NATIONWIDE - Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, July 9th through Sunday, July 12th
SITE: The Georgian Bay Club, Clarksburg, Ontario, Canada
         Raven Golf Club at Lora Bay, Thornbury, Ontario, Canada
COURSE ARCHITECT: Dr. Michael Hurdzan (The Georgian Bay Club, 2004)
         Tom Lehman (Raven Golf Club at Lora Bay, 2006)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,139 (The Georgian Bay Club)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 453 Yds10 - Par 4 445 Yds
2 - Par 4 377 0ds11 - Par 4 335 Yds
3 - Par 3 205 Yds12 - Par 3 176 Yds
4 - Par 4 418 Yds13 - Par 5 510 Yds
5 - Par 3 226 Yds14 - Par 4 441 Yds
6 - Par 4 440 Yds15 - Par 4 388 Yds
7 - Par 5 575 Yds16 - Par 4 486 Yds
8 - Par 4 452 Yds17 - Par 3 202 Yds
9 - Par 4 402 Yds18 - Par 5 608 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,548 Yds36 3,591 Yds
 
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,105 (Raven Golf Club at Lora Bay)
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 414 Yds10 - Par 5 503 Yds
2 - Par 4 383 0ds11 - Par 4 486 Yds
3 - Par 3 240 Yds12 - Par 3 200 Yds
4 - Par 5 520 Yds13 - Par 5 600 Yds
5 - Par 4 375 Yds14 - Par 4 328 Yds
6 - Par 5 543 Yds15 - Par 3 195 Yds
7 - Par 3 214 Yds16 - Par 5 557 Yds
8 - Par 4 446 Yds17 - Par 3 224 Yds
9 - Par 4 441 Yds18 - Par 4 436 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,576 Yds36 3,529 Yds
 
Annual:  2nd
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 1-3 p.m. (et),
  Saturday/Sunday -- 1-4 p.m. (et),
  Friday -- 12:30-2:30 a.m. (et) - replay,
  Saturday/Monday -- 2-4 a.m. (et) - replay
Defending Champion:  Justin Hicks
Runner-Up:  Casey Wittenberg
Tournament Record:  269 (Justin Hicks, Casey Wittenberg, 2008)
54-Hole Record:  199 (Casey Wittenberg, 2008)
36-Hole Record:  131 (Kyle McCarthy, D.A. Points, 2008)
Course Record:  62 (Garret Osborn, 2008 - Georgian Bay Club)
  62 (D.A. Points, 2008 - Raven Golf Club)
Total Purse:  $800,099
Shares:  1st Place - $144,018; 2nd Place - $86,411; 3rd Place - $54,407
 
2008 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Justin Hicks *269Greg Owen271
Casey Wittenberg269Aron Price271
Garrett Osborn270Matt Every271
Peter Tomasulo270Gibby Gilbert III271
Hunter Haas271Four players at272

* - Won in Playoff

 
Past Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008*Justin Hicks (269) -- Casey Wittenberg

* - Won in Playoff

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2008
Justin HicksWon
Garrett OsbornT-3
Matt EveryT-5
Hunter HaasT-5
Bubba DickersonT-14
Chris TidlandT-14
Cameron PercyT-34
Garth MulroyT-51
Bryan DeCorsoT-60
Kevin Johnson63rd
Roger TambelliniT-64
Jason Enloemc
Vance Veazeymc
Steven Alker---
Justin Bolli---
Tom Gillis---
Jeff Gove---
Martin Piller---
Alex Prugh---
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Alex Prugh
Darkhorse - Cameron Percy
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kevin Johnson) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Josh Broadaway) - Missed the cut
 
NOTES:
The Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic begins this week in Ontario, Canada. Seven of the top-eight players on the Nationwide Tour money list are in the field this week. Only money leader Michael Sim is not in the field. Kevin Johnson, who is second on the money list, will be looking for his third win of the season and a promotion to the PGA Tour. This event will be played on two courses, The Georgian Bay Club and the Raven Golf Club at Lora Bay. The Georgian Bay Club is the host course.

In honor of tournament host Wayne Gretzky, who wore No. 99 during his outstanding National Hockey League career, the purse this week is $800,099, the third-largest purse of the season. The winner will receive $144,018.

Gretzky, whose nickname is "The Great One," is considered by most to be the greatest hockey player in history. He holds 40 regular-season NHL records, 15 playoff records and six all-star game records. Gretzky helped lead the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cup titles. He won nine Most Valuable Player awards and 10 scoring titles. Gretzky is the only NHL player to record more than 200 points in a season, which he accomplished four times. Gretzky's No. 99 is retired by the NHL, with no player on any team able to wear the number.

Last year, Justin Hicks parred the first playoff hole to defeat third-round leader Casey Wittenberg and win the Wayne Gretzky Classic. The win was Hicks' first on the Nationwide Tour. Wittenberg had a two-shot lead with two to play, but a bogey at the par-three 17th, coupled with a Hicks birdie tied the two with one to play. Both players parred 18 to set up the playoff. The pair returned to the par-five 18th where Wittenberg struggled. Hicks only needed a par for the win. The duo ended regulation at 16-under 269.

Hicks is in the field this week and will try to become the first player in Nationwide Tour history to successfully defend his title. Hicks has made six cuts in 14 events this year on the Nationwide Tour, with his best finish being a tie for 11th at The Rex Hospital Open in May. He is currently 80th on the Nationwide Tour money list with $32,068 in earnings.

The Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic will be the 10th Nationwide Tour event played in Canada. The Alberta Calgary Classic was played from 2003-05, the Canadian PGA Championship was held from 2001-05 and last year's inaugural Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic.

The group of Canadian players in the field this week includes Bryan DeCorso, Brad Fritsch, David Hearn, Ian Leggatt, David Morland IV and Jim Rutledge. Celebrities playing in the pro-am this week include: Charles Barkley, Janet Jones-Gretzky, Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Ed Jovanoski and Darren Pang.

The Nationwide Tour travels to Omaha, Nebraska in two weeks for the Cox Classic, where Ryan Hietala captured the 2008 event.

07/07 17:24:19 ET

As of July 7, 2009, at 05:24 PM ET

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