Joe Ogilvie will not be on hand to defend his title, as he earned his PGA Tour card following the 2003 season. So far, Ogilvie has made three of five cuts, with his best finish a tie for 30th at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
The event, which is co-sanctioned by the Nationwide and Australasian Tours, has a field comprised of 156 players: 68 from the PGA Tour of Australasia, 78 from the Nationwide Tour and 10 invited players.
Last year, Joe Ogilvie struggled to a 1-over 72 on the final day, but held on to win the event, one shot clear of Australia's Shane Tait. Ogilvie began the day with a two-shot edge over Tait and birdied the first to begin to pull away. At the ninth, Ogilvie landed his second shot inside 10 feet for a birdie to reach 8-under and just like that the 28-year-old had a five-shot lead over the field.
The problems started for Ogilvie at the par-4 12th. His tee shot landed underneath a tree and his second shot ended up hitting a branch and traveling a few feet backwards. He ended up with a double-bogey and failed to get up and down at the par-4 13th to drop another shot.
The title was the first of two on the Nationwide Tour for Ogilvie in 2003. Mahal Pearce shot a 5-under 66 to finish three strokes off the lead in a group at 2-under-par 282. Pearce was joined by David Morland IV and Peter Senior in a tie for third.
Tait drained an 18-foot putt at the 14th to pull within two of the lead, however, Ogilvie made birdie on 15 to pad his advantage. Ogilvie was not out of the dark yet. He found a fairway bunker off the tee at the 17th en route to a bogey to fall to minus-5. Despite a two-putt birdie by Tait on the final hole, Ogilvie two-putted for par for the win.
The Nationwide Tour continues its out of this world schedule next week at the New Zealand PGA Championship.
Host Brian Anderson and analyst Curt Byrum will be back in the booth, with Jerry Foltz and Kay Cockerill calling the action on the course.
Nationwide Tour telecasts on The Golf Channel will continue to take viewers inside the ropes, as players will be micd or wear a heart-rate monitor throughout the year.