Myrtle Beach, SC October 30, 2013 – When Jin Jeong lost in a playoff to Matt Hendrix at the NGA Tour Cutter Creek Classic earlier this year, who would’ve guessed that 5 months later he’d be known as a European Tour Champion and be one of eleven NGA Tour alumni in the limited field at this week’s WGC HSBC Champions event being held at the Sheshan International Golf Course in Shanghai, China? The 2010 British Amateur Champion won the ISPS Handa Perth International on the European Tour less than two weeks ago to earn the WGC birth. Jeong will be joining the likes of fellow NGA Tour alums Keegan Bradley and Bubba Watson who, oh by the way, are also known as Major Champions, only he’ll be less than a year removed from the NGA Tour whereas Bradley and Watson have had a little time away now. Probably the player who could most relate to Jeong would be Peter Uihlein, who is less than 2 years removed from the NGA Tour himself. The 2010 US Amateur Champion was a member of the NGA Tour in 2012 and he also got his first European Tour win this year, his coming at the Madeira Islands Open. 2010 NGAer Gaganjeet Bhullar is another youngester making his first WGC start this week as well. The India star earned his start by way of his Asian Tour success. These youngsters will be looking to challenge some of the biggest names in golf this week.
Three of those names to look out for this week could be Scott Piercy, Kevin Streelman, and Michael Thompson. All three proved their metal early by winning on the NGA Tour before eventually moving up and winning on the PGA Tour. Thompson’s game took off so well in 2010 that he earned Player of the Year Honors on the NGA Tour before jumping to the PGA Tour through Qualifying School. He has since gone onto a US Open runner-up finish and a win at this year’s Honda Classic. Piercy, in his brief time on the PGA Tour, has already garnered two wins with victories at the Reno-Tahoe Open and the RBC Canadian Open. Streelman, a former NGA Tour money title leader, got his first PGA Tour win at the Tampa Bay Championship earlier this year.
2013 PGA Tour Winners Boo Weekley, Brian Gay, and Ken Duke make up the rest of the NGA Tour contingency at this week’s event. Four other NGA Tour alums, Roberto Castro, Gary Woodland, Scott Jamieson, and Brendon de Jonge, are alternates and, for the moment, are on the outside looking in, hoping to get the start.
The NGA TOUR is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Web.com Tours and the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Web.com Tour Professionals.
The NGA TOUR has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA TOUR, European, Web.com, and Champions Tour cards. On average over 40% of every PGA TOUR field and over 60% of every Web.com Tour field have played on the NGA TOUR. In fact, NGA alumni have won an incredible Fifteen (15) “Major” Championships.
NGA TOUR 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; and recent PGA Tour Champions Michael Thompson, Ted Potter Jr, Gary Woodland, Russell Henley, Mark Wilson, George McNeill, Ted Potter Jr., Scott Stallings, Scott Piercy, and many many more.
Established in 1988, the NGA TOUR predates the Web.com Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf. In 2013, the NGA TOUR was awarded five Web.com Tour event exemptions and two PGA TOUR event exemptions (Reno-Tahoe Open and the Sanderson Farms Championship), the most of any tour in the history of developmental golf.
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