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Vandy alum outlast Chris Ross in playoff
Tallahassee, Fla. – February 16, 2013 – Jon Curran outlasted Chris Ross in a two-hole playoff to claim the NGA TOUR’s Members Only Shootout at Killearn Country Club on Saturday afternoon.
The victory for Curran was his first in 57 starts on the NGA Pro Golf Tour and earned the former Vanderbilt golfer free entry fees into every event on the 2013 NGA TOUR Pro Series schedule.
“It feels really great,” said Curran, a native of Hopkinton, Mass. “The NGA TOUR has done a great job over the years, and I think this year is going to be just as good. You can trust the events out here, and the tour attracts some great players. I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a great season.”
Curran and Ross got off to great starts in the opening round, posting scores of 63 to separate from themselves from the field by four shots going into the final round.
“I put the ball in play on Friday and the conditions were ideal to put up a good number,” said Curran, who earned $18,500 for the victory. “My wedges were good and I had a lot of chances to make birdies. I think I had 25 putts, so I was putting really well.”
Curran, who now plays out of Tequesta, started the day tied for the lead with Ross at 9-under par, but the former Commodore found himself trailing by two shots at the turn after going out in 2 over.
“I’ve been working with a sports psychologist and I basically tried to stay in the moment,” said Curran, who joined Vandy alum Hudson Johnson as a winner of the Members Only Shootout. “I knew I was playing well and trusted it. I knew I could perform throughout the round.”
The positive thinking paid off.
Curran, a former roommate of NGA alum and PGA TOUR star Keegan Bradley, used a birdie on No. 12 to close the gap on Ross. After both golfers birdied the par-5 17th hole, Curran went to the final hole of regulation trailing Ross by a single shot.
Curran’s birdie putt on No. 18 grazed the cup, but Ross was unable to convert his par putt, leaving the duo tied at 9-under par and sending the match into extra holes. Both golfers picked up pars on the first playoff hole, before Curran ended the match on the second hole of the playoff.
Ross, an Eastern Michigan alum from Ontario, Canada, earned $5,875 for his runner-up finish on Saturday.
Travis Klutts of Kiowa, Texas, had a nice showing in his NGA TOUR debut. The Midwestern State alumnus carded rounds of 67 and 70 to finish T3 at 7-under par. Former University of South Carolina standout Scott Feaster of Columbia, S.C., also posted rounds of 67 and 70 to finish in a tie for third at 7-under par.
Past SEC standouts Gator Todd, a former University of Alabama golfer from St. Simmons Island, Ga., and Jonathan Randolph, a former Ole Miss golfer from Brandon, Miss., finished tied for fifth at 6-under par.
Niceville’s Chris Wolfe shot a 3-under 69 in the final round to finish at 5-under par and tied for seventh with Jason Millard (70) and Justin Lower (71). Trent Whitekiller (70), Seath Fair (72) and 2012 Web.com Tour member Stuart Anderson (71) finished tied for 10th at 4-under par.
The NGA TOUR will remain at Killearn Country Club next week for the playing of the season-opening Killearn Country Club Classic, a full-field, $200,000 event.
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.
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.
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