Final-round notes: Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn

September 14, 2008
PGA TOUR staff

• R.W. Eaks won his fourth career Champions Tour title (0 wins in his first 92 starts, 4 wins in his last 34 starts) and second of the 2008 season. He has now won more Champions Tour events in the last 14 months than any other player on the circuit. A multiple winner last year, Eaks won the 3M Championship near Minneapolis by six strokes earlier this season. Eaks won for the second time in 2007 at last year's Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn after claiming his first Champions Tour title at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

• R.W. Eaks became the first player to successfully defend his title at this event, a first in his TOUR career. He joined Tom Watson (Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am) and Jay Haas (Principal Charity Classic) as the third player this year to win the same event in back-to-back years.

Year Player Event Date
2001 Sammy Rachels The Transamerica October 14
1996 Dave Stockton First of America Classic August 11
1994 Raymond Floyd Senior Tour Championship November 13
1993 Bob Murphy GTE North Classic September 12
1990 Bob Charles GTE Kaanapali Classic December 9
1989 Gary Player RJR Championship October 8
1988 Miller Barber Fairfield Barnett Classic November 13
1987 Gene Littler Gus Machado Senior Classic November 22

• R.W. Eaks became the ninth player this year to win two titles, one shy of the all-time record of 10 multiple champions in a season (1987, 1988, 1993, 1996, 2001). This is the longest the Champions Tour has gone in a season without a three-time winner since 2003 when Craig Stadler didn't claim a third tournament until October 19 at the SBC Championship in San Antonio. Listed below are the other years when there have been at least nine different multiple winners in a season and the player/date/event of the ninth that particular season:

• R.W. Eaks' opening-round 11-under 61 was the lowest start by a winner on the Champions Tour since Tom Purtzer opened with an 11-under 60 at the 2004 Toshiba Senior Classic. Last year, Eaks' opened this event with a 9-under 63 which proved to be the second-lowest start by a winner on the Champions Tour in 2007.

• Eaks' final-round 71 today was the highest finish by a winner in Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn history. His four-stroke margin of victory was also the largest in event history, eclipsing his two-shot win last year and two-stroke margins by Craig Stadler (2003) and Jay Haas (2005).

• R.W. Eaks made just one bogey over his 54 holes this week and his three-round total of 16-under-par 200 was one stroke short of the record score he posted last year. Eaks is now a cumulative 48-under for his last 162 holes in regulation on the Jones Course at Rock Barn.

Year Score Eagles Birdies Pars Bogeys
2008 (-16) 1 15 37 1
2007 (-17) 2 17 32 2

Here's a comparision of R.W. Eaks' tournament numbers over the last two years at Rock Barn:

• R.W. Eaks earned 255 Charles Schwab Cup points for his victory today and moved up into 23rd place in the season-long standing with 567 total points. Jay Haas, the current Schwab Cup leader, picked up 41 points after finishing T9 this week and padded his lead over Bernhard Langer who was idle this week. Haas now has 2,186 Schwab Cup points and Langer has 2,047 after 24 of 29 official events. Fred Funk moved closer to Langer in the standings. Funk earned 41 points this week and remains in third place in the season-long race with 1,917 points. Schwab Cup points are awarded on a weekly basis for top-10 finishes and at the end of the official season, the player earning the most Charles Schwab Cup points will collect a $1 million payout.

Tom Jenkins made 19 birdies this week, one short of the tournament record for birdies (20 by Jim Thorpe and Tom Kite in 2003). Jenkins' runner-up performance in the event was his best outing on the Champions Tour since he lost in a playoff at The ACE Group Classic in Naples early in the 2008 season.

Mark McNulty made the second ace in tournament history when he holed a 4--iron shot from 191 yards at the par-3 17th hole. Before today, The Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn's only hole-in-one had come in 2005 when Gil Morgan aced the 9th hole in the final round. McNulty earned a Rolex watch from the tournament for his ace. McNulty made the fifth hole-in-one on the Champions Tour this year and the first ace of his Champions Tour career.

Tom McKnight's T4 finish this week at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn was his best outing of the 2008 season and his check for $83,867 vaulted him from 64th on the money list into the 51st position.

Gil Morgan's 1-over 73 today ended his streak of sub-par rounds at Rock Barn at 15 consecutive. Dana Quigleys' final-round 69 extended his streak of sub-par rounds at Rock Barn to 13 straight.

• The cumulative scoring average for the field this year was 71.756 compared to 71.538 last year and 71.333 in 2006.