This Week in Golf - July 12th through July 15th

This Week in Golf - July 12th through July 15th

This Week in Golf - July 12th through July 15th
July 9th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - PGA TOUR - JOHN DEERE CLASSIC, TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois - With the world's best golfers preparing for next week's third major, the British Open Championship, the PGA Tour heads for its annual stop in Illinois for the John Deere Classic.

Talk about a place where people go for their first win. Seven of the previous 10 champions have claimed their first PGA Tour crown at this event, which has been contested at the TPC Deere Run since 2001. Overall, 18 of the previous 35 winners picked up tour win No. 1 at this tournament.

Last year it was John Senden's turn. Senden got up and down from a greenside bunker on the 18th for par and the win. The par helped him fend off 2002 winner J.P. Hayes by one stroke. Hayes had a chance to grab the lead with an eagle on 17, but he could not convert and ended one back after a closing 65.

The last three winners -- Mark Hensby, Sean O'Hair and Senden -- all earned berths in the British Open with their wins, however Hensby declined the invitation.

There have been just six playoffs in the first 35 years of this event, but the 1981 playoff was an historic one. Dave Barr needed eight -- yes, eight -- extra holes to knock off Woody Blackburn to claim the title.

The only reason that playoff was possible was because Victor Regalado bogeyed the final two holes that create a five-way playoff with Barr, Blackburn, Regalado, Dan Halldorson and Frank Connor. The playoff featured two Americans (Blackburn and Connor), two Canadians (Halldorson and Barr) and a Mexican, Regalado.

Michelle Wie, who pulled out of this event last year during the second round because of heat exhaustion, withdrew from the event a month ago due to her wrist injury.

The Golf Channel and CBS split coverage of the four rounds this week. Next week is the season's third major, the British Open. Tiger Woods will defend his title at Carnoustie, while the remainder of the PGA Tour will be at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, where Corey Pavin won the title in '06.

EUROPEAN TOUR

BARCLAYS SCOTTISH OPEN, Loch Lomond, Glasgow, Scotland - With the British Open looming next week, several Americans have gone across the pond a week early to play in the Barclays Scottish Open.

Among those who made the trip to Loch Lomond were Tom Lehman, Phil Mickelson and Shaun Micheel. They are just three of 10 former major champions teeing it up this week, a list that includes newly crowned U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera.

Eight of the last 11 winners -- Johan Edfors, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie, Thomas Bjorn, Retief Goosen, Thomas Levet, Lehman and Lee Westwood -- are also scheduled to complete their final British Open preparations at Loch Lomond.

Montgomerie, an eight-time Order of Merit winner, is coming off his first win since December 2005. He won the title here in '99 the week before the British Open was played at Carnoustie, which will also host the Open Championship next week.

Pablo Martin, who made history as the first amateur to win on the European Tour earlier this year, will tee it up as a professional this week. Martin won the Estoril Open de Portugal as an amateur. He later turned pro, but has made cuts in just one of four events, all on the PGA Tour, to this point.

The Golf Channel will broadcast action of all four rounds. Tiger Woods defends his British Open title next week at Carnoustie, where Paul Lawrie was a playoff winner in 1999, the last time the Open was at Carnoustie.

LPGA TOUR

JAMIE FARR OWENS CORNING CLASSIC, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio - After a week off, the LPGA Tour returns to action with the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

Newly crowned U.S. Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr heads the field, which will tee it up at Highland Meadows Golf Club for the 19th straight year.

Last year, Mi Hyun Kim birdied the third playoff hole to knock off hard-luck loser Natalie Gulbis. Both Kim and Gulbis closed with rounds of six-under 65, but Kim had been as many as four behind, before closing with three birdies on the back nine to force the extra session.

Gulbis and Kim began the final round tied for the lead, but needed everyone of those 65 strokes to stay ahead of the rest of the field. Paula Creamer matched their 65s to end one back at minus-17, with Se Ri Pak two back after a 66.

Pak will look to continue her amazing play at this event, where she has posted four wins and eight top-10s in the previous nine years. If she wins for a fifth time, she would join Mickey Wright and Annika Sorenstam as the only players to win the same LPGA event five times.

After no coverage for the opening round, ESPN2 will cover the final three rounds of action from 3:00-5:00 p.m. (et) each day. Next week, the LPGA shifts back to New York for the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship, where 39th-seeded Brittany Lincicome defeated eight-seed Juli Inkster for the crown last year.

CHAMPIONS TOUR

DICK'S SPORTING GOODS OPEN, En-Joie Golf Club, Endicott, New York - For 35 years, the En-Joie Golf Club hosted the PGA Tour's B.C. Open. That event was removed from the 2007 schedule, so the Champions Tour moved in for a new event at En-Joie.

The Dick's Sporting Goods Open is a new event on the Champions Tour slate.

Just five of the top-10 players on the Champions Tour money list will be in the field this week, led by Tom Purtzer, who won the AT&T Champions Classic earlier this year.

Along with that win, Purtzer has seven other top-10 finishes this year and is ranked fourth on the money list.

The Golf Channel will cover all three days of action from New York. After a week off, the Champions Tour will head to Scotland for the Senior British Open, where Loren Roberts won last year.

NATIONWIDE TOUR


NATIONWIDE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL INVITATIONAL, The Ohio State University Scarlet Course, Columbus, Ohio - The Nationwide Tour also has a new event this week and it has one of the biggest names in golf serving as the honorary chairman.

Jack Nicklaus, an Ohio State alum, will play host on the Buckeyes' Scarlet Course. Nicklaus oversaw a 2006 renovation of the course, which has been rated by Golf Digest as the top collegiate golf course in the country.

To get into the field, players need to fit into one of these categories: tournament winners from 2006-07; top-60 money earners on the 2006 money list; players who finished 21-60 on the 2006 money list; current U.S. Amateur champion; NCAA champion; Jack Nicklaus Award winner (College Player of the Year); First Team All-Americans; six Sponsor Exemptions, two of which are restricted to PGA Tour/Nationwide Tour members; or any finisher in the top 25 and ties from the previous event.

The Golf Channel will have tape-delayed coverage of all four rounds this week. Next week is the Price Cutter Charity Championship, where Doug LaBelle II won last year.

CANADIAN TOUR

FREE PRESS MANITOBA CLASSIC, Pine Ridge Golf Club, Winnipeg, Manitoba - Josh Habig fired an eight-under 63 in the final round last year, then had to wait to see if his score of 13-under would hold up.

Third-round leader Darren Griff carded three straight 68s before posting a 69 in the final round to finish two strokes behind Habig.

Just three of the past nine winners -- Habig, Alex Quiroz (2002) and Perry Parker (1998) -- are scheduled to play this week.

Pine Ridge Golf Club is hosting the tournament for the eighth straight year.

The Canadian Tour International Team Matches with the USA and Canada will be played July 17th and 18th, then PGA Tour comes north of the border for the Canadian Open from July 26th-29th. The Canadian Tour returns to action August 16th-19th for the Montreal Open, where Wes Heffernan won last year.

FUTURES TOUR

CIGNA GOLF CLASSIC, Gillette Ridge Golf Club, Bloomfield, Connecticut - The Futures Tour returns with the Cigna Golf Classic this week.

Last year's champion Song-Hee Kim has moved on to the LPGA Tour and currently stands 97th on the money list. She has made seven cuts in 13 starts this season.

Leading money winner Emily Bastel heads the field that includes all of the top-10 players on the Futures Tour money list.

Next week is the Alliance Bank Golf Classic, where Ha-Na Chae won last year. Chae is currently 10th on the Futures Tour money list.

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