Owen to turn over new stone in stars' absence

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The Independent Online

England's Greg Owen will be one of the players out to take advantage of the absence of the stars at this week's Turning Stone Resort Championship in New York. The tournament clashes with the main event in Akron, Ohio featuring Woods and Co, but it still boasts a prize fund of $4m with $720,000 (£450,000) on offer for the winner – money Owen could certainly do with as he tries to keep his PGA Tour card for next season.

Owen lies 174th on the money list, with only the top 125 at the end of the season retaining their playing rights for 2011. But the 38-year-old will have to improve after missing the cut in four of his last five events and being disqualified from the other, the John Deere Classic, when his playing partner failed to sign his scorecard.

Owen qualified for the US Tour at the end of 2004 and became the first rookie to earn more than $1m when he retained his card in 2005. However, he is probably best remembered for throwing away victory in the Bay Hill Invitational in 2006 when he played the last two holes in three over par.

American Matt Kuchar will not defend his title after earning entry at Akron instead, but the man he beat in a six-hole play-off 12 months ago, Vaughn Taylor, will compete at Atunyote Golf Club.

"It took me a little while to kind of get over it, but at the same time it helped me lock up my card and it was a good thing," said Taylor of the play-off, which saw two holes completed on Sunday before darkness forced play to be suspended and completed on Monday.

"Coming into this year I've felt a lot better because of the play-off. It's been a positive. I still think about it every now and then, wishing I had a shot or two over again, but that's the way it goes."

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