Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Michael Thompson Earns "Player of the Year" & "Most Improved Golfer" Awards

News >> Michael Thompson Earns Player Of The Year
Will Wilcox tabbed Rookie of the Year; Brent Long takes Golf Achievement Award
Longs, SC—The 2010 NGA Hooters Tour started with Mark Blakefield winning the Ocala Marion Sports Commission Classic and ended with Manuel Villegas winning the Woodcreek Classic. But in between, there was plenty to “Hoot” about.
In what can be best described as a season of parity, 16 different winners took home first-place paydays in the 18 tournaments. Only Blakefield and Matt Harmon won more than once this season. When parity is at a premium, it’s consistency that counts. And Player of the Year recipient Michael Thompson was as steady as they come this season.
The former University of Alabama golfer finished the season with six top-10 finishes, four top-5 showings and his first win on the NGA Hooters Tour. He also racked up $92,853 in winnings and accumulated tour-leading 3865 points en route to POY honors. 
As the winner of the Player of the Year award, Thompson will receive an exemption into the Nationwide Tour’s Chattanooga Classic, a free GM vehicle lease for a year, free membership into Bridgestone Winter Series and have his PGA Q-School fee reimbursed by the NGA Hooters Tour. However, the POY wasn’t the only accolade that Thompson secured this season. The former USGA Amateur runner-up also took home Most Improved Golfer.
During his rookie season in 2009, he missed seven of 14 cuts and only placed inside the top 10 on two occasions, a stark contrast to his award-winning 2010 campaign. After his rough-and-tumble debut, Thompson lowered his overall stroke average by nearly a full shot and his first round average by 1.44 in 2010.
But Thompson wasn’t the only Hooters Tour member to receive a post-season award. Will Wilcox took home Rookie of the Year honors, while Brent Long received the Golf Achievement award, presented each season to the golfer that best personifies the professional golfer.
In his first full season on the NGA Hooters Tour, Wilcox won the Savannah Lakes Village Classic and went on to amass over $62,000 in winnings in just 11 tournaments. His win at Savannah Lakes helped Wilcox earn an exemption on the Nationwide Tour through the “Race for the Fort Smith Classic Exemption,” secured by the NGA Hooters Tour. But playing on the Nationwide Tour wasn’t as far as Wilcox went in 2010.
Wilcox won the Monday Qualifier in Edmonton to get into the Canadian Tour event and finished 28th. Then, he received a Sponsors Exemption into the Dakota Dunes Open and promptly won the event. He followed that up with a fifth-place finish at the Players Cup, pushing him to third on the Order of Merit and earning him a berth in the PGA Tour’s Canadian Open.
After missing four out of five cuts to open the season, Long, of Carthage, Tenn., showed the persistence it takes to be a professional golfer. Long regrouped and finished in the money in eight of the final nine NGA Hooters Tour events to garner the Golf Achievement award.
While the players on the NGA Hooters Tour had plenty of successes, the Tour itself also had another banner year. In 2010, the NGA Hooters Toursecured six Nationwide Tour exemptions for its players. Current NGA player Russell Knox made the most of his exemption. In the Knoxville News Sentinel Open, the former Jacksonville University player closed with a Sunday 66 to finish T7. Knox wasn’t the only NGA member to fair well on the Nationwide Tour this season.
Current members Joe Affrunti,Roberto Castro, Rob Oppenheim and Travis Bertoni are all in good position to secure their Nationwide Tour cards with their stellar play this season. In addition, former NGA players have 10 wins on the Nationwide Tour and nine victories on the PGA Tour this season, further solidifying the NGA Hooters Tour place as the third largest men’s 72-Hole Professional Golf Tour in the country.
The NGAHooters Tour would like to congratulate Michael Thompson, Will Wilcox and Brent Long for their accomplishments this year as well as all the other players that competed this season. Also, golf fans don’t forget to follow your favorite NGAHooters Tour players as they try to make their dream of playing on the PGA Tour a reality in December at the final stage of PGA Tour Q-School. 
Via Hooters.com 

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