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NATIONWIDE - Chitimacha Louisiana Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, March 22nd through Sunday, March 25th
SITE: Le Triomphe Country Club, Broussard, Louisiana
COURSE ARCHITECT: Robert Trent Jones Jr (1985), Steve Wenzloff (2003)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,006
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 555 Yds10 - Par 4 400 Yds
2 - Par 4 386 Yds11 - Par 3 181 Yds
3 - Par 3 225 Yds12 - Par 5 559 Yds
4 - Par 4 392 Yds13 - Par 4 446 Yds
5 - Par 5 560 Yds14 - Par 4 485 Yds
6 - Par 3 190 Yds15 - Par 4 445 Yds
7 - Par 5 544 Yds16 - Par 3 182 Yds
8 - Par 3 172 Yds17 - Par 4 378 Yds
9 - Par 4 465 Yds18 - Par 4 441 Yds
36 3,489 Yds35 3,517 Yds
Annual:  21st
Television:  None
Defending Champion:  Brett Wetterich
Runner-Up:  Andres Echavarria
Tournament Record:  264 (Steven Alker, Mike Heinen, 2002;
  Brett Wetterich, 2003)
54-Hole Record:  194 (Brett Wetterich, 2003)
36-Hole Record:  127 (Wes Short, 2003)
Course Record:  60 (Brenden Pappas, 2007)
Total Purse:  $500,000
Shares:  1st Place - $90,000; 2nd Place - $54,000; 3rd Place - $34,000
2011 Finish
Brett Wetterich271John Kimbell274
Andres Echavarria272Steve Wheatcroft275
Bubba Dickerson273Danny Lee275
Carl Paulson274Four players at276
Rich Barcelo274
Past Chitimacha Louisiana Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Brett Wetterich (271) -- Andres Echavarria
2010Fabian Gomez (269) -- Kyle Reifers, Brian Vranesh, Scott Gutschewski
2009*Bubba Dickerson (274) -- Brian Vranesh
2008Gavin Coles (272) -- Kyle Thompson
2007*Skip Kendall (268) -- Paul Claxton
2006Johnson Wagner (272) -- Chad Collins
2005Ryan Hietala (270) -- Sean O'Hair
2004Jimmy Walker (272) -- Rick Price
2003Brett Wetterich (264) -- Ken Duke
2002*Steven Alker (264) -- Mike Heinen
2001Paul Claxton (271) -- Tim Petrovic, Steve Runge
2000Rob McKelvey (274) -- Ian Leggatt, Guy Hill
1999Matt Gogel (277) -- Kris Cox
1998John Wilson (274) -- Steve Flesch
1997#Joe Daley (198) -- Bobby Wadkins
1996Paul Stankowski (266) -- Greg Whisman
1995Stan Utley (268) -- Keith Fergus
1994Bill Porter (276) -- Brad Fabel
1993R.W. Eaks (273) -- Karl Kimball
1992@Sean Murphy (200) -- Tony Grimes

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

@ - 54-Hole Tournament

Note:Formerly called Ben Hogan Louisiana Open (1992), NIKE Louisiana
Open (1993-99), BUY.COM Louisiana Open (2000-01).

Top Contenders in the Field
Brett WetterichT-33------------Won
Bubba Dickerson---mc---Wonmc3rd
Fran Quinnmc------T-36T-38T-9
Darron StilesT-39mcT-43T-9T-38T-13
Brenden Pappas63rdT-12---T-70mcT-25
Tim WilkinsonmcT-19---------T-25
David Lingmerth---------------T-33
Mathew Goggin---------------T-40
Aaron Watkins---T-8------T-21T-68
Gavin ColesT-14mcWonT-44T-55mc
Edward Loar------------mcmc
Fabian Gomez------T-15---Won---
Joseph Bramlett------------------
Paul Haley II------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Tim Wilkinson
Darkhorse - David Lingmerth
Last Week's Pick to Win (Brian Smock) - Finished tied for 28th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Kevin Johnson) - Missed the cut
The fourth of 27 official Nationwide Tour events begins in earnest this week, as the Chitimacha Louisiana Open takes shape in the Pelican State. Seven past champions highlight this year's field. Paul Stankowski (1996), Paul Claxton (2001), Steven Alker (2002), Brett Wetterich (2003, 2010), Gavin Coles (2008), Bubba Dickerson (2009) and Fabian Gomez (2010) will be teeing it up at Le Triomphe Country Club, the host site for this tournament since its inception in 1992. Wetterich won the 2006 Byron Nelson Championship on the PGA Tour and was a member of the 2006 United States Ryder Cup team. He will try to become the first player in Nationwide Tour history to successfully defend his title.

This is the first Nationwide Tour event in the United States this season after stops in Panama, Colombia and Chile. Skip Kendall won in Colombia, while Edward Loar won in Panama and Paul Haley II in Chile. Loar and Haley are in the field this week.

Last year, Wetterich won his second career Louisiana Open by one stroke over Andres Echavarria after posting rounds of 67-65-70-69. Wetterich finished at 13-under-par 271 for his third career victory on the Nationwide Tour.

In 2010, Fabian Gomez fired a seven-under 64 in windy conditions in the final round to come from behind and win by six strokes over Kyle Reifers, Brian Vranesh and Scott Gutschewski. Gomez finished his first Nationwide Tour title at 15-under-par 269. The six-stroke margin of victory was the largest in the event's history. Gomez's 64 was the low round of the final day by three strokes. Only 19 of 66 players broke par in the final round. Gomez became the second player from Argentina to win on the Nationwide Tour, joining Miguel Carballo, who captured the 2007 Panama Movistar Championship.

In 2009, former U.S. Amateur champion Dickerson birdied the first playoff hole to beat Vranesh. Dickerson, the 2001 Amateur champion, carded rounds of 71-64-69-70. He holed a 14-foot birdie putt at the par-four 18th in the playoff for his first Nationwide Tour win. The playoff was the third in tournament history. The others came in 2002 when Alker defeated Mike Heinen, and in 2007 when Skip Kendall defeated Claxton.

Kendall defeated Claxton on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff in 2007. Kendall picked up his first Nationwide Tour win since he won his only other two titles in 1994. Kendall's span between wins on the Nationwide Tour -- 12 years, eight months and 27 days -- broke the tour record by more than two years. Omar Uresti broke Kendall's record the following week at the Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship when he won 12 years, 11 months and 8 days after his last victory.

Paul Stankowski became the first player to win a Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour event in the same year back in 1996. He accomplished the feat in consecutive weeks, winning the Louisiana Open on the Nationwide Tour and the BellSouth Classic on the PGA Tour.

When Stan Utley (1995) and Jimmy Walker (2004) won in Louisiana, they both made miraculous comebacks. Both players were eight shots back after three rounds, before storming back to victory.

Craig Perks, who won THE PLAYERS Championship in 2002, was an assistant professional at this golf course from 1991-93 and still lives in nearby Lafayette. Perks attended college at nearby Louisiana Lafayette, and upon retiring from the PGA Tour in 2007, was named Director of Instruction at Le Triomphe.

The Nationwide Tour travels to California in two weeks for the Soboba Golf Classic in San Jacinto, where Ted Potter, Jr. captured the 2011 title.

03/20 16:42:07 ET

As of March 20, 2012, at 04:42 PM ET