DAVIDSON – The professional golf world turns its eyes to River Run Country Club on Sept. 5-8, as the Web.com Tour’s Chiquita Classic makes its first trip to Davidson.
The event is the second leg of the four-tournament Web.com Tour Finals. Seventy-five players from the PGA Tour – those ranked 126-200 in FedEx Cup points – plus the Web.com Tour’s top 75 money earners are eligible. They’ll chase the $180,000 winner’s share of a $1 million purse, and one of 50 PGA Tour cards for next season.
The tournament is full of PGA Tour veterans, Web.com Tour regulars and past tournament winners. It’s got some local flavor, too.
Here are 10 players fans should pay attention to throughout the Chiquita Classic:
• Trevor Immelman: Made birdie on the 72nd hole to win the Hotel Fitness Championship, the Web.com Tour Finals opener, on Sept. 1. The 2008 Masters champion essentially has a Tour card locked up and can simply play for trophies and money now.
• Michael Putnam: Won the Web.com Tour money title and finished in a tie for seventh last week. His spot on the PGA Tour next year is already guaranteed.
• Robert Karlsson: One of three Charlotte residents (Mathew Goggin, Fernando Mechereffe) in the field. Karlsson had top-10 finishes in three of the PGA Tour’s four majors in 2008.
• Jonathan Byrd: Anderson, S.C. native was 2002 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. He's got five career Tour wins, but hasn't hoisted a trophy since the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January 2011.
• Sean O’Hair: Could be the first PGA golfer to complete a Mecklenburg County sweep. O’Hair won the Quail Hollow Championship (now Wells Fargo Championship) in 2009. He finished in a tie for 11th last week.
• Arron Oberholser: Battled hip and hand injuries since 2008, but finished in a tie for 18th last week. He’s played just four events in the past four years as he seeks a full-time return to the PGA Tour.
• Tom Hoge: Born in Statesville, Hoge boasts the closest geographical ties to the tournament. He’ll need a strong finish at River Run to keep up hope of gaining a Tour card for next season.
• Jason Gore: Seven-time Web.com Tour winner also has one PGA Tour victory, the 84 Lumber Classic in 2005. He was the Web.com Tour Player of the Year in 2005.
• Dicky Pride: This season marked the first time since 1999 that Pride earned full exempt status on the PGA Tour. He’s got one career win, the 1994 Federal Express St. Jude Classic. He missed the cut last week.
• Chad Campbell: Won the Tour Championship in 2003 and nearly captured The Masters in 2009 before losing on the first playoff hole.
Other notable players: Scott Dunlap, Russell Knox, Scott Gardiner, Kevin Kisner, Bud Cauley, Brandt Jobe, D.J. Trahan, John Peterson, Will Claxton and Hunter Haas.