NATIONWIDE - Utah Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, September 10th through Sunday, September 13th
SITE: Willow Creek Country Club, Sandy, Utah
COURSE ARCHITECT: Henry Hughes (1957), Damian Pascuzzo (2004)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 6,953
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 544 Yds0 - Par 5 591 Yds
2 - Par 3 214 Yds1 - Par 3 242 Yds
3 - Par 5 547 Yds2 - Par 5 575 Yds
4 - Par 4 469 Yds3 - Par 4 382 Yds
5 - Par 3 189 Yds4 - Par 4 387 Yds
6 - Par 4 436 Yds5 - Par 3 172 Yds
7 - Par 3 213 Yds6 - Par 4 388 Yds
8 - Par 4 421 Yds7 - Par 5 581 Yds
9 - Par 4 404 Yds8 - Par 3 196 Yds
35 3,437 Yds36 3,516 Yds
Annual:  11th
Television:  Golf Channel -- Thursday/Friday -- 6:30-8:30 p.m. (et),
  Saturday -- 6:30-9:30 p.m. (et),
  Sunday -- 7-9:30 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Brendon Todd
Runner-Up:  J.Klauk, W.J.Lee, R.Hietala, M.Leishman, B.Smock, K.Thompson
Tournament Record:  262 (Brendon Todd, 2008)
54-Hole Record:  195 (Brendon Todd, 2008)
36-Hole Record:  127 (David Sutherland, 2001)
Course Record:  63 (Mark Hensby, 2000; Joe Daley, David Sutherland, 2001;
  Scott Gump, 2003; Franklin Langham, Craig Lile,
  Matt Weibring, 2007; David Branshaw, Rob Grube,
  Marc Leishman, Michael Putnam, 2008)
Total Purse:  $550,000
Shares:  1st Place - $99,000; 2nd Place - $59,400; 3rd Place - $37,400
2008 Finish
Brendon Todd262Brian Smock268
Jeff Klauk268Kyle Thompson268
Won Joon Lee268Six players at269
Ryan Hietala268
Marc Leishman268
Past Utah Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008Brendon Todd (262) -- Jeff Klauk, Won Joon Lee, Ryan Hietala,
Marc Leishman, Brian Smock, Kyle Thompson
2007Franklin Langham (264) -- Richard Johnson
2006Craig Kanada (272) -- Gavin Coles, Ken Duke, Bryce Molder,
Michael Putnam
2005Garrett Willis (275) -- Kris Cox, Brian Henninger, Matthew Goggin
2004Brett Wetterich (272) -- Ryuji Imada, Franklin Langham
2003Zach Johnson (267) -- Bobby Gage
2002#Arron Oberholser (202) -- Doug Barron, Brian Claar
2001David Sutherland (272) -- Danny Briggs
2000Andrew Morse (269) -- John Riegger
1999Carl Paulson (266) -- Craig Bowden, Marco Gortana

# - Weather Shortened

Note:Formerly called Utah Classic (1999-2002), Envirocare Utah Classic
(2003-05), Utah EnergySolutions Championship (2006-07).

Top Contenders in the Field
Brendon Todd---------------Won
Kyle ThompsonT-65---T-63mcmcT-2
Ryan Hietala---T-23T-11---mcT-2
Brian Smock------mc------T-2
Won Joon Lee---------------T-2
Darron Stiles---T-23---T-13mcT-14
Jimmy WalkerT-8T-36------mcT-19
Justin Hicks------------T-61T-33
Colt Knost---------------T-53
Chris TidlandT-51T-23T-14---T-5mc
Garrett Willis------WonmcT-40mc
Craig Kanada---mc---Won---mc
Brendon de Jonge---mcT-5T-6---mc
Kevin Johnsonwdmcmcmcmcmc
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Brendon De Jonge
Darkhorse - Jeff Gallagher
Last Week's Pick to Win (Henrik Bjornstad) - Finished tied for 7th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Brad Fritsch) - Missed the cut
The Nationwide Tour travels to the Beehive State this week for the Utah Championship. Six of the top-10 players on the money list are playing this week. Kevin Johnson will be trying to win for the third time this year, which would give him a promotion to the PGA Tour. Money leader Michael Sim has already won three times in 2009 and earned a trip to the PGA Tour.

Last year, Brendon Todd capped off four sparkling rounds of golf with a four- under 67 in the final round to claim his first Nationwide Tour win at the Utah Championship. Todd finished the tournament at 22-under-par 262, comfortably ahead of a group of six players who tied for second place six shots back.

Todd will try to become the first player in Nationwide Tour history to successfully defend his title this week. Todd earned his PGA Tour card for 2009 by finishing 19th on the 2008 Nationwide Tour money list. He is playing this week because he did not qualify for the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup. Todd finished 181th on the FedExCup points list. He made only five cuts in 18 events this year on the PGA Tour, with his best finish being a tie for 12th at the St. Jude Classic in June.

In 2006, Craig Kanada only posted a one-under 71 in the final round, but it was enough to earn his first Nationwide Tour victory at this event. He finished at 16-under-par 272 and won by a single stroke over Gavin Coles, Ken Duke, Bryce Molder and Michael Putnam. The win was Kanada's first on the Nationwide Tour, a circuit he first played on in 1991. He made 212 starts on the tour and 58 more on the PGA Tour and finally broke into the winner's circle.

Willow Creek Country Club has hosted this event since its inception in 1999. Six of the 10 winners of this event were first-time champions on the Nationwide Tour. Arron Oberholser, Zach Johnson, Brett Wetterich and Langham were the exceptions. Oberholser won earlier in 2002 in Canada; Johnson won in April of 2003; Wetterich won the 2003 Louisiana Open; and Langham had already won two times. Oberholser, Johnson and Wetterich have since titled on the PGA Tour. Johnson also became a major champion in 2007 when he won The Masters.

This is one of just six events remaining on the Nationwide Tour schedule prior to the season-ending Tour Championship. The tour moves to Idaho next week for the Albertsons Boise Open, where Chris Tidland captured the title last year.

09/08 16:48:24 ET

As of September 8, 2009, at 04:48 PM ET
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