Injury adds to intrigue in Nationwide battle for No 1


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – While so much of the focus is on cracking the top 25 on the money list on the Nationwide Tour with two events left this season, the battle for No. 1 is meaningful.

That’s why the withdrawal of Chris Kirk today from the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open is newsworthy.

Jamie Lovemark is No. 1 on the money list and Kirk is No. 2.

Kirk told Tour officials he started feeling wrist pain last week and withdrew Thursday morning with the injury still bothering him. He said he hopes to be ready for next week's season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island in Charleston, S.C. Kirk was headed to see a doctor after his withdrawal.

Winning the money title is meaningful beyond prestige and bank deposits because the Nationwide Tour’s top money winner graduates fully exempt to the PGA Tour two priority ranking categories ahead of the rest of the top-25 Nationwide Tour money winners, who are lumped into the same category as the top 25 finishers from PGA Tour Q-School. The Nationwide Tour’s top money winner also earns a spot into The Players Championship next spring.

Lovemark is $8,763 ahead of Kirk on the money list.