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Chrysler Classic of Greensboro 2004 - Event Preview

PGA Tour moves on to Greensboro

Former champion Davis Love III joined a growing list of withdrawals from the Greensboro Classic in North Carolina when he pulled out of the long-standing PGA Tour event citing fatigue.

Love, the 1992 winner who shares the course record of 62 with Mark O'Meara and Jeff Maggert, followed Sweden's Jesper Parnevik and Canada's Ian Leggatt, who withdrew earlier in the week.

"It's obviously a big blow," tournament director Mark Brazil told the Greensboro News-Record.

"I'm not going to say (ticket sales) won't be affected because, of course, they will. But the important thing is for Davis to get healthy and, if that means not competing in Greensboro, then that's what needs to be done."

While Love is missing, fellow American and Presidents Cup team mate Stewart Cink will tee off at the Forest Oaks Country Club, in what may be the event's final edition, fresh from the U.S. victory in last week's Presidents Cup.

Among the other big names in the hunt for this week's first prize of $828,000 are South Africa's Tim Clark and Australians Adam Scott and Peter Lonard, who will want to take some of the sting out their Cup defeat on Sunday.

The trio all played for the Internationals in the Presidents Cup at Lake Manassas, Virginia, where they lost to the U.S. by by 18-1/2 points to 15-1/2.

Also playing this week is world number six Sergio Garcia, who returns to the PGA Tour after a month's break having won the European Masters in Switzerland by a shot on his last start.

It will be the Spaniard's first visit to Forest Oaks and could well be his last with the historic tournament in danger of being dropped from the schedule when the PGA Tour, as is expected, overhauls its calendar at the end of this season.

Aside from the four major championships, Greensboro is the third oldest event on the PGA Tour, dating back to 1938 when the legendary Sam Snead won the first title.

Snead went on to win in Greensboro a record eight times, his last victory coming in 1965 when he became the oldest player at 52 to win a PGA Tour event.

Greensboro also showcased another slice of golf history last year when American Brent Geiberger recorded a two-shot win over Michael Allen.

Geiberger followed in the footsteps of his father Al, the 1976 winner, to make it the first time a father and son have won the same PGA Tour event.

Back-to-back titles, however, have been a rare thing in the tournament's history with Snead the only player to defend the Greensboro title. He did so twice -- in 1950 and 1956.

American Robert Gamez, who waited more than 15 years between PGA Tour titles before clinching the Texas Open in San Antonio on Sunday, will be bidding for a second success in a row.

Gamez claimed his first two PGA Tour victories in his rookie year, at the 1990 Tucson Open and Nestle Invitational, before sealing his third last week to set a tour record of 15 years six months between wins.

 

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