Last year, David Branshaw set a new tour record with a 54-hole mark of 190 en route to a four-shot win over Aaron Baddeley and Charles Raulerson. Branshaw, who tied the course record of 61 in the second round, finished with a over-over 72 for a 262 total, one off the event record.
Branshaw is currently on the bubble in an effort to gain his PGA Tour card. He is in 30th place with $111,647. The top 20 players at the end of the year get PGA Tour exemptions for 2004.
This is the third year of the event which is once again being held at Whirlwind Golf Club. Each hole at the Devil's Claw course was designed to pay tribute to the rich cultural heritage of the Pima and Maricopa peoples of the Gila River. The course beautifully utilizes the plants and trees indigenous to the area (Mesquite, Saguaro, Palo Verde, Cottonwood) along with native grasses.
Not only is the course a challenging one, it is also in harmony with its surroundings. The holes are individually named to reflect the culture of the Gila River people and each is marked by a distinctive basket weave unique to the local community.
The Nationwide Tour moves to Texas next week for the Permian Basin Charity Golf Classic at Midland Country Club. Tag Ridings, who has played sparingly this season, is expected to be on hand to defend his title.