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Former Arizona star grabs first win

10/10/2004 - Chris Nallen

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Chris Nallen completed a dominating
wire-to-wire victory in the Nationwide Tour's Gila River Classic on
Sunday, shooting a 1-under 71 for an eight-stroke victory over Troy
Matteson.
Nallen, the 22-year-old former University of Arizona star who
shot a 63 on Monday to earn a spot in his first Nationwide Tour
event, opened with a course-record 60 and added rounds of 66 and 67
en route to a 24-under 264 total.
He holed a 60-foot birdie chip on the final hole.
"It's awesome to finish that way and birdie the last hole,"
Nallen said. "I wanted to get it up there close and have a good
look at par. It was tracking the whole way, hit the pin and dropped
in. It was a great way to end."
Nallen, who earned $85,500 from the $475,000 purse, is the 17th
Monday qualifier to win in the 15-year history of the tour, the
10th player to win in his first career start and the 19th player to
lead from start to finish.
"It's pretty cool," Nallen said. "Everything went right this
week and that doesn't happen much. When it does, you just ride it
and enjoy it."
Matteson closed with a 70 on the Whirlwind Golf Club course.
Jason Schultz (70) was third at 15 under, and Matthew Jones (72)
and Kevin Stadler (76) tied for fourth at 13 under.