Texas Honing Open first of two events in Lone Star State
After being hosted for four seasons by Golfcrest Country Club, the fifth edition of the extremely popular event will be held Jun. 18-24 at Sterling Country Club in Houston and the 156-player field will be looking to follow in the footsteps of PGA Major champion Keegan Bradley and Nationwide Tour member Matt Harmon, who won the prestigious event before stepping up the golfing ladder.
While the venue is new to the Tour, there will not be a steep learning curve for all involved, considering the pristine course, designed by famed golf course designers Von Hagge, Smelek and Baril, is managed by the same group that will host the Golfcrest Classic the next week.
As usual, the top talent on the NGA TOUR will turn out for the Texas swing as well as a large contingent of home state players, hoping to test their mettle against the best players this side of the PGA TOUR and Nationwide Tour.
Leading NGA TOUR money winner Brandon Brown of Shelbyville, Ky., will look to continue his hot streak in Texas. After winning a Tour-high four times in 2012, Brown has one win and six top-5s in eight starts this season.
“I’m playing well,” said Brown. “Over the last two years, I’ve really worked on the mental part of my game, and I’m not getting so down on myself if something goes wrong. I’m staying in the moment and it’s working out.”
Brown’s solid play earned the Eastern Kentucky alumnus a spot in the PGA TOUR’s Reno-Tahoe Open for being the NGA TOUR money leader at the season’s halfway point.
Two-time 2012 NGA winner and second-place money earner David Skinns of Lincoln, England, was scheduled to play in the event, but the former University of Tennessee standout will be taking part in the Nationwide Tour’s Wichita Open after earning an event exemption through the NGA TOUR following the ComSouth Classic earlier this month.
John Peterson, the 2011 NCAA Individual champion, was also scheduled to be in the field, but the LSU alumnus finished T4 in last week’s U.S. Open and earned a start in this week’s Travelers Championship. Peterson will return to the NGA TOUR in next week’s Golfcrest Classic.
While Skinns and Peterson are absent from the event, 2012 NGA TOUR winners Chas Narramore, Robby Ormand, Jay Woodson, Ken Looper and Hudson Johnson will be in the field and looking to join Skinns as a two-time winner in 2012.
Johnson, a former Vanderbilt star from Longview, Texas, won the season-opening Members Only Shootout; Looper, a former LSU standout from Mandeville, La., won the Golden Hills Classic; Robby Ormand, a former TCU standout from Austin, Texas, won the 2012 Kandy Waters Memorial Classic, Narramore, a former Middle Tennessee State star from Kingston, Tenn., won the Savannah Lakes Village Classic; and Woodson, a former James Madison stalwart from Richmond, Va., won the ComSouth Classic.
2011 Nationwide Tour members Travis Bertoni, Zack Sucher and Todd Bailey and former PGA TOUR winner David Gossett will also be in the field as well as Andrew Loupe, a two-time All-American at LSU; Erick Justesen, who played in the 2012 PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open; and Patrick Wilkes-Krier, the NGA’s 2011 Most Improved Player.
There will also be plenty of golfers with ties to Texas in the field. Bill Allcorn (Waco), Matt Boyd (Sugarland), Anthony Broussard (Addison), Bronson Burgoon (The Woodlands), Mike Carnes (New Braunfels), Casey Clendenon (Houston), Franklin Corpening (Ft. Worth), Leroux Ferreira (Kingwood), Steve Gilley (The Woodlands), Stephen Hollingsworth (Spring), Martin Jiminez (San Antonio), Parker LaBarge (San Antonio), Bryant Lach (The Woodlands), Andrew Landry (Groves), Liam Logan (Ft. Worth), Lance Lopez (Missouri City), Cole Moreland (Austin), Dustin Morris (Crosby), Ryan Myers (Tyler), Praneeth Perera (Carrollton), Roman Robledo (Harlingen), Scott Roudebush (Austin), David Schultz (Dallas), Conrad Shindler (Westlake), Brad Starns (Keller), Noah Stevens (Austin), Josh Uptmore (Houston), Chris Walker (The Woodlands), Trey Wilkins (Sugarland) and Travis Woolf (Ft. Worth) are all scheduled to play as well.
The first round of the Texas Honing Open will start on Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 a.m.
The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Nationwide Tours and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Nationwide Tour Professionals.
The NGA has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA TOUR, Euro, Nationwide, 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; 2011 PGA TOUR winners Sean O’Hair, Scott Piercy, Scott Stallings, Mark Wilson, Gary Woodland and many, many more.
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 Nationwide Tour were past NGA Professionals. Another 16 NGA Professionals advanced to the PGA TOUR for 2012 by finishing inside the Top 25 on the Nationwide 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 Nationwide Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf and is the “Official Partner of the 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open.”
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.