August 17, 2009
PGA TOUR staff
Editor's 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.
The Nationwide Tour returns to Kansas this week for the inaugural Christmas In October Classic in Overland Park. The Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open was played two weeks ago in Wichita, Kan.
Contested at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate, the Christmas In October Classic is a pivotal event on the 2009 schedule with just nine events after this week. Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate, designed by the Golden Bear (Jack Nicklaus), is a par-71, 7,251 yards, just outside of Kansas City. It is the 10th longest course on the 2009 schedule and has just three par-5s; each one is over 550 yards.
At this point in the season last year, 16 of the top 25 on the Nationwide Tour money list went on to secure their 2009 PGA TOUR card.
|Power Rankings: Christmas in October Classic|
| || ||Michael |
|He has two wins this season and eight top-25 finishes. He's also played in two majors this year (U.S. Open/T18 and PGA Championship/T51). A win this week would give him the all-time single season money record and the three-win promotion to the PGA TOUR.|
| || ||Derek |
|Lamely nearly had back-to-back wins in the past two events, having won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational and then finishing one stroke back at the Price Cutter Charity Championship. He's ninth on the money list with $209,826.|
| || ||Chad |
|He's been nothing but solid since finishing T53 at the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic. He's earned top-20 finishes in four straight events -- Cox Classic/T19, Nationwide Children's Hospital Inv./T17, Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open/T2 and Price Cutter/T2.|
| || ||Tom |
|Gillis has one win this year, the Nationwide Tour Players Cup, and hasn't missed a cut in the eight events he's played. In 32 rounds, he has only shot over par twice. He leads the Tour in scoring average (68.75) and birdie average (4.78).|
| || ||Alex |
|After winning early in the season, Prugh had some rocky finishes. Recently, though, he's made nine cuts in his last 10 starts and has six top-25 finishes. Prugh is eighth in driving distance, averaging 305.3 yards and 16th in scoring average (70.00).|
With a purse of $625,000 -- with $112,500 going to the first Christmas In October Classic champion -- a win here by anyone in the top 125 on the money list could jump inside The 25.