Tom Kite Wins AT&T Classic
Tom Kite won his eighth career title on the Champions Tour and ended
a victory drought of 30 Champions Tour events and just over 19 months.
Before today, Kite’s last victory on the Champions Tour came at the
2004 3M Championship.
· Tom Kite became the first two-time winner at Valencia and joined Joe
Inman (1998, 1999, 2000) and Gil Morgan (1996, 1997, 2004) as multiple
winners of the AT&T Classic.
· Tom Kite would like to play every tournament in California. His
victory today was his 10th on TOUR in the state (6-PGA TOUR, 4-Champions
Tour) meaning over a third of his combined victories on both circuits
have come in the Golden State. His win today was also his third in the
Los Angeles area (1993 Nissan Open, 2002 SBC Senior Classic, 2006 AT&T
· Tom Kite’s five-stroke victory over Gil Morgan was the largest
winning margin in tournament history and the biggest on the Champions
Tour in over a year (Hale Irwin, 5 strokes, 2005 Turtle Bay
Championship). The previous mark for largest victory margin in this
event was three-strokes by Raymond Floyd in 1992 and Joe Inman in 2000.
· Tom Kite earned 240 Charles Schwab Cup points for winning today and
jumped up into third place in the season-long race with 299 points.
Loren Roberts earned 49 Schwab Cup points for his T7 finish and padded
his lead in the season-long competition. Roberts now has 863 points, 554
more than Don Pooley. At the end of the official season, the winner of
the Schwab Cup competition earns a $1 million annuity.
· Tom Kite earned a check for $240,000 and increased his 2006 earnings
to $371,822. Kite’s paycheck today also moved him closer to the
mark in all-time TOUR earnings with $19,911,485.
· Gil Morgan recorded his eighth top-10 finish in 11 career starts at
this event. A three-time winner of the AT&T Classic, Morgan earned
$140,800 for being the runner-up this year and became the first player to
go over the seven figures in all-time earnings at this event --
$1,016,038 or $92,367 per start.
· Wayne Levi made a pair of eagles on the front nine today.
· Loren Roberts finished T7 this week and his check for $48,800 moved
him closer to the million dollar mark in 2006-season earnings. Through
five official events, Roberts now has earned $862,680. Hale Irwin holds
the Champions Tour record for quickest to a million in a season, going
over the seven-figure mark in eight events in 1998.
· Sunday’s field scoring average was 74.295, the highest of the three
rounds played this week. Friday’s first round had a stroke average of
73.615 and on Saturday the field scoring average was 73.077. There were
just 14 rounds below par today compared with 24 yesterday and 23 in Round
· Defending champion Des Smyth finished T17 in the event.
· Morris Hatalsky recovered nicely after opening with a 3-over 75 on
Friday. Hatalsky found himself in a T47 after the first round. His 69 on
Saturday moved him up into a T23 and then a 68 on Sunday equaled the
day’s best round and vaulted him up into a T4, his second straight
top-five finish on the Champions Tour (T2-Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am).
· The Champions Tour moves just down the road to Newport Beach for next
week’s Toshiba Classic. Mark Johnson is the defending champion.