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Sports Talk: Langham climbing back to the top on the golf course

Franklin Langham, one of Thomson's favorite native sons, finished in sixth place in this past weekend's SAS Carolina Classic played at the TPC, Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, N.C. This finish was Franklin's fourth Top 10 finish on this year's Nationwide Tour. His score of 10 under par 274 was only three strokes off the tally of four others that decided the championship in a playoff.

The biggest news is that Langham's $18,900.00 in earnings this weekend moved him solidly into second place on the Nationwide Tour's 2004 money list. His total yearly earnings of $188,821.00 place him behind only Jimmy Walker's figure of $221,346.00.

The top 20 money winners on the Nationwide Tour earn their PGA tour cards for 2005. With only 10 of 31 events played, Langham is one of only 11 players with six-figure earnings so far. Simply by making the cut in as many of the remaining tournaments as he chooses to enter, Franklin's chance to return to the "big tour" next year is already practically ensured.

His four top 10 finishes tie him with three others for first place in that category to date. He won the Rheem Classic in Fort Smith, Arkansas in April and tied for second in the Henrico Co. Open in Richmond, Virginia two weeks ago. The Richmond event was covered closely by live television on the Golf Channel. Two more victories would also propel him back to the PGA tour during this season. His only PGA appearance this year was at the BellSouth Classic near Atlanta where he shot a two over par 290.

Since his Rheem Classic championship, Franklin has played 16 of his last 20 rounds with scores in the sixties. He was in contention to win the Chattanooga Classic until the final hole where he ran into some tough luck. He also experienced the mishap of inadvertently signing an incorrect scorecard at the end of this tournament. These scores would indicate that Franklin is well recovered from elbow surgery that once slowed his career and on a fast track back to the PGA.

Langham has been playing professionally since 1992. He and his wife Ashley have three sons, Parker, 7, Henry Carson, 4, and George Franklin, 2. His parents are Jimmy and Mary Langham, and he is a Thomson High School and University of Georgia graduate.

Web posted on Thursday, June 3, 2004

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