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25 players to watch

Keep an eye on these competitors when the Nationwide Tour comes to Southern California for the inaugural Soboba Classic at the Country Club at Soboba Springs from October 1-4.

BY ELI MILLERPublished: September, 2009

Torrance native Chris Tidland is headed back to the PGA Tour in 2010 (PHOTO: Getty Images).
1. Chris Tidland. A Nationwide Tour veteran, Tidland notched his first career win last year at the Boise Open, although that wasn’t enough to earn him a finish inside the top 25 on the money list. However, the Torrance native will be back on the PGA TOUR in 2010 thanks to a win at this season’s
Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open.

2. Kevin Johnson.
Nobody has recorded more Nationwide Tour victories than Johnson, whose total of six is tied for the most all time with Sean Murphy, Matt Gogel and Jason Gore. The 42-year-old Johnson has enjoyed a career renaissance in 2009 — after making just six of 36 cuts during the ’07 and ’08 seasons, he has won twice in ’09, each time in a sudden-death playoff.

3. Roger Tambellini. Tambellini boasts deep California ties, growing up in Atascadero and playing on the men’s golf team at USC during the 1990s. One of the tallest players on the Nationwide Tour at 6-foot-3, the 34-year-old notched his third career win on the circuit earlier this year at the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic Presented by Samsung.

4. Rich Barcelo. More than 10 years of toil paid off for Barcelo this season, when he notched his first career Nationwide Tour victory at July’s Cox Classic Presented by Lexus of Omaha. Though Barcelo now makes his living on the links, the Long Beach native was an accomplished basketball and baseball player growing up (he played in the 1986 Little League World Series).

5. Jeff Gove. The former golfer at Pepperdine University and current San Diego County resident is one of the top ballstrikers on the Nationwide Tour, as he’s routinely among the circuit leaders in greens hit in regulation. Gove has a solid chance of attaining a 2010 PGA TOUR card thanks to five top-10 finishes prior to July.


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ALSO SEE:

Nationwide Tour returns to Southern California for inaugural Soboba Classic


Buy tickets for the Soboba Classic