Week 18 Power Rankings: Wichita Open

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August 04, 2009
PGA TOUR staff

Editor'sAdam Wallace is a media assistant for the Nationwide Tour. Each week, Wallace 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: Adam Wallace is a media assistant for the Nationwide Tour. Each week, Wallace 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. | POWER RANKINGS: Bridgestone Invitational | Legends Reno-Tahoe Open

This week is the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open contested at Crestview Country Club. Since the Nationwide Tour's inaugural season in 1990, the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open has been on the schedule. There are only three other tournaments on the 2009 schedule that have been around since the beginning (Albertsons Boise Open in Boise, Idaho, Knoxville Open in Knoxville, Tenn., and Price Cutter Charity Championship in Springfield, Mo.).

COLUMN-Wallace - NWTpower-ranking-183x90.jpg

Crestview CC is historically one of the easiest courses on Tour. Since 2001, the course has been ranked as low as the third least difficult (out of 34 in 2007) and as high as eighth (out of 32 in 2005). Typically when a course is known for not being difficult, something stands out statistically. Other than the winner's statistics, that is not the case for Crestview CC (par 71 / 6,886 yards).

Last year, 70 percent of the field found the fairway, just four percent more than the Tour average for the year. For the approach, 68 percent found the green, less than a half of a percent than the year's average. The putting average of 1.755 for the week was .042 lower than the 2008 season.

Scott Piercy won the 2008 Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open by setting the 72-hole tournament record -- 262 (22-under). His statistics looked a little different than the rest of the field. Piercy managed to lead the field in greens in regulation with an astonishing 88.89 percent. Pair that stat together with averaging 1.67 (12th) putts per round, and that's a recipe for setting tournament records. He also managed to keep it in the fairway 76.79 percent (16th) of the time and averaged 6.25 (1st) birdies a round.

Power Rankings: Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open
Rank Player   Comment
Kevin
JOHNSON
With two wins already this season and a victory here in 2006, Johnson has a realistic chance of getting his third win this week and earning the three-win battlefield promotion to the PGA TOUR.
Blake
ADAMS
It may feel like Adams has been a permanent fixture in these power rankings lately, but it's just a matter of time before this long hitter walks away with the trophy. He's recorded five top-15s and a T31 in the last seven weeks.
Gavin
COLES
Coles tied for third last week on one of the most difficult and longest courses on Tour. He's 140th in driving distance and averages just 267.5 yards, so that's a pretty solid performance. In the last four events, he has three top-25s and a T49.
Brad
ELDER
No one has won the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open more times than Brad Elder. He won in 2007 and 1999. Last week, he scored his fourth top-25 of the season.
Won Joon
LEE
Lee, second in driving distance (313.2 yards), put together a solid performance last week (T11) on a very difficult course. With this week being a much easier and shorter course, I like his chances of having back-to-back solid performances.

The winner's check of $94,500 helped Piercy on his way to a ninth-place finish on the 2008 money list, enabling him to secure his 2009 PGA TOUR card.

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