Zach Johnson, Keegan Bradley headline list of 72 NGA TOUR Alums in Humana Challenge

Past NGA Tour players make up over 46% of Humana Challenge field this week

LA QUINTA, CA January 16, 2014 – There are a lot of reasons the NGA Tour is regarded as the number 3 men’s professional golf tour in the United States. Some would say it’s because the NGA Tour is the only tour, in mirroring golf’s premier tour, to hold week long, 72-hole, walking only events spread throughout the country that include pro-ams, free junior clinics, and also combine heavy charity involvement. But when it comes down to it the NGA Tour is regarded as the number 3 tour in the US because more of their players advance to golf’s top tours than any other developmental tour in golf, as evidenced by the 72 NGA alums competing in this week’s PGA Tour Humana Challenge. That means that over 46% of the players teeing it up in La Quinta, Cal. this week have played in an NGA Tour event at one time or another, proving the NGA Tour’s place as the top training ground for players wishing to advance to golf’s highest levels. The NGA Tour model works, as evidenced by the names carrying the NGA Tour banner this week at the Humana Challenge.

NGA Tour alums Zach Johnson and Keegan Bradley

NGA Tour alums Zach Johnson and Keegan Bradley

Leading the group of NGA Tour alums into this week’s event would have to be Keegan Bradley and Zach Johnson, two of the best golfers in the world. Both Major Champions found success on the NGA Tour, Bradley with two wins and a runner-up rookie of the year and Johnson as the 2001 NGA Tour Player of the Year. Johnson found success on golf’s top tour by winning the 2007 Masters while Bradley’s success came much sooner winning the PGA Championship in 2011 on his way to Rookie of the Year Honors. Johnson comes into this week on a bit of streak having won his last event of 2013, the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, and his 1st event of the new year, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The 11 time winner is coming off a T8 finish at last week’s Sony Open and is ranked 5th in the power rankings for this week’s event. Bradley tops Johnson by a spot in the power rankings coming in at number 4 this week. This will be Bradley’s first start of the new year but he has yet to finish worse than 13th in 3 events played this season.

Past NGA Tour players make up two thirds of the Power Rankings list with Gary Woodland (7th), Ryan Palmer (8th), Brian Stuard (9th), Jason Kokrak (12th), Robert Garrigus (13th), Kevin Na (14th), and Brendon de Jonge (15th) joining Johnson and Bradley.

Another fun listing to check out is the Sleeper Picks and several NGA Tour alums always manage to find their way onto it as well. For this week’s Humana Challenge, NGA alum Brendon Todd and 2013 NGA Tour member Peter Malnati find themselves being pick as players to watch out for. Todd makes the list because of his 8 top 25’s in his last 24 starts over the past 11 months. He currently leads the tour with five eagles and recently tied for 20th at Waialae. Malnati, a rookie on tour this season less than a year removed from the NGA Tour, closed out last week’s Sony Open by chipping in for eagle on his final hole. However Malnati made the list by virtue of his putter as he leads the tour in one putt percentage so far this season. The defending Humana Challenge champion, NGA Tour alum Brian Gay, led the tour in the same category in 2013. Malnati has finished 15th and T38 in his last two starts.

The Humana Challenge field includes:

Six (6) NGA Tour Players of the Year; Chad Campbell, Joe Durant, Lee Janzen, Ted Potter Jr., Will MacKenzie, and Zach Johnson.

Three (3) NGA Tour Rookies of the Year; Chad Collins, Russell Knox, and Will Wilcox.

Eight (8) NGA Tour alums/Major Champions: Ben Curtis (Open), David Toms (PGA), John Daly (Open, PGA), Keegan Bradley (PGA), Lee Janzen (US Open), Lucas Glover (US Open), Stewart Cink (Open), Zach Johnson (Masters)

NGA Tour alums competing in the Humana Challenge:

1          Alex Aragon (NP)

2          Andrew Loupe (PP)

3          Andrew Svoboda (NP)

4          Ben Martin (LQ)

5          Ben Curtis (PP)

6          Billy Hurley III (LQ)

7          Blake Adams (PP)

8          Boo Weekley (NP)

9          Brendon Todd (NP)

10         Brendon de Jonge (LQ)

11         Brian Stuard (LQ)

12         Brian Gay (LQ)

13         Brian Harman (NP)

14         Bronson La’Cassie (NP)

15         Camilo Villegas (NP)

16         Chad Collins (NP)

17         Chad Campbell (PP)

18         Chesson Hadley (PP)

19         Chris Stroud (LQ)

20         David Toms (LQ)

21         Edward Loar (NP)

22         Erik Compton (LQ)

23         Gary Woodland (PP)

24         Heath Slocum (NP)

25         Hudson Swafford (NP)

26         James Driscoll (PP)

27         Jason Bohn (LQ)

28         Jason Kokrak (NP)

29         Jeff Maggert (PP)

30         Jerry Kelly (LQ)

31         Jim Herman (NP)

32         Joe Durant (PP)

33         John Mallinger (LQ)

34         John Senden (NP)

35         John Merrick (LQ)

36         John Daly (LQ)

37         John Peterson (LQ)

38         John Rollins (PP)

39         Josh Teater (NP)

40         Justin Hicks (NP)

41         Keegan Bradley (LQ)

42         Ken Duke (PP)

43         Kevin Na (NP)

44         Kevin Kisner (NP)

45         Lee Williams (NP)

46         Lee Janzen (NP)

47         Lucas Glover (NP)

48         Mark Wilson (NP)

49         Martin Flores (PP)

50         Matt Every (NP)

51         Morgan Hoffmann (NP)

52         Peter Malnati (PP)

53         Robert Garrigus (LQ)

54         Roberto Castro (PP)

55         Russell Knox (PP)

56         Ryan Palmer (PP)

57         Scott Brown (PP)

58         Scott Langley (LQ)

59         Scott Piercy (NP)

60         Scott McCarron (LQ)

61         Scott Stallings (NP)

62         Sean O’Hair (NP)

63         Spencer Levin (PP)

64         Stewart Cink (LQ)

65         Ted Potter, Jr. (NP)

66         Tommy Gainey (PP)

67         Wes Roach (NP)

68         Will Wilcox (LQ)

69         Will Claxton (PP)

70         Will MacKenzie (NP)

71         William McGirt (NP)

72         Zach Johnson (LQ)

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