Nationwide Tip Sheet: Panama Championship

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson ( Tracy Wilcox )

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Nationwide Tour kicks off in Central America this week with the Panama Claro Championship. Here's a look at who the Golfweek Fantasy experts are keeping an eye on.

Rank Winner Sleeper
Martin Mark Anderson

Anderson, a second-year Nationwide Tour player out of South Carolina, intentionally skipped Q-School so he could get another year of seasoning on this tour. That means two things: unlike some players, he's happy to be here, and he's fresh after avoiding Q-School's grind. Anderson, who finished fourth at last year's Panama Claro Championship, finished 10th last week in an eGolf Professional Tour event. That's an impressive showing for someone who hadn't played a tournament since last October's Nationwide Tour Championship.

Rob Oppenheim

Oppenheim finished 16th last year in Panama, and has been in great form lately. Oppenheim finished fifth and 11th in the final two events of 2010, then finished third on the money list of the Hooters Tour's Winter Series, one of the few competitive outlets during the offseason. In seven Hooters events, Oppenheim won twice and was runner-up in another event.

Lavner Roberto Castro

Despite limited opportunities last season, the 25-year-old Castro turned 12 starts into $106,756, good for 62nd on the Nationwide money list. Now with full status, Panama will be the start of his breakout year.

Scott Gardiner

He failed to secure a Tour card by $2,100 – he was No. 26 on the 2010 Nationwide money list – and who knows, maybe he’s inspired by his near-miss?

Piehowski James Hahn

Hahn narrowly missed a PGA Tour card in 2010, finishing 29th on the money list after a T-11 showing at the Tour Championship. He played well in Panama last year, but was done-in by a final-round 75.

Rob Oppenheim

Oppenheim had a pair of top 10s last year and made 15 cuts on the Nationwide circuit. His game is in good shape after a slew of high finishes on the Hooters Tour Winter Series. readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.