Heavy hitters turn out for annual event
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – August 28, 2012 – It’s been said time and time again that if you can compete on the NGA TOUR you can compete on any tour. The same thing could be said about players in the Woodcreek Classic sponsored by Cigna.
Over the past five years, players that contended for wins in the annual NGA TOUR event at The Members Club at Woodcreek and WildeWood have gone on to earn victories on the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour.
After competing in the 2010 Woodcreek Classic, Ted Potter Jr. played his way onto the Web.com Tour, where he racked up two wins and a PGA TOUR card in 2011. This season, Potter picked up his first PGA TOUR win in the Greenbrier Classic.
Scott Stallings, a 2008 NGA TOUR member, posted a top-5 finish in the Capitol Chevrolet & Hyundai Classic at Woodcreek and has earned two PGA TOUR victories since competing in Elgin, S.C.
Michael Thompson, who finished second at Woodcreek in 2010, went on to win NGA Tour Player of the Year and picked up his PGA Tour card through Q-school that season. Earlier this year, Thompson finished T2 at the U.S. Open.
Last year’s winner Adam Long has moved onto the Web.com Tour this season, as well as runner-up Stuart Anderson and third-place finisher Jeff Corr. In addition, Lee Williams, who finished T13 in 2011, earned his first Web.com Tour victory earlier this season.
But even with the high ascension rate of past competitors, this year’s field will still be full of some of the top talent this side of the PGA TOUR with every player inside the top 10 in NGA TOUR earnings competing this week at Woodcreek.
Brandon Brown of Shelbyville, Ky., currently leads the Tour in earnings and is having one of the most remarkable seasons in NGA history. The Eastern Kentucky alumnus has made 13 of 13 cuts, picked up 10 top-five finishes and earned his sixth career NGA TOUR victory earlier this season.
Joining Brown as a favorite this week will be David Skinns, a former University of Tennessee All-American from Lincoln, England. Skinns has a Tour-high three wins this season and is currently second in earnings. The former NGA TOUR Player of the Year will return to action this week after spending the last two weeks on the Web.com Tour.
In addition to Brown and Skinns, 2012 NGA TOUR winners Ken Looper (Mandeville, La.), Jay Woodson (Richmond, Va.), Jonathan Randolph (Brandon, Miss.), Rick Cochran III (Paducah, Ky.), Chas Narramore (Kingston, Tenn.), Blayne Barber (Lake City, Fla.), Hudson Johnson (Longview, Texas), Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.), Travis Woolf (Fort Worth, Texas) and former University of South Carolina standout Mark Silvers (Savannah, Ga.) are in the field as well.
Also scheduled to play are multi-time NGA winners Ryan Blaum (Coral Gables, Fla.), James Vargas (Miami, Fla.), Todd Bailey (Spanish Fort, Ala.), Michael Welch (Quincy, Mass.), Justin Smith (St. Paul, Minn.), Nick Rousey (Pensacola, Fla.) and Lexington’s Chip Deason.
So far in 2012, 11 first-time winners have been crowned on the NGA TOUR, and there is no shortage of players capable of running that total to 12 as the Woodcreek Classic field boasts more college All-Americans and All-Nicklaus team members than any other developmental tournament in the country.
NGA TOUR rookies Bryden Macpherson, the 2011 British Amateur champion out of the University of Georgia; David Chung, the former No. 1 ranked amateur out of Stanford University; Lion Kim, the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion from Lake Mary, Fla.; Corbin Mills, the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion and Clemson alum from Anderson; and Jonathan Fly, a former team captain at the University of Memphis, have the credentials to make it a dozen first-time winners.
The event will also feature a spattering of South Carolina golfers as well. Francisco Bide (Columbia), George Bryan (Chapin), Marion Dantzler (Orangeburg), Brian Duncan (Mount Pleasant), Scott Feaster (Columbia), Adam Hart (Blythewood), Luke Hart (Blythewood) and Patrick Lundy (Little River) are scheduled to tee it up in the Woodcreek Classic sponsored by Cigna.
The first round of the Woodcreek Classic sponsored by Cigna will begin on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7:30 a.m. As always, admission is free to the public.
The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Web.com Tours and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Web.com Tour Professionals.
The NGA has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA TOUR, Euro, Web.com, and Champions Tour cards. In fact, NGA alumni have won an incredible Fifteen (15) “Major” Championships.
NGA alumni include: 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson; 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley; 2010 PGA TOUR Player of the Year and 2003 US Open Champion Jim Furyk; 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink; 2009 U.S. Open Champion Lucas Glover; 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson; 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel; 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis; two-time U.S. Open Champion Lee Janzen; British Open and PGA Champion John Daly; British Open Champion Tom Lehman; PGA Champion David Toms; 2003 Tour Championship Winner Chad Campbell; 2010 NGA Player of the Year Michael Thompson; 2012 PGA TOUR winners Mark Wilson, George McNeill, Ted Potter Jr., Scott Stallings and Scott Piercy.
At this year’s PGA Tour Qualifying School, 52% of those earning full exempt status on the PGA TOUR and 67% of those earning full exempt status on the Web.com Tour were past NGA Professionals. Another 16 NGA Professionals advanced to the PGA TOUR for 2012 by finishing inside the Top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list, including 2011 NGA members Ted Potter Jr., Russell Knox and Billy Hurley III.
The NGA Pro Golf Tour, established in 1988, predates the Web.com Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf. In 2012, the NGA TOUR became the “Official Partner of the 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open” and secured one PGA TOUR and six Web.com Tour event exemptions for its members, the most in developmental golf.
For more information on the NGA or the NGA Pro Golf Tour, please visit our website at www.NGATOUR.com or contact our Tour Office at (800) 992-8748.