Kansas Offers Good Karma

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The Nationwide Tour rolls into the heart of Kansas for the 15th edition of the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open.
 
One of the oldest tournaments on the tour - it was one of the original 30 tournaments played in the inaugural season in 1990 - the Wichita Open has proved to be a launching pad when it comes to future success on the PGA Tour.
 
Three of the previous 14 winners have gone on to capture a major championship, a list that includes Tom Lehman, David Duval and David Toms. Lehman won the title in its first year and went on to win the 1996 British Open. Duval won the 1993 edition and later the 2001 British, and then Toms took home the crown in 1995 and eventually beat Phil Mickelson in the 2001 PGA Championship.
 
Between the three of them, they have a combined 28 career PGA Tour victories.
 
The winner here in Wichita three years ago, Jason Dufner, had his best career finish on the PGA Tour last week when finished in a tie for 11th at the U.S. Bank Championship.
 
However, the winners of the last two Wichita Opens -Tyler Williamson and Jeff Klauk - have yet to graduate to the big tour and will be back in Kansas trying to notch their second Nationwide Tour wins. Klauk, in fact, has made himself quite a nest egg here the last two years with a runner-up finish in 2002 and his victory last year.
 
The event will be played for the fourth straight year at the 6,913-yard par-72 Crestview Country Club.
 
Last week's winner of the LaSalle Bank Open Charles Warren will not be in the field. In fact, just two of the four two-time winners on the season will be teeing it up this week.
 
The red hot D.A. Points, who has two wins and a runner-up finish in his last five Nationwide Tour starts, and Jimmy Walker, who started the season by winning two of the first four tournaments, will be in search of the their third victory in 2004 and the PGA Tour's Battlefield Promotion.
 
Next week the Nationwide Tour travels north into Nebraska for the Cox Classic in Omaha.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open