History to Be Made in Raleigh


Nationwide TourThe Nationwide Tour gathers a strong field in Raleigh, N.C., for this week's The Rex Hospital Open at the always tough TPC at Wakefield Plantation.
Formerly known as the Carolina Classic, the new title sponsor welcomes back defending champion Chris Anderson who will attempt to become the first player in Nationwide Tour history to repeat as champion.
Anderson, who won last year's event in a wild eight-hole playoff, is now exempt on the PGA Tour and is coming off his best finish thus far in 2005. After missing his three previous cuts on the PGA Tour, Anderson played four solid rounds at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans to finish alongside Padraig Harrington in ninth place.
Steven Bowditch, Shane Bertsch and Vance Veazey - the top 3 on the tour's current money list - will be on hand to try and deny Anderson a chance to defend his title.
Bertsch, who won last week's BMW Charity Pro-Am, came from 12 strokes back at one point during the weekend to claim his second Nationwide Tour title. He pocketed $112,500 and moved up to second on the money list. He also had a runner-up finish to Veazey at the season-opening BellSouth Panama Championship.
Bowditch, after his strong start to the season with his win and second-place finish at the Jacob's Creek Open and the New Zealand PGA Championship, missed the cut at the BMW Charity Pro-Am.
In last year's event, Anderson parred the eighth playoff hole to defeat Brendan Jones, Paul Gow and Jason Buha for the title.
The four finished regulation tied at 13-under-par 271 and headed to the par-5 18th at the TPC at Wakefield Plantation for the sudden-death playoff.
The field will face a tough challenge in the Hale Irwin-designed 7,257-yard, par-71 TPC at Wakefield Plantation, making it one of the longest courses on the Nationwide Tour. It is one of two TPC courses to play host to a Nationwide event - the other is the TPC of Virginia Beach.
The purse this week is $525,000 with a first-place check of $94,500.
The tour heads into Arkansas next week to the Hardscrabble Country Club for the Rheem Classic.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - The Rex Hospital Open