Chris Nallen Wins Titleist Longest Drive Contest And Ping Putting Contest At The 2003 Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic

Nov. 24, 2003

EL PASO, Texas - Chris Nallen made his mark on Sunday, the Arizona senior captured top honors in the Titleist Longest Drive Contest and the Ping Putting Contest at the 2003 Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic held at the El Paso Country Club.

Each year the Golf Classic opens with these two events, followed by a sponsors round at the El Paso Country Club.

Nallen, a native of Hackettstown, N.J., launched his third drive 346 yards, shattering the previous record of 332 set by Washington's Brock Mackenzie last year. In all, four golfers recorded drives of 332 or better in the tournament - Nallen (346), Toledo's Brad Heaven (339), UCLA's Travis Johnson (335) and Georgia's David Denham (332).

In the Ping Putting Contest, Nallen carded a 22 in the nine-hole event to edge out a trio of competitors at 23 - James Vargas (Florida), Jason Hartwick (Texas) and Eirik Johansen (South Carolina).

The 29th Annual Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic begins play Monday at 7:30 a.m. at the El Paso Country Club.

This year's tournament features seven Palmer Cup players and three Walker Cup players, as well as 2001 Golf Classic Champion Brad Heaven (Toledo). Hartwick, Mackenzie, Nallen and Heaven are making their third straight appearance in the event, becoming the 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd players to appear in the tournament three times.

The tournament, hosted by the Sun Bowl Association, is played at the Par-71, 6,781-yard El Paso Country Club.

Throughout the years, many Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic competitors have gone on to pursue successful careers in the Professional Golfers' Association of America and on the PGA Tour. Some of the past champions include Ricky Barnes (2000), Notah Begay (1994), David Duval (1991), Matt Kuchar (1999), Davis Love III (1984), Jerry Pate (1974) and Tiger Woods (1995).

Each university is awarded a $1,000 scholarship if a golfer from that school competes in the tournament.

Titleist Longest Drive Contest

1. Chris Nallen, Arizona, 346 yards; 2. Brad Heaven, Toledo, 339 yards; 3. Travis Johnson, UCLA, 335; 4. David Denham, Georgia, 332 yards; 5. (tie) Eirik Johansen, South Carolina, and Ryan Moore, UNLV, 330 yards; 7. David Schultz, TCU, 329; 8. Zach Doran, Ohio State, 328 yards; 9. Peter Tomasulo, California, 326 yards; 10. Chris Stroud, Lamar, 325 yards.

Ping Putting Contest

1. Chris Nallen, Arizona, 22; 2. (tie) James Vargas, Florida, Jason Hartwick, Texas, and Eirik Johansen, South Carolina, 23; 5. (tie) David Schultz, TCU, Brad Heaven, Toledo, Andrew Dahl, Arkansas, Michael Putnam, Pepperdine, David Inglis, Tulsa, Chris Baryla, UTEP, and Brock Mackenzie, Washington, 25.

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