Arkansas Holds Good Karma For Winners

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 20, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Rheem ClassicThe Nationwide Tour hangs around the state of Arkansas for the second consecutive week with the playing of the Rheem Classic at the Hardscrabble Country Club in Fort Smith.
 
Officially known as The Natural State, Arkansas is known throughout the country for its natural beauty, clear lakes and streams and abundance of wildlife.
 
Now you can add to that list the state's penchant for having its Nationwide Tour tournament winners go on to some serious PGA Tour success.
 
Case's in point: Zach Johnson and Ted Purdy.
 
Johnson, a PGA Tour rookie this season, won the Rheem Classic last year en route to earning the tour's Player of the Year honors. His playoff victory eventually vaulted the 28-year-old to yet another tour win and to the top of the season-ending money list.
 
Purdy, who won the 2003 First Tee Arkansas Classic - which was held a week prior to the Rheem Classic - also parlayed his victory into a spot on the PGA Tour this year.
 
And just like Johnson, Purdy quickly struck pay dirt on the big tour. Despite his heart-breaking playoff loss to Stewart Cink at the MCI Heritage Classic, the rookie still earned a whopping $518,400.
 
Johnson won $810,000 for his victory at the BellSouth Classic earlier in the month.
 
What a difference a year makes.
 
Daniel Chopra, who won last week's First Tee Arkansas Classic, will head back to the PGA Tour for this week's Shell Houston Open, leaving the regular Nationwide Tour members a better chance at getting into the winners' circle.
 
Jimmy Walker will again try to notch win No. 3 on the season in his effort to reach the PGA Tour. Already with victories at the season-opening BellSouth Panama Championship and the Chitimacha Louisiana Open, Walker had a respectable tie for 16th finish this past week.
 
Any player reaching three wins in a season gets the coveted Battlefield Promotion, in which a player is awarded immediate membership onto the PGA Tour. The last player to accomplish the feat was Tom Carter in 2003. It was the sixth time in the tour's history that the award was given out.
 
The field will be playing not only for the Arkansas karma but also for a purse of $475,000, with $85,000 going to the winner.
 
The tour will head to South Carolina next week for the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs.
 
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  • Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

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    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

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    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

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