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Transition Year on Tobacco Road

2006 Chrysler Classic of GreensboroGREENSBORO, N.C. -- D.J. Trahan is an Atlantic Coast Conference kind of guy, and the former Clemson player can't imagine a PGA TOUR schedule without a stop in the heart of ACC country.
'This is where I'm from, so when I come here I do feel comfortable, and it's that much better when you come to a place you feel comfortable and the golf course makes you feel even more comfortable,' Trahan said Wednesday. 'This is just like being at home for me.'
Though Tobacco Road remains a fixture on the schedule, it's still shaping up as a transition year for the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro.
The annual tournament at the par-72, 7,333-yard Forest Oaks Country Club gets a new name next year when Wyndham Hotels and Resorts takes over title sponsorship. Also in 2007, the tournament moves from early October, when it has been played since 2003, to mid-August, where it won't face as much competition for local attention.
But, most importantly, those nagging questions that popped up a year ago have finally been answered -- the PGA TOUR's reorganized calendar does indeed have space for Greensboro.
'This tournament's been around here for a long time, and by no means should it go anywhere,' Trahan said. 'You hate to see the tour go away from tradition and where it's been for so long, and it's great to be back.'
Next year, the tournament will be played the week after the PGA Championship as the final qualifying event for the tour's new Championship Series.
Organizers say the tournament's new position on the schedule could strengthen the field, finally giving it the marquee names it has craved. But it's also possible some stars who already have their series positions locked up will skip Greensboro and rest instead.
'There are pros and cons to all of it,' Mike Weir said. 'Maybe some players might skip it. ... On the other hand, it might not be a strong field, so there'd be a good chance to win or get their ranking higher heading into the playoff system.'
The ACC is well represented in its hometown tournament, with 13 players who played at eight schools, including 1992 winner Davis Love III (North Carolina) and Tim Clark and Carl Pettersson of North Carolina State.
'I actually used to skip high school to come out and watch these guys,' said Pettersson, a native of Sweden who moved to Greensboro while in his teens.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing players this weekend is Trahan, who hopes to build on the momentum generated by his first career tour victory, a win in last week's Southern Farm Bureau Classic in Madison, Miss.
Trahan shared the lead with eventual winner K.J. Choi after three rounds last year in Greensboro, but shot a final-round 75 and finished nine strokes behind.
'I was looking at him, wishing it was me,' Trahan said. 'I struggled with the putter, and when you lose that confidence in your putter, it really makes it difficult to do anything.
'What I took away from that was, I put myself in position to win, I felt like I was going to be able to do that again, and I didn't.'
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