Five NGA'ers record Top-10 finishes in PGA Tour event-
Palm Harbor, Fla. - March 18, 2012 - Former NGA Pro Golf Tour members Robert Garrigus and Jim Furyk finished the PGA Tour’s Transitions Championship in a four-way tie atop the leaderboard with Luke Donald and Sang-Moon Bae. Unfortunately, the NGA Tour alums, along with Bae, were eliminated on the first playoff hole by Donald, who carded a birdie to claim the title and the No. 1 ranking in the world.
Furyk, a 1992 NGA Tour member, started the day T1 and was 14-under par through 12 holes, but a bogey on No. 13 and five straight pars to end the round dropped the 2010 PGA Player of the Year into a tie for the lead at 13-under par.
Garrigus, a 1998 NGA Tour member, used a 7-under 64 to leapfrog up the leaderboard in the final round. Garrigus, who started the day T21, birdied four of his last five holes to join the trio in extra holes and narrowly missed a birdie putt to extend the playoff.
Former NGA Tour winner Scott Piercy made the largest leap up the leaderboard in the final round by carding a Sunday-low 62 on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort. Piercy recorded a 7-under 29 on the outward nine and added two birdies on the backside to move from T45 into a tie for fifth alum Ken Duke at 12-under par.
Fellow NGA Tour winner Kevin Streelman carded a 3-under 68 in the final round to finish at 10-under par and tied for 10th, while 2010 NGA POY Michael Thompson shot a 4-under 67 to jump from T39 into a tie for 16th at 8-under par.
Jerry Kelly and David Toms, who also have wins on the NGA Tour, finished T20 at 7-under par. Kelly fired a 2-under 69, while Toms shot an even-par 71. Alum John Mallinger joined the duo in a tie for 20th after shooting a 2-over 73 in the final round.
Will Claxton, a 2011 NGA Tour member, continued to shine at the Transitions, picking up his fourth top-30 finish on the PGA Tour in his rookie campaign. Claxton, a seven-year NGA vet, finished at 6-under par and tied for 29th with alums Kris Blanks, William McGirt and Gary Woodland.
Alums Kevin Na, Kyle Reifers, John Senden, Bill Lunde and Shaun Micheel completed the event at 5-under par and tied for 38th. NGA winners Jason Bohn and Zach Johnson finished T44 and T46, respectively.
For full-field scores, click here.
2011 Member Will Claxton Climbs into Contention-
Palm Harbor, Fla. - March 17, 2012 - Former NGA Pro Golf Tour member Jim Furyk fired a 5-under 66 in the third round of the PGA Tour’s Transitions Championship on Saturday to earn a share of first place.
Furyk, a 1992 NGA Tour member, was 6-under through 17 holes before suffering his first bogey of the day on the 18th at Innisbrook Resort. The blemish dropped the 2010 PGA Player of the Year into a tie for first with Retief Goosen at 11-under par.
NGA alums John Mallinger and Ken Duke will start the final round T5 and two shots behind the leaders. Mallinger, who played on the NGA Tour in 2003, shot a 5-under 66 on Moving Day, while Duke, a 1996 NGA member, shot a 2-under 69.
2011 NGA Tour member Will Claxton rebounded from a 2-over 74 in the second round with a 3-under 68 on Saturday to move into a tie for 10th with NGA alums David Toms, John Senden and Kevin Streelman at 7-under par.
Alums Robert Garrigus, Jason Bohn, Gary Woodland, George McNeill and William McGirt will start the final round 6-under par and tied for 21st.
Former NGA’ers Kevin Na, Kyle Reifers and NGA winner Jerry Kelly finished the third round 5-under par and T29, while alum Bill Lunde and 2010 NGA POY Michael Thompson are T39 at 4-under par.
For full-field scores, click here.
Recent Graduates Claxton, Thompson T25 at 4-under par-
Palm Harbor, Fla. - March 16, 2012 - NGA Pro Golf Tour Carolina Series winner William McGirt has put himself in good position to pick up his first win on the PGA Tour.
After opening the Transitions Championship with a 5-under 66, the Wofford alum shot a 3-under 68 at Innisbrook Resort on Friday to move into a tie for second at 8-under par with Padraig Harrington. McGirt will start the third round two shots behind leader Jason Dufner.
George McNeill is showing his second win on the PGA Tour was no fluke. A week removed from taking the Puerto Rico Open, the former NGA Tour member is 7-under par after two rounds and tied for fourth with alum Ken Duke.
Jim Furyk, the 2010 PGA Player of the Year and former NGA Tour member, and alum John Senden both fired 1-under 70s on Friday and will begin the weekend T9 at 6-under par.
Former NGA Tour winners Jason Bohn, Kevin Streelman, Jerry Kelly and Scott Piercy finished the day at 5-under par and tied for 13th.
Recent NGA Tour graduates Michael Thompson and Will Claxton remained within striking distance going into the weekend. Thompson, the 2010 NGA POY, and Claxton, a 2011 NGA Tour member, are T25 and 4-under par.
For full-field scores, click here.
2010 POY Michael Thompson T20 after opening round-
Palm Harbor, Fla. - March 15, 2012 - After seven seasons on the NGA Pro Golf Tour, Will Claxton is finally getting to show off his game on golf’s grandest stage. And it looks pretty good.
The 2011 NGA Tour member shot a 7-under 64 in the opening round of the PGA Tour’s Transitions Championship on Thursday to finish the day in solo second, three shots behind Padraig Harrington.
Claxton, a veteran of 78 NGA Tour starts had five birdies and an eagle in the first round and is two shots clear of a foursome of NGA Tour alums tied for third. NGA’ers John Senden, William McGirt, Jason Bohn and Jim Furyk shot 5-under 66s on Thursday.
Five NGA alums finished the first round with 4-under 67s at Innisbrook Resort. Brendon de Jonge, David Toms, Robert Garrigus and last week’s winner George McNeill will start the second round tied for 10th.
Michael Thompson, the 2010 NGA Tour Player of the Year, was a stroke back of the quintet, opening with a 3-under 68 and finishing the first round tied for 20th with alums Ken Duke, Kevin Streelman and 2008 member Gary Woodland.
Fellow NGA winners Jerry Kelly, John Daly and Scott Piercy are T32 at 2-under par following the first round of play.
For full-field scores, click here.
Alums looking for fourth Transitions Championship win in five years-
Myrtle Beach, S.C. - March 14, 2012 - For most of his career, 2011 NGA Pro Golf Tour member Will Claxton has taken the long way. There was no immediate promotion to the Nationwide or PGA Tours after a standout collegiate career at Auburn. And even his first few seasons on the NGA Pro Golf Tour, the No. 3 tour in the country, were a bit of a struggle as he missed 15 cuts in 33 events.
Undeterred, Claxton used the NGA Tour better himself and his game, picking up 23 top-25 finishes over the next three seasons and making it to final stage of PGA TOUR Q-School in 2010 before finally securing his PGA Tour card this season. And with each passing event, Claxton is showing his battle-tested game belongs on the PGA Tour and isn’t afraid to explain how it got that way.
“There is nothing out there like the NGA Pro Golf Tour,” said Claxton. “I always felt like the NGA Pro Golf Tour prepared me more than any other tour. I know it’s hard to travel with the economy and all, but the travel that the NGA Pro Golf Tour does is a huge part of it. You’re going to have to travel at the next level and still be able to bring your game. When I played on the Nationwide Tour this year, it was identical. From the pro-ams to the tournaments, it was all the same. I appreciate what the NGA Pro Golf Tour has done for me over the years. Again, there’s nothing out there like it.”
The veteran of 78 NGA Tour starts has earned three top-25 finishes in six starts during his rookie season on the PGA Tour, including a career-best T9 finish in the Mayakoba Classic. The solid play has moved Claxton inside the top 100 on the PGA Tour’s money list and into fourth in the PGA Tour’s rookie standings coming into the this week’s Transitions Championship.
In the last four Transitions Championships, former NGA Pro Golf Tour players have captured victory on three occasions. In 2008, alum Shaun O’Hair outlasted NGA’ers John Senden, Ryuji Imada, George McNeill and Stewart Cink to earn a two-shot win. In 2010, alum Jim Furyk edged K.J. Choi en route to a one-stroke victory and eventually PGA Player of the Year Honors. Last year, 2008 NGA Tour member Gary Woodland beat Webb Simpson by a single stroke to earn his first PGA Tour win.
So far this season, NGA Tour alums have won twice on the PGA Tour and earned 17 victories over the last 18 months. Mark Wilson, a three-time NGA Tour winner, was the first alum to step into the winner’s circle this season by winning the Sony Open. Last week, former NGA member George McNeill earned his second PGA Tour win in the Puerto Rico Open.
With 65 alums (41 percent of the field) in Florida for the event, there’s a good chance players with ties to the NGA Tour could earn a third victory in 2012 and claim the Transitions title for the fourth time in five years.
According to PGATour.com’s Power Rankings, NGA’er John Senden stands the best chance to hoist the hardware on Sunday.
Senden, who played on the NGA Tour in 1995, is ranked No. 7 in the Power Rankings this week. In 2007 and 2008, Senden finished second in the Transitions and enters this week’s event after a T6 finish in the WGC-Cadillac.
Former NGA Tour Player of the Year Zach Johnson holds down the No. 10 ranking this week. Johnson, a four-time NGA winner, has top-20s in both of his last PGA starts and has a pair of top-20s in the Transitions, finished T20 last year and T14 in 2007.
The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Nationwide Tours and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Nationwide Tour Professionals.
The NGA has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA, Euro, Nationwide, and Champions Tour cards. In fact, NGA alumni have won an incredible Fourteen (14) “Major” Championships.
NGA Alumni include: 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 US Open Champion Lucas Glover; 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson; 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel; 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis; two-time US 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 winners Sean O'Hair, Scott Piercy, Scott Stallings, Bubba Watson, 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 Nationwide Tour were past NGA Professionals. Another 16 NGA Professionals advanced to the PGA Tour for 2012 by finishing inside the Top 25 on the Nationwide 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 Nationwide Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf. 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.
NGA Alumni Playing in Transitions:
Brendon de Jonge
Tom Pernice Jr.
Ted Potter Jr.