Stellar Field to Battle at Western


Tiger Woods may be a victim of illness this week, but the Advil Western Open still has a stellar field as it begins play Thursday.
Two-time champion Nick Price is in the field, as well as David Toms, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III and Justin Leonard.
Woods, who was to make the Western his only start between the U.S. Open and the British Open, pulled out early in the week. He will remain at his home in greater Orlando, Fla., while his counterparts tee it up.
Scott Hoch is the defending champion. He fired a final-round 8-under 64 at the Cog Hill Golf & Country Club to edge Love by a shot a year ago in Lemont, Ill., near Chicago.
Hoch set a tournament record with his 21-under 267 total. It marked the then 45-year-olds 10th career tour title, and his second of the 2001 season.
Love led for most of the tournament after shooting a second-round 67, but couldnt hold on coming home Sunday.
Tied with Hoch, Love pulled his tee shot almost into the corporate tents on the final hole. He recovered to reach the green with his third shot but missed his 12-footer for par.
I did a lot of good things, Love said. I just didnt play a perfect round like Scott did.
Said Hoch: This is probably the biggest tournament Ive won.
Things havent gone quite as well for the veteran in 2002 ' he may have exhausted his complimentary supply of Advil.
Hoch missed a month and a half due to eye trouble following laser surgery. He repeatedly was forced to withdraw from tournaments because of the problem. He has, however, played quite well recently, tying for fifth in the U.S. Open and tying for seventh in Hartford.
The Western Open is one of the longest-standing golf championships in the United States. It was first held in 1899, when Willie Smith won at the Glen View Golf Club. For several years the Western was hosted exclusively at the Butler National Golf Club (74 to 90), but has since been stationed at Cog Hill.
This years purse is a tournament record $4 million, with $720,000 going to the winner.
Full field and tee times for the Advil Western Open