Third Time a Charm in Omaha

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Nationwide TourAlthough known throughout the country primarily as the home to the College Baseball World Series, the city of Omaha is quietly starting to become known to Nationwide Tour players as the place where the yellow brick road finally meets up with the PGA Tour.
 
This week's Cox Classic at the Champions Club in Omaha, Neb., marks the ninth time the city has hosted one of the tour's more successful events.
 
Successful depending on which way you look at it.
 
To organizers, the record number of fans that continue to come out and support the event each year, the increase in purses and the rising amount of money given to local charities is one way to quantify success.
 
But to the players, success almost always means finding a way to reach to the PGA Tour. And Omaha has provided that all-important leap to several players in the past.
 
The first Nationwide Tour player to ever achieve the PGA Tours Battlefield Promotion was Chris Smith in 1997. He wrapped up his third win here in Omaha and was granted instant membership onto the PGA Tour.
 
Four years later, Heath Slocum followed Smith with a victory in Omaha for his third win of the season and earned his entry onto the PGA Tour.
 
Though only two of the four players that have already notched a pair of victories in 2004 - D.A. Points and Jimmy Walker - are entered in the event, look for one of those two to top the leaderboard at week's end.
 
The total purse is $600,000 with $108,000 awarded to the winner.
 
The Golf Channel will show all four days of live action from the Cox Classic this week, beginning Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (ET).
 
The Nationwide Tour will take a short trip next week to Springfield, Mo., for the Price Cutter Charity Championship.
 
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - Cox Classic