Final-Round Notes – Sunday, January 19, 2014
￼Weather: Sunny with highs near 83 degrees and winds from the WNW at 6-12 mph.
Bernhard Langer 66-64-64–194 (-22)
Fred Couples 65-65-67–197 (-19)
Jeff Sluman 66-66-65–197 (-19)
Jay Haas 68-66-65–199 (-17)
Rocco Mediate 63-70-67–200 (-16)
David Frost 68-64-69–201 (-15)
Mark O’Meara 66-65-70–201 (-15)
￼Bernhard Langer’s Victory at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
Used a run of five straight birdies over the last six holes to pull away from a crowded leaderboard. Trailed Jeff Sluman by a stroke early on the back nine and then tied him with the first of five consecutive birdies at the 13th hole.
Fred Couples was also in the mix, making the turn just one stroke off the lead. However, Couples could do no better than par on both of Hualalai’s par-5s on the back and he eventually finished T2 along with Sluman, three strokes back of Langer.
Langer’s winning total of 22-under-par 194 is the best 54-hole score on the Champions Tour since Rocco Mediate shot 22-under in winning the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary last summer.
The 22-under 194 score was also the lowest three-round total at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship since John Cook won the first of his two titles on the Big Island with the same total.
Langer’s 64 today was his seventh straight round in the 60s at Hualalai and in his career at this course, Langer has now recorded 20 sub-par rounds out of 21 played. Over his last seven rounds, he’s a cumulative 41-under.
A winner at Hualalai in 2009, Langer became the seventh player to win multiple times at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, joining Miller Barber, Al Geiberger, George Archer, Dana Quigley, Hale Irwin and John Cook.
Langer won his 19th career title on the circuit in his 127 start and today he ended a victory drought of eight months, 29 days (2013 Greater Gwinnett Championship). He continues a streak of 11 straight events among the top 10, having now not been out of the top 10 since last year’s U.S. Senior Open (7/14) in Omaha where he was T14.
Langer has now claimed at least one title in a season for an eighth straight year.
Langer’s three-stroke victory is the largest winning margin since Hale Irwin triumphed by five strokes at Hualalai in 2007.
Langer earns 307 Charles Schwab Cup points and a check for $307,000. His career earnings in seven appearances at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai now total $991,500.
￼￼￼￼Jeff Sluman, playing in his 80th consecutive event on the Champions Tour, posted his best-ever finish in the season-opening event. Sluman has not missed a start on the Champions Tour since skipping the 2010 Ensure Classic at Rock Barn.
Sluman’s previous-best at Hualalai was T4 in both 2009 and 2011. Sluman won the Sony Open in Hawaii on the PGA TOUR in 1999.
Jay Haas closed with a 65 today, his 27th straight sub-par round at Hualalai. Haas’ round which featured a chip-in birdie at the par-4 15th, elevated him up into solo fourth, his seventh career top-10 finish in this event and third consecutive. It was also Haas’ best performance in this event since he was solo third in 2009. Haas’ seven career top-10s at Hualalai are T3 on the all-time list, two top-10s back of Tom Watson.
Who played the par-5s the best this week at Hualalai? Five players were all 10-under on them for the week – Jay Don Blake, Russ Cochran, Brad Faxon, Rocco Mediate and Kirk Triplett. Bernhard Langer, the tournament winner, was nine-under on the par-5s for the week.
Mark O’Meara was the only player in the field to make three eagles. Bernhard Langer’s 21 birdies were the most by a player in the field, one more than Jeff Sluman. Langer also made the fewest bogeys with just one and played his last 45 holes of the tournament without a bogey.
Defending champion John Cook was T19 this week and he extended his streak of holes without a three putt dating back to last year to 182 consecutive. Willie Wood also went without a three putt this week and now has the longest current streak of 225 holes.
Here’s where the five players in this year’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai who are making their first appearances stand after 36 holes: Rocco Mediate (5th), Bart Bryant (T10), Esteban Toledo (T19), John Riegger (T24) and Khoki Idoki (T30), Esteban Toledo (T31).
Final standings of the nine past champions in this year’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship field: Bernhard Langer (1), Fred Funk (T10), Dan Forsman (T12), Loren Roberts (18), John Cook (T19), Hale Irwin (T24), Larry Nelson (T24), Tom Watson (T24) and Tom Kite (39th).
There were 23 rounds below 70 on Sunday, one less than on Saturday but three more than Friday. Last year, there were one 46 total rounds in the 60s for the week.
The par-3 5th hole played as the toughest for the week (3.195), yielding just 10 total birdies. Just seven birdies were made at the par-3 8th hole (3.130). The easiest hole for the week was the par-5 4th hole (4.276), giving up nine eagles and 73 birdies.
This year, there were 27 eagles and 560 birdies made. Last year, there were only 11 eagles and 469 birdies made.
Second-Round Notes – Saturday, January 18, 2014
Weather: Sunny with highs near 83 degrees and winds from the WNW at 6-12 mph.
￼￼Fred Couples 65-65–130 (-14)
Bernhard Langer 66-64–130 (-14)
Mark O’Meara 66-65–131 (-13)
Steve Elkington 65-67–132 (-12)
David Frost 68-64–132 (-12)
Jeff Sluman 66-66–132 (-12)
￼Shot a second consecutive 65, despite making birdie on only two of the four par-5s at Hualalai. After driving the ball in the lava at the par-5 14th, saved the round by holing a 25-foot par putt. He tied Bernhard Langer for the lead with a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 17.
Seeking to become the first player since John Cook to win the season-opening event after closing the previous year with a victory at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Couples won last year’s Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park near San Francisco by six strokes over three other players, including Bernhard Langer and Mark O’Meara.
Cook won the 2010 Schwab Cup Championship and then opened the 2011 season with a victory at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
Gil Morgan also pulled this off, winning the season finale in 1997 and then opening 1998 with a victory at Hualalai.
Couples was last in this position last fall at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship and he’s six for eight in his Champions Tour career when leading/co-leading heading into the final round.
His 7-under 65 today was his seventh straight round in the 60s dating back to last year and was his 13th sub-70 score at Hualalai out of 14 rounds played in his career. Couples finished second to Tom Watson at Hualalai in 2010.
He’s shooting for his 10th career victory in his 54th start on the Champions Tour and a win tomorrow would give him at least one title in five straight seasons on the Champions Tour.
Birdied six of his first eight holes en route to an 8-under 64, equaling the low round of the day. Became the first to get to -14 when he holed a 15-foot birdie putt at No. 17.
Langer’s 64 today was his sixth straight round in the 60s at Hualalai and in his career at this course, Langer has now recorded 19 sub-par rounds out of 20 played. Over his last six rounds, he’s a cumulative 33-under.
A winner at Hualalai in 2009, Langer is seeking to become the seventh player to win multiple times at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. If successful tomorrow, he would join Miller Barber, Al Geiberger, George Archer, Dana Quigley and Hale Irwin.
Langer was last in this position at last year’s AT&T Championship where he eventually lost in a playoff to Kenny Perry. Overall, his career record when holding at least a share of the lead heading into the final round is 12 for 17.
Is seeking his 19 career victory in his 127th start and hopes to end a victory drought of eight months, 29 days (2013 Greater Gwinnett Championship). He came into this week’s event riding a streak of 10 straight events among the top 10 and has not been out of the top 10 since last year’s U.S. Senior Open (7/14) in Omaha where he was T14.
￼Second-Round Leader Statistics
￼In the previous 30 Mitsubishi Electric Championship events, the player(s) who are leading or tied for the lead after 36 holes have gone on to win the season-opening event 18 times.
However, in the previous 10 years here at Hualalai, only Hale Irwin (2007), Tom Watson (2010) and Dan Forsman (2012) have been Saturday leaders that went on to triumph.
The tournament winner has come from the last grouping in seven of the last eight years after not coming from the last group from 2003-2005. Bernhard Langer and Fred Couples will play in the final grouping for the first time since the 2012 Senior Open Championship at Turnberry, Scotland.
Despite Langer leading by one stroke heading into the final round of that event, Couples prevailed over Gary Hallberg.
The largest come-from-behind win in this tournament came in 2005 when Dana Quigley rallied from four strokes back to defeat 36-hole leader Tom Watson in a playoff. Quigley won the tournament with a par on the third extra hole that year.
Last year on the Champions Tour, 13 of 26 second-round leaders/co-leaders went on to win, including nine of the last 11 tournaments of the 2013 season.
For the second straight year, 14-under leads after 36 holes at Hualalai. Last year, David Frost was the sole leader at -14, two strokes ahead of John Cook. The last time there was a tie for the 36-hole lead in this event was 2003 when three players shared the lead after two rounds.
￼￼￼￼￼The winner of the 2014 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai will earn a first-place check for $307,000 as well as 307 Charles Schwab Cup points to kick off the season-long race. Kenny Perry earned the Charles Schwab Cup last year.
A win here at Hualalai has been instrumental over the years in earning a berth in the top 30 on the final money list. Jack Nicklaus (1994) is the only past champion who didn’t end up among the top-30 money-winners at the end of the season. Nicklaus played a limited schedule that season, making only six starts.
John Cook, last year’s champion, finished 15th on the final money list.
Mark O’Meara is the only player in the field to make three eagles over his first two rounds. O’Meara is seeking to win for the first time since the 2010 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. O’Meara has gone 56 tournaments since his last triumph and finished second four times during this drought.
Here’s where the five players in this year’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai who are making their first appearances stand after 36 holes: Rocco Mediate (T7), Bart Bryant (T9), John Riegger (T21), Khoki Idoki (T24), Esteban Toledo (T31).
Jay Haas birdied four of his last five holes for a 6-under 66 today, his 26th straight sub-par round at Hualalai.
For the second consecutive day, 68-year-old Hale Irwin shot 3-under 69, his 36th career round in the 60s at this event. Irwin is making his 19th consecutive appearance in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, easily the most ever in a row. 66-year-old Larry Nelson carded a 4-under 68, his best round at Hualalai since a 68 on Saturday in 2012.
Saturday standings of the nine past champions in this year’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship field: Bernhard Langer (T1), Fred Funk (T11), Dan Forsman (T14), Hale Irwin (T17), Larry Nelson (T17), Tom Watson (T21), Loren Roberts (T24), John Cook (T24), and Tom Kite (39th).
R1 – Rocco Mediate (63), Steve Elkington (65), Fred Funk (65), Bart Bryant (66), Tom Lehman (67)
R2 – Bernhard Langer (64), David Frost (64), Fred Couples (65), Tom Lehman (66), Jay Haas (66), Steve Elkington (67), Olin Browne (67), Hale Irwin (69), Brad Faxon (69)
There were 24 rounds in the 60s today compared to 20 rounds in the 60s on Friday. Last year through the first 36 holes, there were a just 33 scores in the 60s.
The par-4 3rd hole played as the toughest on Saturday (4.146), yielding just one birdie (Olin Browne).
Through the first two rounds, there have been 24 eagles and 370 birdies made. Both Mark O’Meara and Tom Lehman made a pair of eagles on their first nine holes today. Last year after 36 holes, seven eagles had been made and there were 312 birdies.
David Frost leads the field with 14 birdies.
First-Round Notes – Friday, January 17, 2014
Weather: ￼Sunny with highs near 80 degrees and winds from the WNW at 6-12 mph.
Rocco Mediate 30-33–63 (-9)
Dan Forsman 33-31–64 (-8)
Fred Couples 31-34–65 (-7)
Steve Elkington 34-31–65 (-7)
Fred Funk 33-32–65 (-7)
Tom Pernice, Jr. 33-32–65 (-7)
The Champions Tour’s 35th season is officially underway and, despite a balky left hip, Rocco Mediate used four birdies and an eagle over his first seven holes to eventually fire a 9-under-par 63, good enough for a one-stroke lead over Dan Forsman, the 2012 winner at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
Mediate, making his first appearance in the event, holed a 15-foot putt from the fringe at the 18 to complete his bogey-free round.
He’s marrying longtime girlfriend Jessica Somers at the Four Seasons Hualalai on Monday after the tournament and then he’s playing in the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego next week.
This marks the first time Mediate has held the first-round lead on the Champions Tour since he opened with an 8- under 63 at the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary and went on to win the event by seven strokes. It was also his best round on the Champions Tour since that day in Canada.
Mediate’s 6-under 30 on the front 9 today matched the nine-hole best on that side. Mediate became the eighth different player to record a 30 on the front nine and the first to do so since Jim Thorpe and Tom Purtzer in the first round of the 2008 event.
Mediate is trying to become the eighth player to claim this championship in his first appearance.
Others to do so: Orville Moody (1984), Peter Thomson (1985), Dave Hill (1988), George Archer (1990), John Bland (1996), John Jacobs (1999) and Loren Roberts (2006).
First-Round Leader Statistics
Since the event moved to Hualalai in 1997, just seven first-round leaders/co-leaders have managed to go on to victory with Tom Watson (2010) being the last to do so. Last year’s first-round leader, David Frost, shot 65 on Friday but eventually lost out to John Cook in a playoff.
Rocco Mediate’s 9-under 63 today means the first-round leader of this event has not shot a score higher than 65 since 2003. It’s the best first-round score at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai since Russ Cochran shot 62 on Friday in 2011 and eventually finished T4.
Last year on the Champions Tour, nine of 26 first-round leaders/co-leaders went on to win, including four of the last eight events on the 2013 schedule.
Additional Player Notes
John Cook shot 3-under 69 today, his 12th free holes ended at 72 consecutive dating back to the final round of the 2012 event when he bogeyed the 9th today. Cook won the 2011 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai making just one bogey, and was bogey
straight round in the 60s at Hualalai. However, Cook’s run of bogey-free for all 54 holes last year.
He’s seeking to become the first player since Al Geiberger (1992-93) to successfully defend his title in the season opener and could become the event’s first three-time winner. Last year, Cook defeated David Frost in a playoff and he played all 54 holes without making a bogey.
Kirk Triplett is the last player to successfully defend a title on the Champions Tour, winning a second consecutive Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach last fall.
Got off to a slow start in his quest to win consecutive Jack Nicklaus Awards as the Player of the Year, shooting even-par 72 at Hualalai.
Only five other players in the history of the Champions Tour have done that, including Tom Lehman, the last to do so in 2011-2012.
No defending Charles Schwab Cup champion has ever gone on to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. The highest finish by a Schwab Cup champion in this event the following year was third by Jay Haas in 2008 and T3 by Hale Irwin in 2004.
Opened his 2014 season on the PGA TOUR at the Sony Open in Hawaii last week and missed the cut.
Firsts of the year on the 2014 Champions Tour: Eagle – Roger Chapman (par-5, 7th hole); Birdie – Roger Chapman (par-4, 1st hole); Eagle on a par-4 – Bart Bryant (6th hole); Sub-70 Round – Roger Chapman (67), Sub-Par Round – Roger Chapman (67); Two Eagles In A Round – Fred Couples (par-5, 4th, par-5, 7th).
Fred Couples’ 7-under 65 included a pair of eagles, the second coming at the par-5 7th hole when his ball caromed off the lava rocks and ended up rolling across the green and stopping eight feet from the hole. He made the putt and eventually played the four par-5s at Hualalai in six-under.
“It was obviously a big break, probably turning a six into a three on that hole. The round was okay but I was only 1-under par on the other 14 holes. I need to do much better. I played four days in a row before today. For me, that’s a lot of work.”
Five players in this year’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai are making their first appearances: Rocco Mediate (63), Bart Bryant (66), Esteban Toledo (69), Khoki Idoki (70), John Riegger (71).
Jay Haas’ 4-under 68 today was his 25th straight sub-par round at Hualalai.
Hale Irwin made his 19 consecutive appearance in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, easily the most ever in a row. The 68-year-old Irwin posted a 3-under 69, his 35th career round in the 60s at this event.
Friday standings of the nine past champions in this year’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship field: Dan Forsman (64/2nd), Fred Funk (65/T3), Bernhard Langer (66/T7), Loren Roberts (68/T14), John Cook (69/T17), Hale Irwin (69/T17), Larry Nelson (70/T21), Tom Watson (70/T21), Tom Kite (71/T28).
Bogey-free rounds: R1 – Rocco Mediate (63), Steve Elkington (65), Fred Funk (65), Bart Bryant (66), Tom Lehman (67)
There were 20 rounds in the 60s today after 21 players were sub-70 on Friday last year.
The par-3 5th hole played as the toughest on Friday (3.366), yielding just one birdie (Joe Daley).
There were 13 eagles and 192 birdies made in Round 1 today compared to five eagles and 172 birdies on Friday last year.
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