Shorelines ‘Cover Boy’ Playing in PGA Event This Week
Seneca, S.C. – After seeing an inordinate amount of first-time winners crowned during the first six events of the season, Jon Curran singlehandedly put an end to the streak two weeks ago in the Brunswick-Heritage Oaks Classic by becoming the first two-time winner this season on the NGA TOUR.
However, with Curran competing in the PGA TOUR’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans this week, the door is open for someone to join him as a two-time winner or another streak of first-timers could begin in the Mountain Lakes Classic presented by Mountain Lakes Convention and Visitors Bureau at Cross Creek Plantation.
Although Curran, a former Vanderbilt standout of Tequesta, Fla., will spend his week in Avondale, La., the Mountain Lakes Classic will feature plenty of NGA TOUR standouts, Web.com Tour members, former PGA TOUR members and a slew of the best up-and-coming talent in the country battling for the lion’s share of the $150,000 purse.
After earning their first NGA TOUR Pro Series victories earlier this season, Clayton Rask, Justin Lower and M.J. Daffue have added incentive this week to earn their second victories in the Mountain Lakes Classic. The top NGA TOUR money earner as of July 14, 2013 earns an event exemption into the PGA TOUR’s 15th annual Reno-Tahoe Open.
Lower, a former Malone University stalwart from Canal Fulton, Ohio, won the Spring Hill Classic and enters the Mountain Lakes Classic trailing Curran, the leading money earner on the NGA TOUR, by less than $9,000. With a third-place finish or better, Lower, who has three top-five finishes this season, should move atop the order of merit this week.
Rask, a former University of Minnesota golfer from Otsego, Minn., earned a two-stroke win in the Killearn Country Club Classic and has stayed steady over the past two months, earning three finishes of T26 or better. Rask, who is fourth on the money list, could overtake Curran with his second victory of the season.
Daffue, a former Lamar University standout from Pretoria, South Africa, can’t overtake Curran in earning with a victory, but another victory could put the former Cardinal within striking distance.
While he’s yet to earn his first NGA TOUR victory, Seth Fair could close within earshot of Curran in the money standings with a win this week. Fair, a former All-American at the University of Indianapolis from Brownsburg, Ind., is sixth on the order of merit and has been a model of consistency this season, picking up four top-10 finishes and finishing T42 or better in every start this season.
Although they’ve been shut out of the win column this season, perennial NGA powerhouses David Skinns and Jeff Corr will also be a pair to keep an eye on this week.
Skinns of Lincoln, England, won a Tour-high three times in 2012 and made 11 of 11 cuts en route to earning over $100,000. After a brief hiatus, Skinns, a former University of Tennessee All-American, returns this week to play in the Mountain Lakes Classic, where he posted at T8 finish in 2012.
Corr, a 2012 Web.com Tour member, has earned over $650,000 on the NGA TOUR and will be looking for his fifth Pro Series win this week. Thus far in 2013, Corr’s best finish of the season is a T5 at Killearn.
Blayne Barber of Lake City, Fla., should also be on everybody’s radar this week. After graduating from Auburn in 2012, Barber made some noise late last season on the NGA TOUR, where he won four events in his first nine starts on tour. The former All-American seems to have carried the momentum into 2013, too. In addition to finishing T5 in his only start on the NGA TOUR this season, Barber has made the cut in two PGA TOUR events and one Web.com Tour event.
The field will also feature several players with ties to the upstate. Former Clemson golfers Brent Delahoussaye and Matt Hendrix are in the field as well as past Coastal Carolina linkster Drew Ernst of Seneca.
Also schedule to play this week are 2012 NGA Pro Series winners Rick Cochran, Jay Woodson, Jonathan Randolph, Phillip Choi and Chas Narramore. Others notable participants include: Stuart Anderson, a 2012 Web.com Tour member; T.J. Bordeaux, a BWS winner and four-time Big West All-Conference selection at the University of Pacific; Major Manning, a former Web.com Tour member; Jack Newman, the 2008 U.S. Public Links champion; and multi-time NGA TOUR winners Matt Harmon, Hudson Johnson and James Vargas.
The first round of the Mountain Lakes Classic is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. As always, admission is free to the public.
The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA TOUR 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. On average, over 60% of every Web.com Tour field and over 40% of every PGA TOUR field have spent time on the NGA TOUR.
NGA alumni include: 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson; 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley; 2010 PGA TOUR Player of the Year and 2003 U.S. 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 and 2013 Honda Classic champion Michael Thompson; and recent PGA TOUR winners Russell Henley, Kevin Streelman, Scott Brown, Brian Gay, Mark Wilson, George McNeill, Ted Potter Jr., Scott Stallings, Scott Piercy, Gary Woodland and many, many more.