2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Review and Tour News
by Matt of Predictem.com
The stars were out again this past week in La Quinta, CA, as the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic took the stage in the desert. Comedian George Lopez and the PGA West Arnold Palmer Course serving as hosts for the Pro-Am style event.
The 90-hole Hope was won by D.J. Trahan after he fired a final round 7-under par 65 to overtake 4th round leader Justin Leonard. Trahan finished at 26-under par (334 total) for the week and earned $918,000 for the win, his second on the PGA Tour. The win also punches Trahans ticket for the Masters this spring.
Leonard took a four shot lead into the final round, but could only muster an even-par 72 (337 total) on Sunday and finished solo 2nd, earning $550,000 for his efforts. Leonard played well through the early stages of the final round, but couldnt hold off Trahan on the back nine. Only one shot behind on the 18th tee, Leonards wayward drive ended any chance for a comeback and cemented the three shot win for Trahan.
Local product and fan favorite Anthony Kim played remarkably consistent all week and finished t-3 along with Kenny Perry at 22-under par 338. Boo Weekly shot the low round of the tournament, a 10-under par 62 on his third round, but was only 3-under for the final two days, leading to a t-8 finish.
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Steve Elkington totaled a 21-under, 339 to finish t-5 and lead the foreign player contingent. Another notable finish was defending champion Charley Hoffman with a solid title defense, finishing a t-8 at 19-under. Fred Couples was around for the weekend although an also-ran with Mike Weir at 9-under, good for t-56. The 08 Mercedes champ Daniel Chopra missed the cut, as did David Duval.
D.J. Trahan moves to third in the early stages of the FedEx Cup with the win, last weeks leader K.J. Choi retains the top spot, although he skipped the Hope. Daniel Chopra is second so far with Steve Stricker 4th and Justin Leonard moves to fifth with his finish this week. Those five players also make up the top 5 for money earned this year, with Chopras $1.1 million leading the way.
The Tour moves to San Diego for the Buick Invitational this week, where we will see Tiger Woods tee it up for the first time this year.
Phil Mickelson may miss this weeks Buick Invitational, pushing his 08 debut back another week. Lefty is on doctors orders to rest as he is still recovering from chest congestion and general fatigue that has bothered him since late 07.
John Daly was forced to withdraw from last weeks Bob Hope Chrysler Classic due to a rib injury sustained in 07. Daly had completed three rounds with some on-course treatment, he was in 75th (4-under) at the time. JD is playing on past champions status for the second year in 08.
A new rule on the PGA Tour this year that has caused quite a stir is the MDF rule. The initials stand for Made cut Did not Finish and limits the number of players competing on the weekends this year. Prior to this year, the low 70 players and ties went on to play the weekend post-cut, that rule remains in effect for 08, but if the number of players exceeds 78, the field shall be trimmed to the scores that bring the field closest to 70. It is confusing, but essentially the new rule limits the players competing, while still paying the traditional number of players. Tour players have been critical of the rule, citing the inability to improve position on the weekend as well as occurrences of players going on to win after making the cut on the number.