Roger Tambellini Wins Gretzky Classic; Gretzky Speaks on Tour, Sponsors
Wayne Gretzky's second annual Nationwide Tour golf tournament finished Sunday with Roger Tambellini earning the victory with a 20-under 265 score, taking the $144,018 prize purse and the coveted Gretzky champion's ring.
Canadian Olympian Catriona Le May Doan took the celebrity title in a scorecard playoff with a 42-under 243 score, edging out tournament host Wayne Gretzky, to win the keys to a brand new 2010 Ford Mustang. Cassie Campbell finished third with a 40-under 245.
The Amateur title went to Steve Nicklaus, son of golf legend Jack Nicklaus, who shot a 39-under, 246 winning a brand new 2010 Ford Taurus.
"Congratulations to Roger, Catriona and Steve—they all played an impressive couple of rounds this week," said Wayne Gretzky.
"Catriona put the pressure on and made it tough to keep up—we'll hope for a rematch next year."
As with the 2008 event, celebrities drew large crowds during the first two rounds, with notable names not making the cut including Charles Barkley, Brett Hull, Todd Bertuzzi, Donovan Bailey, Damon Allen, Mike Keenan, Janet Gretzky, and many others.
Also making a massive contribution was the local community, as more than 700 volunteers rallied around the event, providing support on the course and through hospitality, security and transportation responsibilities.
"Last year, we were overwhelmed with the support from the friends, volunteers and local communities," said Wayne Gretzky.
"There was no way we could have hoped for more this year but we have been completely blown away, with more people helping us make this event something special."
As the 15th of 29 events of the 2009 Nationwide Tour season, fans were treated to some of golf's next "great ones," as the pros competed at the mid-way point of their season.
The Nationwide Tour's top 25 earn a spot in the PGA Tour next year.
"The Nationwide Tour is thrilled to come back to Canada this year," said Jim Duncan, Nationwide Tour tournament director.
"The fans, staff and community made this a very popular event for players in 2008, and this year is no different. The courses are in perfect shape and the players really love competing here."
Wayne Gretzky also acknowledged the generosity of the many corporate sponsors who made the financial commitments to the event during difficult economic times.
"This event couldn't happen without the support of our sponsors," he said.
"It's been a very humbling experience to see their commitment to helping make this tournament great. I can't thank them enough."
Proceeds from the tournament go to the Wayne Gretzky Foundation whose mission it is to provide less fortunate youth with the opportunity to experience the sport of hockey.
This year, the event gave back to the community as well when local charities were given the opportunity to sell tickets to the event, taking in 50 percent of the revenues for their own causes.
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