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Nationwide Tour Heads Down Under

2006 Jacobs Creek Open ChampionshipThe Nationwide Tour heads Down Under to play its second event of the year at the Jacob's Creek Open Championship in Seaton, Australia.
Having started the year in Panama, the tour will play a pair of tournaments well south of the equator, one here in Australia and then the players hop over to New Zealand for the New Zealand PGA Championship before returning stateside in late March.
Headlining the field is a list of former PGA Tour winners that include Notah Begay, Chip Beck, Skip Kendall and Dicky Pride.
Begay, a four-time PGA Tour winner, was playing last year on a major medical extension due to chronic back problems. He couldn't, however, make the required money to retain his tour card. He finished 33rd in the first event of the year in Panama and missed the cut last week at Pebble Beach.
Also in the field last week's European Tour winner Kevin Stadler. Stadler, who won twice on the Nationwide Tour in 2004, won the Johnnie Walker Classic with a dramatic eagle on the final hole. Ranked 256th in the world prior to the event, Stadler jumped all the way to 92nd following his win.
Tripp Isenhour, winner of the season-opening event in Panama, hopes for another solid outing that would go a long way towards already securing his PGA Tour card for 2007.
The event, in its fifth year Down Under, is co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour of Australasia.
The winner of this tournament will hope to continue a trend that has seen the past four winners earn their cards to the Big Show for the following year. Australias Gavin Coles won the event in 2002, and ended the year 13th on the Nationwide Tours money list. Joe Ogilvie claimed the title in 2003 en route to his second-place showing on the money list. Aussie Euan Walters used his Jacobs Creek win to help him finish 14th in earnings. And last year, another Aussie, Steven Bowditch, cruised to a five-shot victory and ultimately landed in the 4th spot on the season-ending money list.
The Golf Channel will air all four rounds from Australia beginning Thursday at 11 a.m. (ET).
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Jacob's Creek Open Championship
  • Golf Channel Airtimes