Nationwide Tour Set for High Stakes Event


The Nationwide Tour makes its way into the Prairie State to play for the tour's biggest purse of the year at the LaSalle Bank Open in Glenview, Ill.
Played at the par-72, 7,217-yard Tom Fazio-design The Glen Club, the winner of the $750,000 event is just about assured of earning his PGA Tour card for the 2006 season due to the large winner's check of $135,000.
And the man who is quickly becoming the player to beat on tour is Troy Matteson, a former three-time All-American and Byron Nelson Award winner at Georgia Tech.
After finishing 52nd on the Nationwide Tour's money list in his rookie season last year, Matteson currently holds down the No. 1 spot on the money list ($253,708) and also leads the tour in top-10 finishes.
In six of the 10 events he's played in 2005, Matteson has finished in the top-10, which includes his win at the Virginia Beach Open and a pair of runner-up finishes in back-to-back weeks at the Rex Hospital Open and Rheem Classic. At last week's Chattanooga Classic, he finished in a tie for fifth, falling one shot short of making it into the four-man playoff.
Speaking of which, all four participants from last week's lengthy playoff, including winner Jason Schultz, will also be on hand this week in Glenview.
Someone who has high hopes of getting into some kind of groove this week will be the Big Break II's winner Kip Henley. Playing in the third of his six Nationwide Tour exemptions, Henley has struggled somewhat in his first two outings.
A costly two-stroke penalty at the Henrico County Open prevented the 44-year-old Tennessee native from eventually making the cut, and then a case of inconsistent scoring again left him on the outside looking in at last week's Chattanooga Classic.
One thing that will not happen again at this year's LaSalle Bank Open, is Nationwide Tour alum D.A. Points blowing a 54-hole lead. The previous two years, Points held the Saturday night lead before succumbing during Sunday's final round. He does, however, hold the current and tournament course 18-hole scoring record of 62.
The Golf Channel, the exclusive broadcast home of the Nationwide Tour, will show all four days of action live from the Windy City, beginning Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (ET).
The Nationwide Tour will head back into Tennessee next week for the 16th edition of the Knoxville Classic, one of the oldest events on tour.
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - LaSalle Bank Open