March 24, 2009
PGA TOUR staff
Editor'sDave Lagarde has been a PGATOUR.COM correspondent for all things Nationwide Tour since 2005. Each week, Lagarde will size up the field and provide his top five players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc. | note: Dave Lagarde has been a PGATOUR.COM correspondent for all things Nationwide Tour since 2005. Each week, Lagarde will size up the field and provide his top five players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc. | MORE: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
The Nationwide Tour hits the United States mainland for the first time in 2009 when players descend on the Lafayette suburb of Broussard and Le Triomphe Country Club for the Chitimacha Louisana Open presented by Dynamic Industries. This is the 18th playing of the tournament, with all 17 previous tournaments taking place at Le Triomphe.
In the field this week is 2008 champion Gavin Coles, who will attempt to become the first player in Tour history to successfully defend his title. Coles defeated Kyle Thompson by one stroke in 2008.
|Power Rankings: Michael Hill New Zealand Open|
| || ||Martin |
|The only players ahead of this rookie on the money list are the champions of the first four events. He had a successful trip Down Under, where he earned the majority of his $81,608 with a tie for eighth at Moonah and a solo second at the NZ Open.|
| || ||Josh |
|Final rounds of 76 and 74 have cost this rookie. Still, he has made four of four cuts thanks to great play in the first round and is 16th in "THE 25." His best finish so far is a T7 in the New Zealand PGA Championship where he had his best Sunday, a 67.|
| || ||Gavin |
|Granted, the odds are stacked heavily against Coles, the defending champion, since there has been not one single successful title defense in Nationwide Tour history. But there's no way to neglect his performance on this track in 2008.|
| || ||Ryan |
|The former Chitimacha champion spent five years in Lafayette after graduating from the University of Texas El Paso. He was a member at Le Triomphe and has intimate knowledge of the layout. Has a habit of contending when he makes cuts.|
| || ||Matt |
|The 2008 Nationwide Tour leading money winner returns to his "roots" this week after not getting into the Arnold Palmer Invitational. His late surge last year makes him worth watching.|
With all that said, let's see who Lagarde thinks can succeed in the 2009 Chitimacha Louisiana Open.