*** NATIONWIDE - Gila River Classic at Wild Horse Pass Resort Preview ***
                            From The Sports Network

 Dates: Thursday, October 6th through Sunday, October 9th
 Site: Whirlwind Golf Club (Cattail Course), Chandler, Arizona
 Course Architect: Gary Panks (2002)
 Par: 72
 Yardage: 7,218
 Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 413 Yds   10 - Par 3 245 Yds
               2 - Par 5 517 Yds   11 - Par 4 481 Yds
               3 - Par 3 162 Yds   12 - Par 5 578 Yds
               4 - Par 4 462 Yds   13 - Par 4 441 Yds
               5 - Par 4 337 Yds   14 - Par 4 389 Yds
               6 - Par 3 180 Yds   15 - Par 3 143 Yds
               7 - Par 5 599 Yds   16 - Par 4 428 Yds
               8 - Par 4 402 Yds   17 - Par 5 560 Yds
               9 - Par 4 431 Yds   18 - Par 4 450 Yds
                   -------------        -------------
                    36 3,503 Yds         36 3,715 Yds

 Annual: 5th
 Television: None
 Defending Champion: Chris Nallen
 Runner-up: Troy Matteson
 Tournament Record: 261 (Ben Crane, Jason Caron, Bo Van Pelt, 2001)
 54-Hole Record: 190 (David Branshaw, 2002)
 36-Hole Record: 125 (Jason Gore, 2002)
 Course Record: 60 (Chris Nallen, 2005)
 Total Purse: $450,000
 Shares: 1st Place - $81,000; 2nd Place - 48,600; 3rd Place - 30,600

                             2004 Finish

 Player                Score             Player                 Score
 ------                -----             ------                 -----
 Chris Nallen           264              Steven Alker            276
 Troy Matteson          272              Jason Buha              276
 Jason Schultz          273              Scott Petersen          276
 Matthew Jones          275              Brent Schwarzrock       276
 Kevin Stadler          275              Darron Stiles           276
                                         Tyler Williamson        276

                      Past Gila River Golf Classic Winners

 Year  Winner (Score) -- Runners-Up
 ----  ----------------------------
 2004  Chris Nallen (264) -- Troy Matteson
 2003  Lucas Glover (270) -- John Elliott, Tommy Tolles, Robin Freeman
 2002  David Branshaw (262) -- Aaron Baddeley, Charles Raulerson
 2001  *Ben Crane (261) -- Jason Caron, Bo Van Pelt

 * - Won in playoff.

                          Top Contenders in the Field

                    2001  2002  2003  2004
                    ----  ----  ----  ----
 Chris Nallen       dnp   dnp   dnp   Won
 Troy Matteson      dnp   dnp   mc    2nd
 Jason Schultz      T-22  dnp   dnp   3rd
 Jason Buha         mc    mc    dnp   T-6
 Steven Alker       dnp   T-13  dnp   T-6
 Brent Schwarzrock  dnp   dnp   dnp   T-6
 David Branshaw     dnp   Won   mc    dnp
 Greg Chalmers      dnp   dnp   dnp   dnp
 Esteban Toledo     dnp   dnp   dnp   dnp
 Ted Tryba          dnp   dnp   dnp   dnp
 Camilo Villegas    dnp   dnp   dnp   dnp

      With the season winding down,  players need to step up, as they set their
 sites on the PGA Tour for 2006. Only four events remain on the Nationwide Tour
 schedule, including the Tour Championship the last week of October. Last year,
 Chris  Nallen made history, as he led wire-to-wire for his first career title.
 Nallen  opened with a  course-record of 60 and led by two over Brett Wetterich
 and  Brent Schwarzrock.  A second-round 66 netted Nallen with a five-shot lead
 over Scott Petersen. The onslaught continued on the weekend, as Nallen shot 67
 to  open up a six-stroke lead over Kevin Stadler. Despite a final round of 71,
 Nallen  finished with  an eight-shot win over Troy Matteson to become the 17th
 Monday  qualifier to  win a Tour event.  Nallen also became the 10th player to
 win  in his  first career  start and  the 19th  player to  lead from  start to
 finish.  Nallen  has struggled this  year, missing six  cuts in his last seven
 starts  and ranks 134th on the Nationwide Tour money list. Overall, Nallen has
 made just 10 of 22 cuts and has failed to crack the top-10. Nallen, along with
 David  Branshaw are the  lone past champions in the field, as Lucas Glover and
 Ben Crane are competing on the PGA Tour. When David Branshaw won this event in
 2002,  he set a new tour record with a 54-hole mark of 190 en route to a four-
 shot  win over Aaron Baddeley and Charles Raulerson. Branshaw, who at the time
 had  tied the  18-hole record of 61  in the second round, finished with a one-
 over  72 for a 262 total, one off the event record. Not one player last season
 was  able to post  all four rounds in the 60s, despite the course being one of
 the  easiest  on tour.  A total  of just two  players in  2003 carded all four
 rounds  in the 60s,  compared to 11 players in 2002. This is the fifth year of
 the  event,  which is  once again being  held at Whirlwind  Golf Club, and the
 third  straight  season the event will  be staged on the Cattail course, which
 opened  for play in the fall of 2002. The two previous events were held on the
 Devil's Claw course. The Cattail Course played to a scoring average of 70.621,
 ranking  it sixth  easiest last  season.  There has  been one  playoff in  the
 tournament's short history, which came in 2001 when Crane defeated Jason Caron
 and Bo Van Pelt. The Nationwide Tour moves to Midland, Texas next week for the
 Permian Basin Charity Golf Classic, where Charley Hoffman titled in 2004.

 10/04 12:38:15 ET

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