattisburg GC. Jason Bohn finished second, with Billy Horschel another two shots back. It was Stallings’ second win in as many years, separated by struggles early in 2012 as he dealt with two herniated discs and torn cartilage in his ribs.
• STORYLINES: Bohn, who needed just 96 putts in last year’s runner-up effort, begins the event with a string of five consecutive rounds in the 60s at Annandale. His last round in the 70s was an opening 73 at the 2011 event. … Love, working his way back after neck surgery in the spring, tees it up in Mississippi for the first time. The last of his 20 wins came in 2008 at Disney.
• SHORT CHIPS: Since the tournament’s move to Annandale GC in 1994, just four editions have gone to a playoff. The most recent came in 2008, when Will MacKenzie outlasted Brian Gay and Marc Turnesa. … Just two men have captured the tournament more than once – Brian Henninger (1994, ’99) and Fred Funk (1998, 2004).
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Sunday, 4-7 p.m. EDT (Golf Channel).
• RADIO: None.