St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Chrysler event becomes easy drive

Clearwater's John Huston says he isn't surprised a lot of pros love the Copperhead course at the Westin Innisbrook Resort. He says this week's Chrysler Championship has become a great date on the tour.

BOB HARIG
Published October 25, 2004

LAKE BUENA VISTA - A number of players in the Funai Classic had an easy drive to Palm Harbor for this week's Chrysler Championship at the Westin Innisbrook Resort after completing play Sunday.

In fact, the top eight finishers, including winner Ryan Palmer , are committed to this week's tournament.

That is no surprise to Clearwater's John Huston , who won the Tampa Bay Classic at Innisbrook in 2000 and has played the Copperhead course for years.

"I think everybody loved the golf course, and a lot of guys already knew that from playing in the mixed-team (former JCPenney Classic)," said Huston, who finished tied for 10th Sunday. "I've heard it from a lot of guys. The tournament has a great date, and with the Tour Championship now in Atlanta every year, it really couldn't be better."

Tournament week activities get started today with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun pro-am. Among the pros scheduled to compete are Palmer, Fulton Allem , Niclas Fasth , Tommy Armour , Olin Browne and Greg Chalmers .

STILL SEARCHING: Briny Baird heard the roars, saw that someone got to 22 under and figured it was Vijay Singh . It was Palmer, a rookie competing in just his 34th PGA Tour event.

Palmer, who shot 62, went on to win, while Baird has gone 154 without a victory.

Baird fell three shots shy after 70, which must have felt like it was over par on a day when all but three of the top 20 finishers shot in the 60s.

"It's disappointing," Baird said. "I felt like I had a really, really good opportunity. You can't help when a guy shoots 62, but I felt like I left enough out there to at least get it to 22 (under) where Ryan was."

IN THE CLUTCH: Several players made moves Sunday that made a big difference on the money list. Former British Open champion Mark Calcavecchia shot 69 to tie for sixth and moved from 129th to 111th by earning $135,975. He has secured his playing card for next year because he has locked up a spot in the top 125. Billy Andrade moved from 126th to 121st. Lucas Glover might have done himself the most good as he shot 69 to tie for 10th, earning $93,100 and jumping from 143rd to 131st. Glover was the seventh alternate for the Chrysler Championship, but by virtue of his top 10, he will get in the field.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.