World Hero Challenge

E-NOTES – November 29, 2016

Denmark won the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf for the first time as Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen claimed a four-shot victory at Kingston Heath Golf Club. France (Victor Dubuisson/Romain Langasque) and China (Ashun Wu/Hao Tong Li) finished runner-up, the best finish for their respective countries in history of the event.

On Thursday at the Hero World Challenge, 466 days will have passed since Tiger Woods last played a competitive round, finishing T10 at the 2015 Wyndham Championship after rounds of 64-65-68-70.

All three Olympic medalists will compete in the Hero World Challenge: Justin Rose (Gold), Henrik Stenson (Silver) and Matt Kuchar (Bronze).

Tournament host Tiger Woods is the only player who has won the Hero World Challenge in back-to-back years. He is one of three multiple winners of the event:

5 – Tiger Woods
2 – Graeme McDowell
2 – Davis Love III

En route to his win at the 2014 Hero World Challenge, Jordan Spieth was coming off his first win at the Australian Open. Since 2014, Spieth’s results in the two events:

Year Australian Open Hero World Challenge
2014 Won Won
2015 T2 4th
2016 Won TBD

Hideki Matsuyama will make his third start in the Hero World Challenge, coming off a share of last place in 2015. If Matsuyama wins this week, he will have won four of his last five starts worldwide:

Japan Open Golf Championship (JPN) Won
CIMB Classic (PGA TOUR) Runner-up
WGC-HSBC Champions (WGC) Won
Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters Won


PGA TOUR Champions
The annual Qualifying Tournament for PGA TOUR Champions begins November 30 at the Magnolia Golf Course at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Brandt Jobe was the Q-School medalist in 2015 and finished the 2016 season at No. 20 in the Charles Schwab Cup, thanks to seven top-10 finishes. Four players went from 2015 Q-School to the 2016 Charles Schwab Cup Championship: Brandt Jobe, Mike Goodes, Paul Broadhurst and Tom Byrum. Notes on the field include:

  • 12 players with PGA TOUR victories
  • 5 former European Ryder Cup team members
  • 39 players in the field played in at least one PGA TOUR Champions event in 2016.
  • At No. 47, Jim Carter is the highest finisher in the 2016 Charles Schwab Cup in the field.

Jean Van de Velde is in the field at Q-School, attempting to secure exempt status for the 2017 PGA TOUR Champions season. The native of France, who infamously triple-bogeyed the 72nd hole before losing the 1999 Open Championship in a playoff, made eight starts on Tour this year, with a T37 at the Shaw Charity Classic serving as his best finish.

Tommy Tolles, who turned 50 on October 21, is making his first appearance at PGA TOUR Champions Q-School this week. The Flat Rock, N.C. native, whose last PGA TOUR start came in 2005, strung together a memorable set of near-miss performances in the late 1990s. Tolles finished T2 at THE PLAYERS Championship in 1996, T3 at the 1996 PGA Championship, T3 at the 1997 Masters Tournament, T2 at the 1999 Sony Open in Hawaii, and missed qualifying for the 1997 U.S. Ryder Cup team by one spot (finished 11th). Tour
Current Tour member Stephan Jaegar participated in the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf contested in Melbourne, Australia last week. Jaegar was selected by former Tour alumni Alex Cejka to compete on behalf of Germany in the event. The duo closed out the week with a 64 for a T13 showing. While Jaegar was the only current Tour member in the field, there were 12 other players with Tour experience in the field including Jimmy Walker (United States), Russell Knox (Scotland), Danny Lee (New Zealand), Hao Tong Li (China) and Jhonatthan Vegas (Venezuela).

Earlier this year, Jaegar became the first player to shoot 58 in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event at the Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae. Jaeger set the 72-hole scoring record by five shots, besting Steve Wheatcroft’s previous Tour record of 255. Jaeger capped off his record-setting week in Hayward by earning his maiden victory on Tour.

Ping An Bank China Tour – PGA TOUR China Series
Huilin Zhang won the season finale Buick Open, holding off South Korea’s Rak Cho, England’s Callum Tarren, Mark Baldwin of the United States, and Japan’s Shotaro Wada. The victory moved him to fifth on the Order of Merit, one shy of the fifth and final spot to earn 2017 Tour membership.

The top five on the Order of Merit remained unchanged after the Buick Open. China’s Xinjun Zhang (¥504,675) nailed down the fifth and final position with his tie for sixth. China’s Zecheng Dou clinched the money-list title two weeks ago, at the Putian Open (¥1,144,350), and American Charlie Saxon, despite missing the cut this week had already sewed up the second position (¥871,395). American Alex Kang finished third (¥597,575), followed by South Korea’s Taewoo Kim (¥578,886). Of the five, only Xinjun Zhang didn’t win a tournament this season.

China’s Zecheng Dou, winner of four Ping An Bank China Tour – PGA TOUR China Series tournaments and the Order of Merit title set an all-time earnings mark with his ¥1,144.350 and earned Player of the Year honors. Dou will be fully exempt for the entire 2017 Tour season.

A year after finishing sixth on the Order of Merit and missing earning his Tour membership by one money-list position, Canada’s Justin Shin was again in the mix this year, tying for ninth this week but falling from eighth to ninth on the final earnings. Finishing inside the top 10 did earn the Canadian an invitation to the Tour Qualifying Tournament in Florida next week.

China’s Hao Tong Li was the first Ping An Bank China Tour – PGA TOUR China Series Player of the Year when he captured the award in 2014. Two years later, he helped China earn a share of second place in the World Cup of Golf last week in Australia with partner Ashun Wu.