Omaha Classic Proves To Be Launching Pad


This week's Omaha Classic has turned out to be one of the sure-fire ways of finding out just which Buy.Com Tour players will make it to 'the big show'.
The last five winners at this event are now on the PGA Tour, and doing quite nicely. 'Thriving' would be more like it.
The last two winners here, David Berganio, Jr. and Heath Slocum, both have second place finishes this year at the Bob Hope Crysler Classic and Worldcom Classic, respectively.
The 1997 and 1998 winners, Chris Smith and Matt Gogel, notched their maiden PGA Tour victories in 2002. Smith won the Buick Classic in June and collected the $630,000 first-place check, while Gogel took top honors at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in Febuary, garnering $720,000 in the process.
Matthew Goggin, the 1999 champion, currently ranks ahead of Tiger Woods in driving distance, no small feat, and had a tie for eighth at Pebble Beach earlier in the year.
Cliff Kresge sits atop the current Buy.Com money list and has two wins in 13 starts. A third win brings with it the coveted 'Battlefield Promotion', given to a player who amasses three titles in a calender year, thus receiving instant entrance to the PGA Tour.
Last year Heath Slocum did just that, winning his third title of the year here in Omaha and hasn't looked back.
The Champions Club in Omaha, Neb., has hosted the event all seven years of its existence. The course plays to a par 72, and is measured at 7,099 yards.
The total purse this year is $500,000, with $90,000 going to the champion.
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