The event marks the official end of the 2000 Canadian Tour season. And with the absence of McDonald's Order of Merit leader Steven Alker, three players entered this week could vault past Alker with the help of the event's $50,000 first prize.
Arron Oberholser, second on the money list, Rob McMillan (3rd) and Jason Bohn (4th) are all traveling south to Central America in search of the largest first prize on the Canadian Tour.
Oberholser, with seven top 10 finishes in 2000 including three runner-ups, has pocketed $73,356 for the season and trails Alker by just over $20,000. McMillan and Bohn both won one tournament in 2000 and are less than $11,000 behind Oberholser.
Chad Wright, the 2000 Canadian PGA Champion, 6-time Canadian Tour winner Jim Rutledge, Todd Fanning, a four-time runner-up in 2000 and 1998 U.S. Open qualifier Derek Gilchrist are also in the 79-man field.
The Panama Open Panasonic has been played at the 7,092-yard, par 72 George Fazio designed course annually since 1996. Past winners include Jaime Gomez, Garrett Willis and 1999 champ Steve Haskins.