Clearwater Classic returns for second year
BY Bruce Young | Web.com Tour | 2003 Clearwater Classic | Preview | 04 Mar 2003
The Clearwater Classic returns for its second year and with a successful first staging in 2002 on which to draw, the tournament can now establish itself as a key event on the Australasian PGA Tour for years to come. Last year Australian Peter O’Malley won comfortably over Brad Ott with Rich Barcelo in third.
The golf course was opened officially a week after the tournament and, like so many other times, the course was placed under significant pressure to be ready for the inaugural event. Designed by New Zealander Sir Bob Charles, the course is part of a substantial resort and residential development 20 minutes from the CBD of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island.
As was the case last week in Adelaide at the Jacob’s Creek Open, the tournament is co-sanctioned with the Nationwide Tour (ex Buy.com) and a victory provides the opportunity for many of the Australaisan Tour players to gain immediate access to the Nationwide Tour. Alex Cjeka, Joel Kribel and Steve Alker all figured prominently here last year and are now fully-fledged members of the US PGA Tour.
Leading golfers involved this week include Peter O’Malley, Greg Turner, David Smail, Nick O’Hern, Joe Ogilvie (2003 Jacob’s Creek winner), Mahal Pearce, Peter Senior, Andre Stoltz and Bradley Hughes.
The purse is $1,200,000 New Zealand dollars.