Top guns skipping Alberta

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

BRAGG CREEK -- This week's Alberta Classic will showcase some of the world's best golfers -- or will it?

With the Nationwide Tour event set to tee off today at Redwood Meadows, only three of the top-10 money leaders and five of the top-20 are in the 144-man field.

According to Canadian Jon Mills, who is No. 5 on the money list and will be one of the top-ranked players in the event, it's probably nothing more than a scheduling conflict.

"It's a shame that some guys feel that it's a good week to take off," said Mills, who is outranked by only Troy Matteson, who sits No. 2.

"After Calgary, we head down to Utah, California and out there in the west, so at least it's going west. I guess some people feel it's a bit of a hassle. Everyone has different schedules and some players just take the week off."

Some of the notable players not in attendance are Chris Couch, only one win away from earning his battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour. No. 10 Bubba Watson, one of the biggest strikers on the Nationwide Tour this year, has also taken the week off.

The chance of any player in the top-10 not earning their PGA promotion this season isn't likely. However, those hovering around No. 20 need all the rounds they can get. For instance, No. 19 Bill Haas, who's only $6,000 US ahead of No. 21 Jerry Smith and $4,000 in front of the 20th Nathan Green has decided to skip it.

Last year's Alberta Classic champion, David Hearn, of Brantford, Ont., will be taking part in the PGA's Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston, Mass., which starts today.


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