Notebook: Nature Valley First Tee Open, Round 3

September 30, 2013
Champions Tour staff

Kirk Triplett successfully defends his Nature Valley First Tee Open At Pebble Beach title.

More on Triplett

-- By successfully defending his title he is the first player to defend since Tom Lehman won back-to-back Regions Traditions in 2011 and 2012.

-- Is the first player whose first two wins on the Champions Tour came in the same event since John Cook at the 2007 and 2008 AT&T Championships.

-- Earns a check for $270,000 and surpasses the $1 million in season earnings for the first time in his Champions Tour career with $1,098,992. He is now 10th on the money list.

-- Earns 270 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race and moves into 10th place with 1,146 points.

-- Extends his eligibility for the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai through 2015.

-- Becomes the 17th different winner on the Champions Tour in 2013.

-- Becomes the second player to defend a title here, joining Jeff Sluman, who did so in 2009. Sluman also won again in 2011. They are the only two to post multiple wins in this tournament.

-- Joins Craig Stadler (2004) as the only players to win the tournament as well as the Pro-Junior competition. Triplett teamed with Michelle Xie (Palo Alto, CA/The First Tee of Silicon Valley), while Stadler teamed with Aaron Woodard.

Second-Round Notes/Statistics at the Nature Valley First Tee Open At Pebble Beach

-- Michelle Xie from The First Tee of Silicon Valley & Palo Alto, CA and her pro partner Kirk Triplett, won the pro-junior portion of the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. Xie and Triplett finished two better than the teams of Tom Lehman/Parker Hill and Jeff Sluman/Parker Reddig. Hill, who resides in Maples Grove, MN, represented The First Tee of Three Rivers Park District, and Reddig represents The First Tee of St. Paul and resides in Minneapolis, MN.

-- As the Charles Schwab Cup race heads into the final stretch of four events, Kenny Perry remains in the driver’s seat with 2,760 points. Bernhard Langer remains second with 2,091 points, 669 points behind Perry. David Frost is third (1,786) followed by Duffy Waldorf (1,569) and Fred Couples (1,545). At the end of the season, the player earning the most Schwab Cup points will earn a $1 million payout.

-- Kirk Triplett can look back at his success on the par-5s on the weekend as playing a large role in his victory. Triplett birdied seven of the eight par-5s at Pebble Beach and was a combined 9-under-par on those par-5s this week.

-- Doug Garwood, who open qualified earlier in the week, finished T2 and earns a spot in the SAS Championship in two weeks in Cary, NC as a player not previously exempt into the field. Garwood, who turned 50 in March, played several years on the Tour with a best finish a T2 at the 2002 State Farm Open where he was in a four-man playoff won by Andy Miller. This is the fourth time Garwood has open qualified this year. His T2 finish was the best showing by an open qualifier since Tom Byrum was second at the recent Shaw Charity Classic. Garwood’s best previous finish was a T7 at the Principal Charity Classic.

-- Doug Garwood led all players in putting with 78 total putts, including 30 one-putts. He needed just nine putts on his back nine today.

-- Dan Forsman’s T2 finish was his best showing in a Champions Tour event since he won the 2012 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. His previous-best finish this year had been a T8 at the Insperity Championship in early May. Forsman’s effort on Sunday paid dividends since it moved him from 35th on the money list to 28th. Players who finish in the top-30 on the 2013 money list after the upcoming AT&T Championship will earn berths in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next month in San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park.

-- After not posting a top-10 finish in his first 19 events in 2013, Willie Wood earned his second in his last three starts when he finished T6. Two weeks ago he was T9 at the Montreal Championship.

-- Mark O’Meara rebounded from an opening-round 7-over-par 77 with rounds of 67-70 on the weekend to finish T23. He was T77 after his first round.

-- Kirk Triplett was the only player in the 81-man field to post a bogey-free round on Sunday.

-- The hardest hole at Pebble Beach for the week was the par-4 8th (4.426), yielding only seven birdies. The easiest hole at Pebble Beach has been the par-5 6th hole (4.654), giving up three eagles and 68 birdies.

-- With three full-field events remaining, there are a number of players battling for some of the remaining spots available for the season-ending championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif., from Oct. 28-Nov. 3. A year ago, the player in the No. 30 spot had earned $516,619 heading into the season finale. That was after just 23 events. This year there are two additional tournaments on the schedule. So far, through 22 events, 26 players have surpassed that figure. Below is a rundown on the players currently in positions 25-35.