The PGA Tour’s Fall Series continues this week with the Viking Classic at Annandale GC in Madison Mississippi. Will MacKenzie defends the title.
Originally known as the Magnolia State Classic, this tournament began life in 1968. Until 1993 the event was hosted by Hattiesburg Country Club but since then, it’s been contested at Annandale Golf Club. Over the past two seasons the event has failed to attract the Tour’s biggest names as it’s been scheduled in the same week as The President’s Cup then the Ryder Cup. This year a stronger field has assembled. In fact, there are nine Major winners on the start list including local boy David Toms, Ben Curtis and David Duval. Last week’s winner Troy Matteson will be looking to continue his good run of form and defending champion Will MacKenzie will be hoping to improve on his 131st position on the PGA Tour money list.
Last season MacKenzie took his first PGA Tour title at Annandale, coming through a playoff against Marc Turnesa and Brian Gay.
Venue: Annandale GC, Mississippi
Date: October 29 – November 1
Course stats: par 72, 7,199 yards
Purse: $3,700,000 Winner: $660,000
Defending Champion: Will MacKenzie (-19)
Thursday 22 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 6.30pm
Friday 23 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 6.30pm
Saturday 24 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 6.30pm
Sunday 25 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 7.30pm
Chad Campbell – The 2007 winner is in reasonable form and he has an excellent record at Annandale. He’ll surely be in the mix on Sunday afternoon.
David Toms – Tied eighth here last year and he only lives a short distance from the course. He’s climbed 81 places on the World Ranking this season and a win here would cap an excellent year.
Troy Matteson – Last week’s winner will aim to carry that form through to this week. He was tied 14th in this event last year.
Key hole: 18th. A par 5 of 532 yards, water is in play for every shot on this hole. It’s a hole that will witness a number of birdies and more than the odd eagle through the course of the week as it’s easily reachable in two for the majority of the field.
Skills required: Dealing with the pressure. There are a number of players fighting for their 2010 PGA Tour playing privileges for whom a win at the Viking Classic would be massive. Expect some jitters over the closing holes.