Wild Scramble for Top 20

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04 Gila River Golf ClassicThe Nationwide Tour heads into the desert heat of Arizona for the fourth edition of the Gila River Golf Classic at Wild Horse Pass Resort.
 
With just three full-field events remaining before the Tour Championship, the heat is also on the players as they scramble to make it inside the top 20 on the tour's money list.
 
At the moment, three players are within just $8,000 of the 20th and final spot, with Brett Wetterich holding down the all-important 20th position. Kyle Thompson, Scott Gutschewski and Doug Barron are in the 21st, 22nd and 23rd spots.
 
Not to be forgotten is the fact that the top-55 on the money list after the Miccosukee Championship in two weeks get a spot into the lucrative season-ending Tour Championship. Currently 10 players are within $8,000 of the 55th spot.
 
The Nationwide Tour has had at least one player in each of the last three seasons chalk up three wins and earn the PGA Tour's coveted Battlefield Promotion. Yet despite having five players with two victories in the 2004 campaign, the streak is close to being snapped with just a few events left on the schedule.
 
Played all four years at the Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., the course usually ranks as one of the easiest on tour and low scores will dictate the tournament from the outset.
 
Ben Crane won the inaugural event in 2001 with a staggering 27-under par total that was almost matched the following year by winner David Branshaw's 26-under par winning score.
 
Last year Lucas Glover shot a final round 5-under 67 to claim his first Nationwide Tour title. At 18-under-par 270, Glover finished one stroke ahead of John Elliott, Tommy Tolles and Robin Freeman. Jason Dufner and Jeff Freeman finished two shots back at 16-under-par 272.
 
The purse is $425,000 with $76,500 going to the winner.
 
Next week the tour swings into Texas for the Permian Basin Charity Golf Classic in Midland.
 
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - Gila River Golf Classic /TGCLINK>