Thursday, October 7, 2010

POY Thompson Leads Current Members Into Busy Week On PGA Nationwide Tours

News >> POY Thompson Leads Current Members Into Busy Week On PGA Nationwide Tours
Eleven Current Members in McGladrey, Chattanooga Classics
Longs, S.C.—If you’re starting to get cabin fever for NGA/Hooters Tour action, you can get your fix this weekend. No, the 2011 season isn’t starting early, but the fields for the Nationwide Tour’s Chattanooga Classic and the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic are eerily similar to past and present NGA pairings.
In the Chattanooga Classic, more than half the field is current or former NGA/Hooters Tour players, while current members Chase Baldwin and Michael O’Neal lead a pack of nearly 60 former players in the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic.
Thanks to winning the NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year, Michael Thompson will be one of the nine current members playing on the Nationwide Tour this weekend. The former University of Alabama golfer finished the 2010 season with six top-10 finishes, four top-5 showings and his first win en route to the POY award. As a reward for his stellar campaign, Thompson received an exemption into the Chattanooga Classic, a free GM vehicle lease for a year, free membership into Bridgestone Winter Series and his PGA Q-School fee reimbursed by the NGA/Hooters Tour.
But Thompson won’t be the only 2010 season award-winner in the field. Will Wilcox, the 2010 NGA Rookie of the Year, was able to get through Monday qualifying. Wilcox shot 68 to make it into the event. NGA member Nick Rousey also made it through the qualifier, firing a 67 at Bear Trace. NGA/Hooters Tour member Matt Savage was the medalist in Monday qualifying, shooting 65 at Cleveland Country Club.
While the aforementioned group looks to gain experience on the Nationwide Tour, NGA members Joe Affrunti, Travis Bertoni, Roberto Castro and Rob Oppenheim are aiming to secure their Nationwide Tour cards for 2011. With just a handful of events left, all four are inside the top 60 on the money standings.
The Chattanooga Classic has long been a stepping stone for former NGA Hooters Tour players. Past champions include NGA/Hooters Tour alumni Justin Bolli, Jason Bohn and Ron Whittaker.
On the PGA Tour, 2010 members Chase Baldwin and Michael O’Neal were both able to make it through the Monday qualifier for the McGladrey Classic. Baldwin shot 7-under 64, with a bogey-free round, to win the qualifier at Sanctuary Cove, while O'Neal shot 67 and advanced through a playoff.
Former NGA/Hooters Tour players have won 10 times on the PGA Tour this season and 11 times on the Nationwide Tour.
The NGA/Hooters Tour is the 3rd largest men’s 72-hole professional golf tour in the country behind the PGA and Nationwide Tours and boasts an impressive list of alumni.
Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open Champion; Lucas Glover, the 2009 US Open Champion; Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters Champion; Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA Champion; Ben Curtis, winner of the 2003 British Open; Jim Furyk, winner of the 2003 US Open; Lee Janzen, a two-time US Open winner; John Daly, a British Open and PGA Champion; Tom Lehman, winner of the British Open; David Toms, a past PGA Champion; Chad Campbell, the 2003 Tour Championship winner; Vaughn Taylor, a two-time Reno Tahoe Open winner; and Craig Perks, winner of the TPC, tested their mettle on the NGA Hooters Tour before tasting success on golf’s grandest stage.
All told, the NGA/Hooters Tour’s alumni have an incredible 12 “Majors” to their credit. The NGA Hooters Tour has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA, Senior PGA, and Nationwide Tour cards. In fact, 48% of the players that earned their 2010 PGA Tour card, and 53% of the players that earned full exempt status on the Nationwide Tour started their careers on the NGA/Hooters Tour.
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