Nallen Cruises to Record Win

By Sports NetworkOctober 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Gila River Golf ClassicCHANDLER, Ariz. -- Chris Nallen closed with a 1-under 71 on Sunday, but it was more than enough to win the Gila River Golf Classic. Nallen finished the event at 24-under-par 264, eight strokes clear of the field.
Nallen made a little bit of history with the win. Prior to this, no player had won as a Monday-qualifier in his first career start. He became the 17th Monday-qualifier to go on to win a Nationwide event and the 10th to win in their first start, but no one had done both.
If that weren't enough, he became the 19th wire-to-wire winner in Nationwide Tour history. No one had ever done two of these things in one week, let alone all three. The eight-stroke win was also the largest winning margin of the season.
'It's pretty cool,' said Nallen, who picked up $85,000 for the victory. 'Everything went right this week and that doesn't happen much. When it does, you just ride it and enjoy it.'
Troy Matteson took second place at 16-under-par 272 after closing with a 70 at Whirlwind Golf Club's Cattail Course. Jason Schultz also posted a final-round 70 to close at minus-15. Matthew Jones and Kevin Stadler, a two-time winner this season, finished at 13-under-par 275.
Nallen tripped to a bogey at the first, but bounced right back with a birdie at two. He moved to 24 under with a birdie at the par-4 fifth.
The 22-year-old coasted to the back side with six consecutive pars. Nallen got up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 12th.
Thankfully Nallen had a large lead, as he stumbled to bogeys at each of the next two holes after missing the green each time. He settled down to par the next three holes.
Nallen, a four-time All-American at the University of Arizona, closed the tournament in style as he chipped in for birdie at the last.
'It's awesome to finish that way and birdie the last hole,' said Nallen. 'I wanted to get it up there close and have a good look at par. It was tracking the whole way, hit the pin and dropped in. It was a great way to end.'
The win jumps Nallen all the way to No. 63 on the Nationwide Tour money list with just two full-field events left. The top-60 money winners will qualify for the Tour Championship in three weeks.
Matteson made a big move early, but late troubles kept him from making a serious run at Nallen. Matteson opened with back-to-back birdies to move to minus-16. He again sank consecutive birdies from the fourth.
After a bogey at six, the 24-year-old Matteson dropped in birdies at the seventh and eighth to get to 19 under. He faltered to bogeys on nine and 10 and his run at Nallen was all but done. He parred his next seven holes before bogeying the last.
Scott Petersen, Brent Schwarzrock, Darron Stiles, Jason Buha, Steven Alker and Tyler Williamson shared sixth place at 12-under-par 276.
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - Gila River Golf Classic
  • Full Coverage - Gila River Golf Classic
  • Getty Images

    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.


    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

    Getty Images

    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.

    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open

    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

    Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

    Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

    The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.