Nationwide Tour Hanging Around S Pacific

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Nationwide TourThe Nationwide Tour heads across the Tasman Sea from Australia for the New Zealand PGA Championship at the Clearwater Resort in Christchurch.
 
Co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and the Australasian Tour, it marks the Nationwide Tour's third straight event outside North America before returning stateside at next month's Louisiana Open.
 
The field, comprised of players from both tours, will be vying for the $600,000 purse. The first-place check is worth $108,000.
 
Last week's champion Steven Bowditch is not in the field but Vance Veazey, the winner of the tour's first event in Panama, is back at Christchurch to improve on his 12th place finish in 2004.
 
Veazey, who is second on the money list behind Bowditch, is already just $90,000 shy of the mark of the top-20 on the tour's money list for 2004. The top-20 at season's end earn their PGA Tour cards.
 
Gavin Coles, who coincidentally won the event last year and who is also the player who ended up finishing in the 20th spot money list to earn his PGA Tour playing priviledges, will not be on hand to defend his title. He is in Arizona for the Chrysler Classic of Tucson, enjoying the fruits of his labor.
 
A trio of former college stars are also in the field with Bill Haas, Jeff Quiney and Bryce Molder set to tee it up.
 
The Nationwide Tour will take a month off before returning to action March 24th for the Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
 
The Golf Channels exclusive coverage of the Nationwide Tour continues with coverage beginning Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
 
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - New Zealand PGA Championship