Lietzke Hopes to Seize Opportunity


After a mid-season tournament date change, the Champions Tour will stay put in the state of North Carolina for the inaugural Greater Hickory Classic this week. Play begins Friday at the Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover.
The Golf Channel will air all three rounds live from 1:30 PM (ET) to 4:00 PM.
With just three regular events left before the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Bruce Lietzke will try and use this opportunity to pad his lead over Tom Watson in the race for the tour's money title, as Watson will be absent from the field. Lietzke leads Watson by $27,428.
With a victory for either coming down the stretch, both Gil Morgan and Jim Thorpe would put themselves back into contention for the money title.
The purse for the Greater Hickory Classic, which is one of the three new events on the Champions Tour, is $1,500,000 with $225,000 going to the winner.
Lietzke will also be trying to close the gap in between himself and Watson in the Charles Schwab Cup points race, which rewards the players for top-10 finishes over the course of the entire Champions Tour season. Watson has a sizable lead despite playing in seven fewer events.
The player of the year race is also coming down to the wire between the two as both players have two victories in 2003, Watson also having four runner-up finishes to Lietzke's three.
Also scheduled to appear are Gary Player, Chi Chi Rodriquez, Lee Trevino and Hale Irwin.
Related Links:
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Full Coverage - Greater Hickory Classic
  • More Champions Tour Preview Information