Final-Round Notes – 2014 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Sunny with a high of 86. Winds light and variable.
Ben Martin 68-66-62-68—264 (-20) (pictured by Getty Images)
Kevin Streelman 71-67-63-65—266 (-18)
Russell Knox 65-67-66-70—268 (-16)
Ben Martin, who entered the final day of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with a two-stroke lead over Russell Knox, carded a final-round 3-under 68 (including a 46-foot eagle on the par-5 16th hole and a 19-foot birdie on the 72nd hole) for a two-stroke victory over hard-charging Kevin Streelman (65).
Martin records his first career PGA TOUR victory in his 56th start at the age of 27 years, 1 month and 23 days. He becomes the second winner in his 20s in as many events this season (Sang-Moon Bae).
With the victory, Martin collects 500 FedExCup points and moves into a tie for the lead with Sang-Moon Bae.
Martin had never held a lead on TOUR entering the final round. His previous-best position entering a final round was at the 2014 RBC Heritage where he was T3 (finished T3).
Martin played the final five holes this week at TPC Summerlin at 15-under. Here’s his hole-by-hole scores on Nos. 14-18:
R1: birdie-birdie-eagle-par-par (-4)
R2: birdie-birdie-birdie-par-par (-3)
R3: birdie-birdie-birdie-birdie-par (-4)
R4: par-birdie-eagle-par-birdie (-4)
Martin’s 62 Saturday matched his career-best round on TOUR from the 2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans (T15).
Martin missed the cut last week at the Frys.com Open, finishing second from last with rounds of 78-79.
Last season, Martin had three top 10s including three career-best third-place finishes. He finished 76th in the FedExCup.
Martin missed the cut in two previous Shriners Hospitals for Children Open starts: 2011 (73-66) and 2013-14 (72-75).
Martin was a two-time winner on the 2013 Web.com Tour (United Leasing Championship and the Mylan Classic).
R4 at a glance: 11 of 14 fairways, 15 of 18 greens, 32 putts.
Ben Martin’s Statistics for the Week:
Fairways Hit 36 of 56 T18
Driving Distance 296.2 yards 64
Greens in Regulation 59 of 72 T3
Total Putts 114 T17
Strokes Gained: Putting +1.653/round 2
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green +1.847/round 7
Sand Saves 2/3 T9
About Ben Martin
Birthplace/Residence: Greenwood, South Carolina
Education: Clemson University (2009, Financial Management)
Family: Wife; Kelly
Turned Pro: 2010
Joined TOUR: 2011
Web.com Tour Graduate: 2013
Since becoming a 72-hole event in 2004, the third-round leader has held on for the win in this event seven times, including the last four winners (2011/Kevin Na, 2012/Ryan Moore, 2013/Webb Simpson, 2014/Ben Martin).
Both 54-hole leaders this season have carried that lead on to victory (Sang-Moon Bae, Ben Martin).
Kevin Streelman, who entered the final day of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open trailing Ben Martin by five strokes, made a final-round charge with a 6-under 65 (including five birdies on his last seven holes) but ultimately finished runner-up by two strokes. It is the second runner-up finish of his career (2013 PLAYERS Championship).
Streelman was seeking his third win in his 196th TOUR start (2014 Travelers Championship, 2013 Valspar Championship).
Streelman shot up the leaderboard this week with a third-round 8-under 63, which included six straight birdies (Nos. 11-16). He also birdied No. 8 and No. 9 Saturday for a stretch of eight birdies in nine holes. He played the back nine the final three days at 14-under, including three birdies in round two, six in round three and five Sunday.
In winning the 2014 Travelers Championship, Kevin Streelman birdied his last seven holes en route to a second consecutive, 6-under 64. Streelman’s seven birdies to finish and win set a new PGA TOUR record, supplanting Mike Souchak’s previous record of six straight from the 1956 St. Paul Open.
Streelman missed the cut last week at the Frys.com Open with rounds of 73-74.
Streelman made his fifth start this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (2nd-2014, T22-2012, T16-2011, T14-2009, T43-2008). A final-round 71 in 2012 and opening-round 71 this week represent his only rounds in the 70s at this event, with 18 rounds in the 60s.
One week after a T68 at the Frys.com Open (72-71-73-75), Russell Knox finished solo-third in his third start at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T13-2012, T30-2013, 3rd-2014).
In 63 PGA TOUR starts, Knox posted his best finish at the 2014 Honda Classic, a playoff loss to Russell Henley.
Knox has just three rounds in the 70s in three starts at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, all coming in the final round (70 in 2014, 73 in 2013, 72 in 2012). The remainder of his scores at TPC Summerlin have been in the 60s.
Following three rounds of 67, Scott Piercy turned in a final-round 2-under 69 to finish T7.
Piercy is playing on a Major Medical Extension this season. He started the season with 14 events to earn 200 FedExCup points or $300,710. Sunday’s finish was good for 85 points and $193,233.
Piercy had surgery to repair a torn flexor digitorum superficialis in his right arm in February after losing in the first round at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. Dr. Thomas Graham performed the surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The injury originally occurred at the 2013 AT&T Byron Nelson Championship.
Piercy, a native and resident of Las Vegas, missed the cut last week at the Frys.com Open.
Additional Player Notes
One day after matching his career-best round on the PGA TOUR with a 62, Jimmy Walker posted a 2-under 69 to finish T4. Here’s a look at his finishes at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open: 2008/MC, 2009/MC, 2010/MC, 2012/T10, 2013/T12, 2014/T4. Walker totaled three victories during the 2013-14 season and led the FedExCup for 36 of the first 37 weeks of the season.
Defending champion Webb Simpson made a valiant title defense, posting four rounds in the 60s to finish T4.
Four rounds in the 60s led to a T4 finish for Brooks Koepka, his second-consecutive top-10 finish to start the season (T8 at last week’s Frys.com Open).
Making just his fifth PGA TOUR start, 2013 PGA TOUR Canada graduate and 2014 Web.com Tour graduate Tony Finau posted four below-par rounds this week to finish T7.
David Hearn finished T7 for his second top-10 finish in five starts at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T5-2011).
Adam Hadwin, a two-time winner on both the Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Canada, posted an 8-under 63 to finish T10.
One week after a T3 to open the season at the Frys.com Open, 2014 Memorial Tournament winner Hideki Matsuyama turned in bookend 5-under 66s to finish T10.
2014 Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz closed with a 6-under 65 to finish T18.
Brandt Snedeker finished T10 and has yet to post a round in the 70s in two career starts at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He finished T24 in 2009 with rounds of 69-66-67-69. This year he posted rounds of 67-68-67-69.
Making his comeback from two bouts of myeloid leukemia, Jarrod Lyle (played this week on a sponsor’s exemption) finished T42. This season, Lyle has 20 events to earn $283,825 to retain his TOUR playing privileges. Through the first two events, he has earned $53,795 (finished T31 last week at the Frys.com Open).
Seven past champions of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open are in this week’s field:
Champion (Year) Finish
Webb Simpson (2013) T4
Martin Laird (2009) T18
George McNeill (2007) T33
Jonathan Byrd (2010) T33
Stuart Appleby (2003) MDF
Ryan Moore (2012) MC
Kevin Na (2011) WD (illness)
R1: Stewart Cink (64), Martin Laird (64), Zack Sucher (67), Adam Hadwin (67), Nick Watney (68)
R2: Stuart Appleby (64), Tommy Gainey (65), Webb Simpson (65), Nick Taylor (65), David Hearn (66), Wes Roach (67), Brooks Koepka (68), Alex Prugh (69), Sean O’Hair (69), Aaron Baddeley (70)
R3: Jimmy Walker (62), Jim Herman (62), Russell Knox (66), Jason Bohn (66), Jonathan Byrd (66), Bill Lunde (66), Whee Kim (70)
R4: Adam Hadwin (63), Carlos Ortiz (65), Hideki Matsuyama (66), Nick Watney (66), Brendan Steele (68)
Scoring Averages at the par-71 TPC Summerlin:
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
R1 35.134 35.120 70.254 —
R2 34.852 34.993 69.845 70.049
R3 34.013 34.354 68.367 69.683
R4 34.958 34.577 69.535 69.659
The par-4 third hole played the toughest this week at 4.226. The par-5 16th hole was the easiest at 4.523.
Source: PGA TOUR