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Dec. 7, 2004

Columbia, SC – If playing among the world’s top golfers wasn’t enough, how about playing beside your Dad among the world’s top golfers? Carolina redshirt freshman David Kite joined his father, Tom Kite, on the links in Orlando this past weekend for the annual Office Depot Father-Son Challenge. The twosome finished tied for third at -19 (125 in two rounds).

This is the fifth year the Kite’s have played in the Challenge, finishing fourth in 2003 and third their first year.

After finishing fourth in 2003, the Kite’s wanted it all – the title. David Kite talked about that prior to the tournament:

“This is our fifth year playing. We’ve always had a good time,” said the younger Kite. “We talk a lot during the tournament about different shots, but ultimately how we shoot is up to each one of us. We might talk about different options and because of that, it’s a real learning experience for me each time.

“This tournament helps because you have some nerves playing with the best in the world. You learn to deal with the pressure,” said Kite. “Because I am away at college I don’t see my Dad as much as I did when I was younger so it’s just a nice time to be together on the course. There are some excellent father-son teams. Each year there is something different that happens, something that will stick out in my mind as a special memory. I know this year will be no different.”

Who beat the Kites? Larry and Drew Nelson combined for a 13-under-par 59 on Sunday to win their first title at the Father/Son Challenge. They finished the two-day, scramble event at 25-under-par 119, which was good for a three-shot win over Bob and David Charles.

A unique event in golf reserved for fathers who have won major championships and their sons, This year there were two exceptions as Arnold Palmer was once again playing with his grandson Sam Saunders and Lee Janzen was playing with Aaron Stewart, the son of the late Payne Stewart. Saturday’s action was in a scramble format, while better-ball was on tap for Sunday.

The Nelson’s two-day total of 25-under-par 119 matched the tournament record. Raymond and Ray Floyd, Jr. set the mark in 1995 and was later equaled by the Charles’ in 1998 and Jack and Gary Nicklaus and Raymond and Robert Floyd in 1999.

Curtis and Thomas Strange fired the first 59 at Champions Gate Resort. They tied for third place with Jerry and Wesley Pate (64), the Kites (62), Raymond and Ray Floyd, Jr. (62) and Bill and Ben Rogers (61). The group was knotted at 19-under-par 125.

The Nelson duo started with three consecutive birdies, but it was not enough to keep their lead. The Charles family birdied nine holes in a row from the second.

The Nelsons answered. They tallied birdies at five and eight, then went on a birdie tear of their own. Larry Nelson sank a 20-foot birdie putt at the 11th, then rattled three more in a row, culminated in a 6-footer by Drew Nelson. That birdie at 14 gave them a lead they would not relinquish.

The Nelsons tallied two more birdies at 15 and 16 for six in a row. Drew Nelson hit a pitching wedge to 10 feet to set up birdie at 17. Drew Nelson closed with a 15-foot birdie putt on the last to polish off eight birdies in a row, a back-nine 27 and a tournament-record-tying total.

Dave and Ronnie Stockton shot a 61 in the final round and took eighth place at 18-under-par 126. Vijay and Qass Singh (62) and Bernhard and Stefan Langer (65) shared ninth place at minus-16.

Lee and Rick Trevino posted a 9-under 63 on Sunday and took 11th at 15-under-par 129.

The defending champions, Hale and Steve Irwin, carded a final-round 65 and tied for 12th with the only two non father/son teams. Arnold Palmer and his grandson Sam Saunders (65) and Lee Janzen and Aaron Stewart (66), son of the late Payne Stewart, joined the Irwin family at 14-under-par 130.

Lanny and Travis Wadkins (65) came in 15th at 12-under-par 132, followed by Craig Stadler, who was named 2004 Champions Tour Player of the Year on Sunday, and his son Chris. The Stadlers finished at minus-10.


Pos. Player FINAL Thru Overall R1 R2
1. Nelson (Larry & Drew) -13 18 -25 60 59
2. Charles (Bob & David) -12 18 -22 62 60
3. Kite (Tom & David) -10 18 -19 63 62
3. Floyd(Raymond &,Jr.) -10 18 -19 63 62
3. Pate (Jerry & Wesley) -8 18 -19 61 64
3. Rogers (Bill & Ben) -11 18 -19 64 61
3. Strange (Curtis & Dav.) -13 18 -19 66 59
8. Stockton (Dave & Ron) -11 18 -18 65 61
9. Langer (Bernhard & Stef.) -7 18 -16 63 65
9. Singh (Vijay & Qass) -10 18 -16 66 62
11. Trevino (Lee & Rick) -9 18 -15 66 63
12. Irwin (Hale & Steve) -7 18 -14 65 65
12. Janzen (Lee & A.Stewart) -6 18 -14 64 66
12. Palmer (Arnold & Sam) -7 18 -14 65 65
15. Wadkins (Lanny & Travis) -7 18 -12 67 65
16. Stadler (Craig & Chris) -5 18 -10 67 67