Chris Nallen Captures Wire-To-Wire Win At the 2003 Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic

Nov. 25, 2003

EL PASO, Texas - Chris Nallen played 54 holes of bogey-free golf to card a three-round total of 196, capturing medalist honors Tuesday at the 2003 Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic at the El Paso Country Club.

Nallen entered the final round at 13-under par and added four more birdies on Tuesday to finish the tournament at 17-under, tying the tournament record held by former Arizona teammate Ricky Barnes, who carded a 196 to capture the 2000 Golf Classic title.

Nallen also became the first golfer in the 29-year history of the tournament to win the Titleist Longest Drive Contest, the Ping Putting Contest and medalist honors. His six-stroke victory is the largest margin of victory since Utah State's Jay Don Blake won by six strokes over Oral Roberts' Joe Rassett in 1980.

'This is probably the best golf I have played ever,' said Nallen. 'Being put in Ricky's company is great.'

It was Nallen's thrid career victory at Arizona and his first since winning the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate in October 2002.

UNLV's Ryan Moore finished second after recorded three straight rounds in the 60s. Moore capped a pair of 67s on Monday with a 68 on Tuesday for an 11-under total.

'I hit the ball good today,' said Moore. 'I knew I had to make birdies, if I was going to catch Chris. He just played well today. It is hard to catch someone when they do not make a bogey.'

A trio of golfers tied for third at seven-under - David Inglis (Tulsa), David Schultz (TCU) and Travis Johnson (UCLA).

Arizona State sophomore Alejandro Canizares made the biggest climb up the board, after firing a field-low 65 on Tuesday. Canizares climbed from a tie for 15th to a tie for sixth in the finals standings at six-under.

The final round saw 23 of 26 players card par or better. For the tournament, the field fired a 69.92 stroke average, eclipsing the field record set in 1992. That year Central Florida's Robert Damron took medalist honors as the field averaged 70.69 strokes per round.

This year also marked the first time that 20 players were under par for the 54-hole tournament. The previous best mark came in 1992 and again 1997, when 16 players carded a three-round total under par.

The tournament, hosted by the Sun Bowl Association, is played at the Par-71, 6,781-yard El Paso Country Club. Each university is awarded a $1,000 scholarship if a golfer from that school competes in the tournament.

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