Week 8 Approach Shots: South Georgia ClassicApril 22, 2009
LONG AND LEAN: The third annual South Georgia Classic is this week in Valdosta, Ga., with the 7,781-yard Kinderlou Forest Golf Club again giving players plenty of chances to hit driver during their rounds. Kinderlou Forest is the longest course on the Nationwide Tour. Two holes on the front nine -- Nos. 2 and 4 -- are more than 600 yards, and the closing hole is a 501-yard par 4.
Quick Facts WHAT: Eighth of 29 Nationwide Tour events WHEN: April 23-26 WHERE: Valdosta, Ga. COURSE: Kinderlou Forest GC WHAT'S AT STAKE: $625,000 purse ($112,500 for winner) KEY LINKS: Tee times | Leaderboard | Tournament page | "THE 25"
Bryan DeCorso hit 71 percent of his fairways a year ago and took advantage of the 566-yard 11th, making three birdies and an eagle there, to roll to a four-stroke victory over Bryce Molder and Greg Owen. DeCorso will defend his title this week.
PLAYER NOTES: DeCorso became the 11th Canadian to win on the Nationwide Tour when he won a year ago. The Ontario native joins Jerry Anderson, Ahmad Bateman, David Hearn, Glen Hnatiuk (four wins), Ian Leggatt, Jon Mills (two wins), David Morland IV (two wins), Jim Rutledge, Rick Todd (two wins) and Richard Zokol as Canadian winners who have accounted for 17 titles. ...
David Miller was one of six players who finished inside the top 15 last year who has ties to the host state of Georgia. Miller played on the University of Georgia's 1999 national championship team. The others included former Georgia Tech All-Americans Bryce Molder (tied for second) and Matt Weibring (tied for 13th). Augusta, Ga., native and former University of Georgia student Scott Parel finished fourth, while Georgia Southern University standout Blake Adams tied for sixth and former University of Georgia All-American Brendon Todd tied for ninth.
Both Ronnie Black and Bob May had holes-in-one last year. Both aces were in the first round, with Black's coming at the eighth hole, while May's was on No. 15. The ace was May's second on the Nationwide Tour. It was Black's first Nationwide Tour hole-in-one to go with the two he made on the PGA TOUR. Brendon de Jonge has the only other ace in tournament history. His came in 2007, the third of his Nationwide Tour career. He added one more, giving him four -- more than any other Nationwide Tour player. ...
To show how competitive the Nationwide Tour is, DeCorso was one of eight 2008 tournament winners who did not finish among "THE 25" and graduate to the PGA TOUR in 2009. DeCorso earned $163,471 a year ago, with 69 percent of his yearly earnings coming from his Valdosta victory....
Weather forecast for South Georgia Classic THURSDAY, Rd. 1 FRIDAY, Rd. 2 SATURDAY, Rd. 3 SUNDAY, Rd. 4 Mostly sunny
Temp: 87 high/58 low
Temp: 89 high/61 low
Temp: 86 high/58 low
Temp: 83 high/57 low
South Georgia Classic snippets In the field: South Georgia Classic tournament officials have given a sponsor's exemption to Valdosta State University senior, Brent Witcher. The Lawrenceville, Ga., resident was a 2008 finalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award, given to the nations top Division II golfer. This week in history: April 21, 1991: Former PLAYERS champion Stephen Ames won the Pensacola Open by one shot over the GOLF CHANNELs Jerry Foltz. Ames birdied the last three holes to outlast Foltz, who tied the course record with a 7-under 65. Get your fix: After the South Georgia Classic, the Nationwide Tour is idle before resuming play at the BMW Charity Pro-Am at three host courses in Greenville and Spartanburg, S.C., and Mill Spring, N.C. May 11-17.
A year ago, Keith Nolan recorded a second-round, even-par 72. He reeled off 18 consecutive pars and eventually missed the cut. ...