It’s the last event of the PGA Tour’s Fall Series this week. Robert Garrigus defends the title at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Walt Disney World.
There’s an added dimension to this week’s PGA Tour event – both the number 1 and 2 ranked players on the 2011 money list are teeing it up in an effort to secure the coveted number 1 slot. After last week’s second place finish in the McGladrey Classic, Webb Simpson has overtaken Luke Donald at the head of the ranking. But the Englishman can reclaim that position and secure the money list title with a victory here. If Donald does win, Simpson needs to finish alone in second to hold on to the top slot. If Donald doesn’t win, Simpson can seal the deal with an eighth place finish or better.
The tournament is contested over the Palm and Magnolia golf courses at the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s one round on each layout before the leading pros go on to play two further rounds of the Magnolia Course.
The event began life in 1971 as the Walt Disney World Open Invitational and the great Jack Nicklaus won the first three. Since then, other famous names like Payne Stewart, Ray Floyd, Mark O’Meara and Tiger Woods have lifted the trophy.
Last year Robert Garrigus produced a superb final round of 64 to take the title here. He finished three clear of Roland Thatcher.
Venue: Disney’s Magnolia and Palm Courses, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Date: Oct 20-23
Course stats: Magnolia par 72, 7,516 yards; Palm par 72, 7,010 yards
Purse: $4,700,000 Winner: $846,000
Defending Champion: Robert Garrigus (-21)
Thursday 20 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 7pm
Friday 21 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 7pm
Saturday 22 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 7pm
Sunday 23 – Live on Sky Sports 1 form 7pm
Luke Donald – The World Number 1 has been the most consistent performer in world golf over the past 18 months. He hasn’t played in this event since 2003 but he has a significant incentive to secure a win – if he does that he could well sew up the money list title.
Justin Rose – He has an excellent record in this tournament with one third and two fourth place finishes to his name. He had a great end to his season including a victory in the BMW Championship. He holds the course record on the Palm Course here – a 60 recorded in 2006.
Trevor Immelman – He finished fifth last week at the McGladrey Classic – his first top-10 on the PGA Tour for three years. Perhaps he could have rediscovered the form that earned him his Masters title. If so then watch out for him this week.
Key hole: 17th – Magnolia Course. A long par 4 of some 485 yards, it’s generally considered the toughest hole on the Magnolia Course. The drive is over water then they’ll be left with a mid or long iron into a tight green. This is a difficult hole to par if the pressure’s on coming down the stretch.
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