Web.com Tour exemption on the line
“I didn’t know a lot of people out here at the start of the year,” said Johnson, a rookie on the NGA TOUR in 2011. “But as the season has gone on and you see all these guys moving on to the [Web.com Tour], you start to realize how good these guys are. Now that I’ve won out here, it gives me a lot of confidence. I mean Keegan Bradley won out here two years ago and now he’s a major champion. It’s sick. I don’t know how you can do better than the NGA TOUR for experience.”
One look at last year’s top finishers at TimberCreek Golf Club in Daphne, Ala., proves Johnson’s statement wasn’t hyperbole, as five of the top 11 finishers in the 2011 event are now members on the Web.com Tour. But even with ascending players not returning, this year’s TimberCreek Golf Classic field will still pack a punch, especially with a Web.com Tour exemption on the line.
The highest finishing NGA TOUR member will earn an event exemption, courtesy of the NGA TOUR, into the Web.com Tour’s Mylan Classic, which runs from Aug. 27 – Sept. 2, 2012.
With the extra incentive in place, this year’s field will feature six players inside the top 10 on the money list, a large contingent of past Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR players and a gaggle of up-and-coming stars.
Rich Cochran III, a Middle Tennessee State alumnus from Paducah, Ky., is the highest-ranked NGA TOUR money earner in the field. Cochran, the nephew of PGA TOUR champion Russ Cochran, won the Cherry Blossom Classic earlier this season and enters the TimberCreek Classic fourth on the money list. The field will also contain 2012 winners Ken Looper, Jay Woodson, Tyson Alexander, Anthony Broussard and defending TimberCreek champion Hudson Johnson.
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; Woodson, a former James Madison stalwart from Richmond, Va., won the ComSouth Classic; Alexander, a former University of Florida product from Gainesville, Fla., and Broussard, a North Texas alumnus from Beaumont, Texas, won the Texas Honing Open.
Former Web.com Tour members Travis Bertoni, Zack Sucher, Scott Weatherly and Todd Bailey, multi-time NGA TOUR winners Michael Welch, Mark Blakefield and former University of Alabama All-American Nick Rousey will also tee it up in the TimberCreek Golf Classic.
The event will also be a homecoming of sorts for former University of South Alabama player Daniel Burns. The Daphne, Ala., golfer finished second in last year’s event and returns to his old stomping ground this week.
Also scheduled to play are: Erick Justesen, who played in the 2012 PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open; T.J. Bordeaux, a 2011-12 BWS winner and four-time Big West All-Conference selection at the University of Pacific; Lion Kim, a 2011-12 BWS winner and two-time All-American selection from the University of Michigan; Oscar Stark, a former NAIA National Champion and 2011 All-Nicklaus team member from Oklahoma Christian; and Patrick Wilkes-Krier, the NGA’s 2011 Most Improved Player.
The first round of the TimberCreek Golf Classic will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 26. 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; 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 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 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.