The Tours tenth official event of 2004 is also the third leg of the Tours Western Canada swing which wraps up next week in Edmonton.
After a frustrating rookie season last year, American Ryan Miller bounced back in a big way this past weekend by winning the Greater Vancouver Classic on the left coast.
Last year at Pine Ridge, Jon Mills of Oshawa, ON captured his first Canadian Tour championship with a three-shot triumph over Bryan DeCorso. Mills would use the Winnipeg victory as a springboard to the Order of Merit title later in the year, the first Canadian to do that since Mike Weir in 1997.
David Hearn (Brantford, ON) is the hottest player on Tour, coming off a win in Victoria and a third-place showing in Vancouver. Hearn is third on the money list, one spot in front of Winnipegs Rob McMillan, who will likely have an entire city behind him this week. In 1996, McMillan won what was then known as the Xerox Manitoba Open as an amateur and has added two more Tour titles since then.
A total of 156 players are slated to tee it up when opening round gets underway Thursday.
Thanks to a second-place finish last week, American Erik Compton moved into top spot in earnings but will have to keep his eye in the rearview mirror in Winnipeg. The 14 top money-leaders on Tour will tee it up here.
The signature hole at the spectacular Pine Ridge track is without a doubt the par-3 ninth, one of the toughest holes in Canada. Players hit a tee shot from 237 yards away, generally straight into the wind, and try to land on a dome-shaped green. Since the course was opened in 1912, there have been just eleven holes-in-one at Number 9.