A total of 132 golfers representing nine countries will take on the 6956-yard, par-72 Fazio Foothills course at Barton Creek Resort. Players will compete for a $99,525 (US) purse, with $15,925 going to the winner.
Anders Hultman of Sweden notched a triumph in his first tour start during last weeks TravelTex.com Canadian Tour Classic. The 23-year-old, who won Winter Qualifying School earlier this month, will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner since New Zealands Steven Alker won the final two events of the 2000 campaign.
The Fazio Foothils track will not be as forgiving off the tee as the Crenshaw Cliffside course was last week during the Classic. It has been ranked the No. 1 course in Texas according to the Dallas Morning News, and recently made Golf Digests 50 Greatest Golf Destinations.
President George W. Bush, who plays the course regularly with Austin native and PGA Tour legend Ben Crenshaw, told the USA Today in 2001 that the Fazio Foothills layout was his favorite course to play. Crenshaw and Bob Estes share the course recordcat 9-under 63.
An uphill 465-yard, par-5 finishing hole should add to the drama this week. Players looking to reach the green in two will have to fly a creek while avoiding three bunkers that surround the putting surface.
The Golf Channel will broadcast all four rounds of the Challenge Thursday through Sunday from 4-6 pm Eastern, with encore presentations later in the evening.
CHIP SHOTS: Roger Tambellini defeated Rick Rhoden Wednesday to win Week 2 of the Canadian Tour Shootout. Hultman, Steve Scott and Kevin Stadler also took part. Jeff Quinney defeated Derek Gillespie in a playoff during last weeks shootoutAmong those receiving sponsors exemptions this week are Stadler, former PGA Tour player Brian Claar and Rhoden, who pitched in the majors for 16 seasonsCanadians to watch this week include Gillespie, Jon Mills, Rob McMillan and David Hearn. Steve Scott and Alex Quiroz, who each won titles in 2002, both make their season debut at the Challenge.The TravelTex.com Canadian Tour Classic Pro-Am Gala, sponsored by Time Warner and The Golf Channel, was emceed by author Turk Pipkin and Harry Anderson, who starred on Night Court, Tuesday night.