Final Round Update: 9 Alums finish T21 or better-
Nine former NGA/Hooters Tour players finished T21 or better in The Heritage, played at the Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C.
Tommy Gainey, who won the Bentonville Open in 2007, was the highest finisher among the 60 alums that started the PGA Tour event. The Bishopville, S.C., closed with a 3-under 68 to finish at 11-under par for the event. Gainey had a chance to join Brandt Snedeker and Luke Donald in the playoff, but the former “Big Break” contestant ran his putt on No. 18 past the hole to finish one shy of the leaders.
Gainey’s third-place finish was his third top-10 of the season and pushed him into 30th on the money list.
Fellow NGA/Hooters Tour winner Garrett Willis rebounded from his 3-over 74 in the third round with a 1-under 70 on Sunday to finish T9. Former NGA/Hooters Tour player Kevin Na also finished T9.
All-time NGA/Hooters Tour win’s leader, Chad Campbell, finished T14 after shooting an even-par 71 in the final round. Campbell, a four-time PGA winner, has three top-25 finishes in 12 starts this season and sits 69th on the money list. Former member Spencer Levin also finished T14.
Alum Jim Furyk, the defending champion of the event, posted his first round out of the 60s on Sunday, carding a 5-over 76. The inopportune round dropped the 1992 NGA/Hooters Tour member to T21 in the finishing order.
Alums Mark Wilson, Brendon de Jonge and Michael Bradley also finished T21.
After winning 12 times on the PGA Tour in 2010, NGA/Hooters Tour alumni have already picked up five wins this season on the PGA Tour.
Day 3 Update: Furyk 1 back; de Jonge, Gainey, Campbell and Wilson lurking-
The Heritage: Former NGA/Hooters Tour player Jim Furyk is primed for a repeat in The Heritage after shooting a 2-under 69 on Saturday.
Furyk, a 1992 NGA/Hooters Tour member, picked up a shot on Luke Donald on Saturday afternoon and will be in the final pairing in Hilton Head Island on Sunday after moving from T3 to solo second. Furyk is the defending champion of the event.
Alum Brendon de Jonge moved closer to picking up his first win on the PGA Tour. De Jonge shot a third-round 66 and will start the final round two shots behind Donald. In 98 PGA starts, De Jonge has three third-place finishes.
Former NGA/Hooters Tour winner Tommy Gainey made nice move on Saturday. Gainey jumped up 15 positions with a Saturday 67 and will start the final round T5 and three shots off the lead.
Former NGA/Hooters Tour winners Chad Campbell and Mark Wilson slipped a little on Saturday. Wilson fired a 71, while Campbell shot a 2-over 72. The duo will start the final round T12 and five shots back. Fellow NGA/Hooters Tour winner Garrett Willis will also start the final round T12 and five back.
Alums Camilo Villegas, Spencer Levin, Michael Bradley and Jeff Klauk are T17 following Saturday’s round.
Ben Martin, a 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour member, held steady on Saturday, shooting an even-par 71 to finish the day T36.
Day 2 Update: Willis 1 back; Campbell, Villegas & Furyk 2 back-
The Heritage: Former NGA/Hooters Tour winner Garrett Willis will start the weekend in The Heritage solo second. Willis, who shot a 7-under 64 in the first round, carded a 2-under 69 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island during Friday's second round and sits one shot behind leader Luke Donald, who could be the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer after this weekend.
Chad Campbell, a 13-time NGA/Hooters Tour winner, also shot a 2-under 69 on Friday afternoon and is tied for third. After starting out with bogeys on two over his first three holes, Campbell settled down and picked up five birdies his fin inal 15 holes to keep touch with the leaders. Campbell, who won nearly $800,000 on the NGA/Hooters Tour, will start Saturday two shots behind Donald and T3.
NGA/Hooters Tour alum and defending champion Jim Furyk is also T3 at 8-under par following his second-round 66. Former NGA/Hooters Tour winner Camilo Villegas fired a 3-under 68 to join Campbell and Furyk at 8-under par.
Three-time NGA/Hooters Tour winner Mark Wilson is 6-under par after 36 holes and will begin Moving day T9 and four shots off the lead. Wilson is four-time PGA Tour winner, with two victories coming this season.
Ben Martin, a 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour member, finished the first round with a 4-under 67, but the former Clemson golfer shot a 1-over 72 in the second round and slipped to T35. Martin is in good position to pick up the best finish of his rookie season, however.
Of the 55 NGA/Hooters Tour alumni that started the event, over half will be around for the weekend.
Day 1 Update: Alums Willis, Campbell out front in Heritage-
The Heritage: Former NGA/Hooters Tour winner Garrett Willis fired a 7-under 64 in the first round of The Heritage in Hilton Head Island, S.C., on Thursday to take an early lead in the PGA Tour event.
Willis, a four-year NGA/Hooters Tour veteran, opened the round with a par on the first hole the proceeded to birdie the next six holes to get to 6-under through seven. Willis was on pace to tour the front side in 30, but a bogey at No. 9 left him with a 31. Willis added three more birdies and a bogey on the inward nine and sat atop the field when play was suspended at 8 p.m. due to darkness.
Chad Campbell, the NGA/Hooters Tour leader in career wins and earnings, posted a 6-under 65 in the first round. Campbell, a 13-time NGA/Hooters Tour winner, bogeyed his first hole of the day and finished the front side with a 35 before shooting 30 on the inward nine to finish at T2.
Three-time NGA/Hooters Tour winner Mark Wilson put himself in good position to grab his third PGA Tour win of the season. Wilson opened with a 5-under 66 and is tied will fellow NGA/Hooters Tour alums Brian Gay and Camilo Villegas in sixth.
Alums Blake Adams, Brendon de Jonge and Chris Riley are T9 after opening-round 67s. Defending champion Jim Furyk, a 1992 NGA/Hooters Tour member, is T15 along with former players Josh Teater, Robert Garrigus, Jerry Kelly and Spencer Levin.
Ben Martin, a 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour member, was still on the course when play was suspended, but the former Clemson golfer was 3-under through 15 holes and T15.
Furyk Set to Defend-
Myrtle Beach, S.C. - April 20, 2011 - NGA/Hooters Tour alum Jim Furyk will return to Hilton Head Island, S.C., this week to defend his win in The Heritage. Last year, Furyk, a 1992 NGA/Hooters Tour member, outlasted Brian Davis in a playoff to pick up his second of three wins on the PGA Tour in 2010. Furyk added another victory in the FedExCup playoffs to capture the FedExCup and PGA Player of the Year honors.
In addition to being the defending champion, Furyk has two runner-up efforts, a fourth-place finish and a T10 at the Harbour Town course. Based on his solid track record, Furyk is the No. 3 golfer on the PGATour.com’s Power Rankings this week.
Former NGA/Hooters Tour winner Brian Gay is also listed in this week’s Power Rankings, holding down the No. 8 spot. Day won the 2009 Heritage by an astounding 10 strokes and has six top-25s this season coming into the event.
Prior to the wins by Furyk and Gay, alum Boo Weekley won back-to-back events in 2007 and 2008. While Weekley, who played on the NGA/Hooters Tour in 2006, has struggled a bit this season, he hasn’t finished worse than T13 in four starts in The Heritage.
Stewart Cink, a 1995 NGA/Hooters Tour member, also has two wins in Hilton Head. The PGA Major winner donned the Tartan Jacket in 2000 and 2004. Glen Day, who played on the NGA/Hooters Tour in 1994, won the event in 1999. In total, alums have won seven of the last 12 PGA Tour events in Hilton Head.
Joining the previous winners in the field are nearly 60 more NGA/Hooters Tour alums, including current member Sam Saunders.
Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer, has been impressive in his starts this season on the Nationwide and PGA Tours. The former Clemson Tiger golfer has a T15 and T30 finish on the PGA Tour and a T10 showing on the Nationwide Tour in a combined five starts this season.
Michael Thompson, the 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year, will be looking to rebound after missing the cut in the Texas Open last week. In his rookie season on the PGA Tour, Thompson has a pair of top-25 finishes, including a career-best T14, in seven starts.
Ben Martin, a 2010 NGA/Hooters Tour member, will be making the first start of his rookie season in his home state. After graduating from the NGA/Hooters Tour, Martin, a former Clemson linkster, has made five of nine cuts this season on the PGA Tour .
NGA/Hooters Tour alums have won five times this season on the PGA Tour.
The NGA/Hooters Tour is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Nationwide Tour Professionals than any other tour in the country.
The NGA/Hooters Tour is the Third Largest Men’s 72 Hole Professional Golf Tour in the United States behind the Nationwide and PGA Tours and has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA, Nationwide, and Champions Tour cards. In fact, NGA/Hooters Tour Alumni have won an incredible Twelve (12) “Major” Championships.
Alumni include Jim Furyk, the 2010 FedExCup winner and PGA Tour Player of the Year; Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open Champion; Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open Champion; Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters Champion; Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA Champion; Ben Curtis, winner of the 2003 British Open; Lee Janzen, a two-time US Open winner; John Daly, a British Open and PGA Champion; Tom Lehman, winner of the British Open; David Toms, a past PGA Champion; Chad Campbell, the 2003 Tour Championship winner; Vaughn Taylor, a two-time Reno Tahoe Open winner; Craig Perks, winner of the TPC, and many, many more. At this year’s PGA Tour Qualifying School, 46% of the players that earned full exempt status on the PGA Tour (including 2010 Hooters Tour Player of the Year Michael Thompson) and 52% of the players that earned status on the Nationwide Tour have spent time on the NGA/Hooters Professional Golf Tour. In 2011, 23 former NGA/Hooters Tour players will be advancing to the PGA Tour.
NGA/Hooters Tour Alumni in Heritage Field:
Brendon de Jonge
Brian Gay W