Nationwide Tour Coming into Its Own

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Nationwide TourFor the second time this year, the Nationwide Tour plays north of the border in Canada for the third annual Alberta Classic. Last year, current PGA Tour player David Hearn, who is a native of Canada, posted a one-under 71 in the final round to win the Alberta Classic by a stroke over David McKenzie.

Hearn completed the event at 15-under-par 273 for his first career victory on the Nationwide Tour. McKenzie shot a 69 in the final round to take second place at 14-under-par 274. Hearn, who also captured the 2004 Times Colonist Open on the Canadian Tour, carried a three-shot lead into the final round at Redwood Meadows and managed a pair of birdies on the front side to reach 16- under around the turn. At the par-four 12th, Hearn left his approach well short of the green and was unable to get up and down to save par. After the bogey, Hearn readied himself for a roller coaster ride over the closing holes.
 
Hearn birdied the 15th, but gave that shot back with a bogey at the very next hole. He recovered with a birdie at the 17th, but found trouble again with a bogey at the last. Despite the late dropped shot, Hearn was able to walk off with a breakthrough win.
 
Hearn, who qualified for the PGA Tour by finishing in a tie for 21st at the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, has struggled this year making just eight of 16 cuts. Hearn ranks 199th on the money list with his best finish being a tie for 13th at the B.C. Open. The 2003 event was held at The Links of GlenEagles in Cochrane, Alberta.
 
2003 champion Tom Carter is scheduled to compete this week. Redwood Meadows Golf & Country Club has been recognized as one of Western Canada's finest layouts and is owned and operated by the Tsuu T'ina Nation. Last year, Redwood Meadows played to a stroke average of 72.226, making it the 16th hardest course out of 31 on the Nationwide Tour.
 
Robert Ames, brother of PGA Tour player Stephen Ames, received a sponsor's exemption for this event. The Nationwide Tour moves to Utah next week for the Envirocare Utah Classic. Current PGA Tour player Brett Wetterich won that event last year.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Alberta Classic