|E-NOTES – December 6, 2016
Isao Aoki (1) – 1983 Sony Open in Hawaii
Tiger Woods led the Hero World Challenge field in birdies with 25. The last time Woods led the field in birdies in a PGA TOUR event was en route to his most recent TOUR win at the 2013 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Henrik Stenson posted his second consecutive runner-up finish at the Hero World Challenge (finished runner-up in 2014; did not start in 2015). In his only official PGA TOUR event this season, Stenson finished T2 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, his sixth runner-up since the start of the 2014-15 season, the most of any player in that time span (Jordan Spieth ranks second with five).
With his win at the Australian PGA Championship, Harold Varner III qualified for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. The Akron-born Varner will make his first start at Firestone CC.
PGA TOUR Champions
Scott Parel and Phillip Price secured their fully-exempt status for the 2017 PGA TOUR Champions season after earning co-medalist honors last Friday at Q-School near Orlando. Bobby Gage birdied his final three holes en route to a third-place finish, while Fran Quinn and Skip Kendall survived a sudden-death playoff to earn the final two fully-exempt statuses available through the 72-hole event. Players finishing Nos. 6-30 at Q-School earned the right to open qualify for events in 2017 while bypassing the pre-qualifying rounds each week.
Scott Parel, who attended the University of Georgia but did not play on the golf team, turned professional at age 31 after spending 10 years as a computer programmer and database administrator. The Augusta, Ga. native competed on the Web.com Tour and the eGolf Tour, winning once on the former in 221 career starts. Parel turned 50 in 2015, and successfully open qualified for eight events on PGA TOUR Champions this past year – including five in a row to open the season. He finished No. 46 in the final Charles Schwab Cup standings after advancing through to the second Playoff event, the Dominion Charity Classic.
Phillip Price, 50, will be competing on PGA TOUR Champions for the first time in 2017. The Wales native, who won three times during his career on the European Tour, represented Europe in the 2002 Ryder Cup at The Belfry, and wound up clinching a crucial Sunday point when he defeated Phil Mickelson in the day’s penultimate singles match. Price made 67 career starts on the PGA TOUR, with his best finish being a T2 effort at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in 2000, where three bogeys over his final four holes left him one shot shy of winner Tiger Woods.
Among the notables set to compete this week are 2014 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Chesson Hadley and former TOUR winners Daniel Chopra, Derek Ernst, Mark Hensby, Cliff Kresge and Parker McLachlin. The top 10, minus No. 1, from the Order of Merit on PGA TOUR China, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, and the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada also are in the field this week vying to improve their status in the priority rankings.
Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica
Lashley, who had a stellar season of three wins, a runner-up finish and three other top-fives in 12 starts, claimed the Roberto De Vicenzo Award for his efforts across Latin America. The remaining four players inside the Order of Merit Top-5 – Los Cinco – secured conditional status for the 2017 Web.com Tour season.
The following are the final standings and their season earnings:
Ping An Bank China Tour – PGA TOUR China Series
Also in the field are Jarin Todd (No. 11), Max McCardle (No. 12) and Rohan Blizard (No. 14). Rounding out the field are Jesse Speirs (No. 55) and John Young Kim (No. 147).
Player of the Year and Order of Merit winner Zecheng Dou earned a sponsor’s exemption into this week’s European Tour event, the Hong Kong Open, at the Hong Kong Golf Club. This will be Dou’s eighth European Tour start and first appearance at the Hong Kong Open. Earlier this season, Dou tied for 12th at PGA TOUR China’s Clearwater Bay Open, also in Hong Kong. Dou’s best European Tour finish is his tie for 16th in April at the Shenzhen International.
After three seasons, China’s Xinjun Zhang and Zecheng Dou are 1-2 on the career money list. Zhang has earned ￥1,700,321 vs. Dou’s ￥1,648,563—a difference of ￥51,758 (approximately US $8,500). Zhang has played all 29 of his tournaments as a professional, while Dou has played 30 total but only 26 as a pro. The 19-year-old Dou spent most of the 2014 season as an amateur.