O Kanada: Nationwide Tour Championship in the Books

The Nationwide Tour Championship is in the books after concluding Sunday at the Houstonian Golf Club in Richmond, Texas. Even though the week' Cinderella story of Chris Baryla, who was in contention needing a victory to play on the TOUR next year, fell back after a two over 74, Craig Kanada fired a 6 under 66 to win. Kanada needed to have a strong finish to jump from 32nd on the Nationwide Tour's money list in order to come in the top 22. The Golf Channel's "If it ended now" statistic had Kanada's chances constantly jumping up and down.

Matt Kuchar's three stroke lead after round three was not enough after he shot a 73 to fall to third place. Andrew Buckle took second place one stroke back of Kanada. Boo Weekley, who started the day in second place, ended his chance at capturing the Tour's leading money winner by shooting a dismal 7 over 79. The top spot went to Ken Duke who fired a 5 under par 67 to surge up the leaderboard. Duke now has a full TOUR exemption and an entry into the PLAYERS Championship.

The final TOUR Card, given to the 22nd leading money winner on Tour, was Bryce Molder who narrowly held onto his card by staying nearly $6,000 better then Ricky Barnes. Jess Daley, who started the week on the final spot, unfortunately fell out and will likely play on the Nationwide Tour next year.

The PGA TOUR policy board will meet on Monday to consider giving 25 spots to the Nationwide Tour for the 2008 PGA TOUR season. The decision may have came from the success that the class of 2005 found as 12 members of the 20 graduates retained their TOUR cards. Eric Axley, Chris Couch, and Troy Matteson all won during the 2006 PGA TOUR season. Jason Gore, who earned a battlefield promotion during the 2005 season, won the 84 LUMBER Classic in 2005 during his first few weeks on TOUR.

The Nationwide, formerly the Nike and Ben Hogan Tour, has produced many great players. Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman, as well as players Jim Furyk and Chad Cambell, all played on the Nationwide Tour.

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