Veazey makes flying start to 2005 Nationwide Tour
BY Bruce Young | Web.com Tour | 2005 BellSouth Panama Championship | Wrap | 31 Jan 2005
Vance Veazy’s win at the Nationwide Tour’s opening event of the 2005 season, has him on track for a return to the PGA Tour in 2005. It is certainly early to be making that prediction, but he has a jump start already on those with whom he will compete in 2005, the victory and the accompanying US$94,000 taking him just under halfway to what will be the likely US$200,000 needed to make the grade in 2005.
Veazey is one of the many players on the Nationwide Tour who have tasted the highlife on the USPGA Tour and wants to get back. The two times he has been there however he has struggled when playing at the higher level. In 1998 he made just six cuts in twenty nine events and in 2003 he would make just eight in twenty six events. On both occasions he had gained access to the PGA Tour via Tour School and that despite the fact that he had been twice a winner on the Nationwide Tour.
Veazey played the Nationwide Tour in 2004 and in his last eight events he missed six cuts hardly telegraphing what was to come in 2005.
His opening 65 here at the demanding Panama Golf Club in Panama City in Panama set up the victory and when he added a 66 on Saturday, everything was in place on Sunday to record his third victory on the Nationwide Tour.
It was a rollercoaster ride for Veazey on day four however, his double bogey at the second followed by four birdies in the next six holes, then three bogeys in four holes from the 10th, another bogey at the 16th then a birdie at the 17th which would prove to be the telling blow.
He held off the brilliant Colombian, Camilo Villegas who led, then faded and then came again late in his round to share second with PGA Tour veteran Jim McGovern, Jon Mills and Shane Bertsch.
Villegas at this stage is qualified only to play the Australasian Tour in 2005, but such is his talent that it would not surprise if he won somewhere to leapfrog his way onto a more extensive tour. He is without doubt one of the most exciting young players in the world with a collegiate and amateur career to match. Villegas has starts in Australia at the Heineken Classic and the Holden New Zealand Open by virtue of a good week at the Australian Open last year when 13th.
New Zealander Steve Alker, who contended for much of the week was 7th and Cameron Percy the only other Australasian to make the cut, was 51st.
The Nationwide Tour’s next event is in Australian in three weeks time at the Jacob’s Creek Open followed the following week by the New Zealand PGA Championship.