Notebook: Round 3, AT&T Championship

October 25, 2009
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff

Phil Blackmar's 7-under-par 64 gave him a one-stroke victory over Jay Haas, Andy Bean and Tom Kite. Blackmar got off to a fast start with birdies on five of his first six holes and shot a 5-under-par 30 on the front nine. Haas came to No. 18 tied with Blackmar, but made a bogey on the final hole. His bunker shot for a par and a tie hung on the lip, ending any chance for a playoff. Neither Kite nor Bean was able to birdie the final hole.


• With his win, Blackmar earns a check for $255,000 and grabs the 30th and final spot at this week's Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Sonoma, CA. Blackmar had entered the week ranked 57th on the 2009 money list with $262,313, but jumped 27 places to $517,313 with his win. He edged Mark James for the final spot by $16,688. Tim Simpson, who began the final round seven strokes ahead of James, fired a final-round 74 to slip to 32nd on the money list..

• By virtue of his victory and top-30 finish, Blackmar is fully exempt for 2010 and also earns him a two-year exemption into the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

• Blackmar did not make a bogey over his final 37 holes and his 7-under-par 64 matched his low round on the Champions Tour. He also had a 64 at this year's Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship.

• Blackmar also becomes the second sponsor exemption to win this year, joining Michael Allen, who won the Senior PGA Championship in May.

• A former University of Texas standout and Corpus Christi resident, Blackmar becomes the eighth Texan to win this event. He joins Don January (Dallas/1985), Bruce Crampton (Dallas/1986), Lee Trevino (El Paso & Dallas/1991-92, 1998), David Graham (resided in Dallas/1997) and John Mahaffey (Kerrville/Houston/1999).

• Blackmar's win ended a winless streak of 135 events (all three Tours) since he last won the 1997 Shell Houston Open.

Andy Bean's second-place finish (T2) marked the fifth time he had finished as a runner-up in 2009.

Jay Haas continues to be the hottest player on the Champions Tour. His T2 finish gave him four straight finishes either first or second. He posted consecutive wins at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn and at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship and was also T2 at his previous start in Houston at the Administaff Small Business Classic. He has won $928,166 in those four starts and 14 of his last 15 rounds have been in the 60s and his 15th was a round of par.

• The field averaged 71.455 for the week and the most difficult hole was No. 13 at 3.234 (+.234). There were just 16 birdies during the event. Easiest hole was No. 15 at 4.532 (-.468). There were six eagles and 113 birdies.

Steve Thomas set a new record for best driving distance in a season when he averaged 301.5 for the year. The previous mark was 300.5 by Dan Pohl in 2005.

Name Starting Position/Money Score Finish/Money
30th/Phil Blackmar 57th/$262,313 203/-10 1st/$517,313
31st/Mark James 30th/$489,150 212/-1 T32/$500,625/
32nd/Tim Simpson 31st/$481,487 211/-2 T22/$497,484
33rd/Craig Stadler 34th/$422,012 209/-4 T14/451,762
34th/Hal Sutton 32nd/$443,982 DNP Injured

• Here is how the race for the final spot in this week's Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Sonoma, CA, finished.

Name 2009 Schwab Cup Points Points Behind Finish
Loren Roberts 2,458 ------ T22
Fred Funk 2,293 165 T61
Bernhard Langer 2,110 348 T7
Jay Haas 1,856 602 T2
John Cook 1,467 991** 5
** Cannot win the overall title

• Four players remain in the hunt for the Charles Schwab Cup title. John Cook was eliminated from having the opportunity of winning the title since he trails by more than 880 points, the amount awarded to the winner of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week. Below is where the top five players stand going to Sonoma. The winner of the season-long competition will be determined at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, where double points will be available for all 30 participants.

Hale Irwin ended his string of finishes outside the top 10 at 41 on Sunday when he finished sixth. Prior to today, Irwin's last top-10 came at the 2007 Charles Schwab Cup Championship.(T7). It was Irwin's 196th career top-10 on the Champions Tour. He ranks second in that category to Bob Charles with 203 career top-10s. At 65, Irwin is the oldest player to record a top-10 finish on the Champions Tour since 66-year-old Dave Stockton finished T4 at last year's Administaff Small Business Classic.

Tom Kite's bid for his first win in Texas fell one stroke short as he finished T2, one stroke behind Blackmar. Kite is now 0-for-126 in the state on both the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour.