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Scoring to change for ’02 Showdown

SHARE Scoring to change for ’02 Showdown

As usual, next month's Novell Utah Showdown will feature a top-notch field with the likes of Larry Nelson, Bruce Fleisher, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriguez and perhaps Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin.

Those golfers, along with defending champion Doug Tewell, will be on hand for the Aug. 17-19 tournament, which will be the 20th anniversary of the Senior PGA Tour event in Utah.

Tewell was at Park Meadows Country Club Monday to talk to media, sponsors and volunteers and give a brief clinic. He talked about his recollections of last year's two-shot win over his Oklahoma neighbor Gil Morgan but said his most vivid memory was getting to play with Arnold Palmer in the first round.

After nervously double-bogeying the first hole, he settled down to shoot a 67 and follow it with a pair of 66s and win the $217,500 check.

"I've only played here one year, but so far my experience has been wonderful," said Tewell. "This is a marvelous place and the players love to come here."

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of Monday's Media Day concerned next year's tournament.

Tournament director Bryan Naugle announced that the 2002 tournament will be played under the Stableford scoring system. That's the same system used at The International tournament at Castle Pines, Colo. The scoring puts a premium on birdies and eagles with two points given for every birdie and five for an eagle with minus one for bogeys and minus three for double bogeys or worse.

"We want to differentiate ourselves from the others," said Naugle. "A lot of interesting things can happen in this format. It lends itself well to our back nine. We're looking forward to it."

Naugle, a former Senior PGA official, said he actively recruits players to come to the Showdown and expects most of the aforementioned players to come this year. He said Nicklaus has the Showdown on his schedule, but won't make a final commitment until shortly before the tournament.

E-MAIL: sor@desnews.com