Nationwide Tour event exemption on the line
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – June 26, 2012 – If having your name associated with past event champion Keegan Bradley, beating a talent-laden field and earning $22,000 weren’t enough, the victor of this week’s GolfCrest Classic in Pearland, Texas, could also earn a Nationwide Tour exemption into the Utah Championship.
The NGA TOUR “member” that accumulates the most winnings between last week’s Texas Honing Open and this week’s GolfCrest Classic will receive the NGA TOUR’s event exemption into July 9-15 Nationwide Tour event in Sandy, Utah.
After his second-place finish last week, Brandon Brown of Shelbyville, Ky., has the inside track in the exemption race. And if the Eastern Kentucky alumnus keeps up his torrid pace, it may be hard for anyone to slip past.
Brown’s worst showing, if you can call it that, of the season came in the Killearn Country Club Classic, where he finished T12. Since then, the former Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year has racked up seven top-5 finishes, including a victory, in his last eight starts.
Brown, who already earned the NGA TOUR’s event exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Reno-Tahoe Open, is averaging a gaudy 4.1 finish this season and leads the tour in earnings with $86,542 in prize money.
“I’ve been playing a lot more consistent this season,” said Brown, who missed the final stage of Q-School by one stroke. “If I make a mistake, I’m not so hard on myself anymore. It’s really helped my game.”
While Brown would have to be considered a favorite, there are plenty of golfers in the field capable of claiming the title this week.
Two-time 2012 NGA winner and second-place money earner David Skinns of Lincoln, England, returns to the NGA TOUR after competing in the Nationwide Tour’s PHS Wichita Open last week on an event exemption secured by the NGA TOUR. Skinns won the Cutter Creek Golf Classic in March and added his second win of the season at the Three Ridges Classic in late May.
Fellow 2012 NGA TOUR winners Chas Narramore, Robby Ormand, Jay Woodson, Ken Looper, Hudson Johnson and Anthony Broussard will also be in the field, hoping to join Skinns as a two-time winner this season.
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; 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; Woodson, a former James Madison stalwart from Richmond, Va., won the ComSouth Classic; and Broussard, a North Texas alumnus from Beaumont, Texas, won last week’s Texas Honing Open.
The field will also feature 2011 Nationwide Tour members Travis Bertoni, Zack Sucher and Todd Bailey, former PGA TOUR winner David Gossett. In addition, Andrew Loupe, a two-time All-American at LSU; Erick Justesen, who played in the 2012 PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open; defending Golfcrest winner Nick Rousey; 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), Ryan Baca (Richmond), Matt Boyd (Sugarland), Bronson Burgoon (The Woodlands), Mike Carnes (New Braunfels), Casey Clendenon (Houston), Franklin Corpening (Ft. Worth), Troy Denton (Dallas), Jason Eslinger (Midland), Leroux Ferreira (Kingwood), Sean Frost (Dallas), Jeff Howard (Austin), Justin Kaplan (Houston), Parker LaBarge (San Antonio), Bryant Lach (The Woodlands), Andrew Landry (Groves), Liam Logan (Ft. Worth), Justin McDaniel (San Antonio), Jace Moore (Keller), Cole Moreland (Austin), Dustin Morris (Crosby), Ryan Myers (Tyler), Praneeth Perera (Carrollton), David Petry (San Antonio), Jeff Rein (Garden Ridge), Zach Rezentes (Mansfield), Roman Robledo (Harlingen), Scott Roudebush (Austin), David Schultz (Dallas), Conrad Shindler (Westlake), Brad Starns (Keller), Noah Stevens (Austin), Jared Vela (Passadina), Matthew Vela (San Antonio), Chris Walker (The Woodlands), Michael Whitehead (Houston) and Travis Woolf (Ft. Worth) are all scheduled to play as well.
The first round of the GolfCrest Classic is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. 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 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.