eGolf Tour Well Represented as PGA TOUR Q-School Gets Underway at Six Sites
By Stewart Moore
Charlotte, N.C. – Over 640 players from 45 states and over 25 countries competed on the 2012 eGolf Tour, all working towards one singular goal – reaching the PGA TOUR. This week, at six sites across the country, the vast majority of those players are taking the first step towards achieving that goal by competing in the TOUR’s grueling Qualifying Tournament.
Just north of Charlotte in historic Kannapolis, NC, an overwhelming number of eGolf Tour players are competing at The Club at Irish Creek – annual Q-School host and site of nearly a dozen eGolf Tour events through the years. Through one round, 2012 eGolf Tour members Sebastian MacLean of Bolivia and Dustin Bray of Asheboro, NC, as well as 2012 winner Chris Naegel of Chesterfield, MO, lead the way with opening rounds of 4-under 67 to sit in a tie for second through 18 holes of play. Bray, the tour’s leading money winner in 2006, notched five birdies and a lone bogey at the par-4 17th on Tuesday en route to his day one effort. Other eGolf Tour members inside the top 10 include two-time winner Seamus Power, Matthew Ryan, Lanto Griffin and Clint Jensen, who ran away from the field during last year’s first stage site at Irish Creek. All four players are tied for sixth at 3-under par. All told, 15 eGolf Tour players are inside the magic number through 18 holes of play, with 11 of those 15 being 2012 members.
With a 5-under 67 on Tuesday, former eGolf Tour player Matt Hughes of Gulfport, MS is pacing the field at Lantana Golf Club in Lantana, TX. Current eGolf Tour member and former PGA TOUR player David Lutterus of Australia is just two shots back after starting his week with a 3-under 69, thanks in part to an eagle at the par-5 third. The current Dallas resident has played the eGolf Tour full time since 2009, with one win under his belt – the 2009 Bolle Classic. Michael Sims of Bermuda, one of 20 eGolf Tour members to have his entry into Q-School paid for by eGolf, opened his week with a 2-under 70 at Lantana. The former University of Rhode Island star had a tale of two nines on Tuesday, going out in 5-under 31, but struggling on his inward nine with four bogeys en route to a 3-over 39. Sims garnered national attention when he set an eGolf Tour record with a 12-under 59 in the second round of the Southern Open in July. Playing at tournament co-host Country Club of Salisbury, he birdied the first eight holes en route to reaching golf’s magical number, which left him with the nickname of “Mr. 59” for the remainder of the year. That round led to a playoff loss to Weaver in the event – one of six top-10s for Sims on the year. Ten eGolf Tour players are inside the number through 18 holes at Lantana G.C.
At Grasslands Golf & Country Club in Lakeland, FL, 2012 eGolf Tour player Sihwan Kim, who finished runner-up at the Palmetto Hall Championship this past February, sits alone in second place after a first-round 64 to start his week. Longtime eGolf Tour player and former Ohio State standout Colin Biles is tied for fourth at 6-under par, just three shots off the day one lead. Longtime eGolf Tour players Brad Brunner and Chad Wilfong are in a logjam at 5-under par, tied for eighth through one round of play. Wilfong, a former Wake Forest standout and Web.com Tour member, spent the vast majority of 2012 in the working world while sprinkling in a handful of eGolf Tour starts in order to prepare for a run at Q-School. Ten eGolf Tour players are currently inside the cut line through one day in Lakeland.
eGolf Tour players David Bradshaw of Harpers Ferry, WV and Brad Hopfinger of Lake Forest, IL are tied for the lead through 18 holes at The Classic Club in Palm Desert, CA, having each carded rounds of 6-unde 66 to start. Bradshaw, a six-time winner of the West Virginia Open, played flawless golf on Tuesday, posting six birdies and 12 pars en route to his bogey-free effort. Hopfinger, who lost in a playoff at the eGolf Tour’s Salisbury Classic in 2011, also played bogey-free golf on day one, posting birdies on three of his first four holes on his way to a 66. Other eGolf Tour players inside the top 10 include former member Trevor Murphy of Scottsdale, AZ, as well as past player Ben Fox of Studio City, CA, who each posted rounds of 3-under 69 on Tuesday.
Current eGolf Tour member and former UCLA star Gregor Main of Danville, CA is tied for second through one round at Dayton Valley Golf Club in Dayton, NV. The former Western Amateur champion birdied Nos. 17, 18, 1 and 2 (started on No. 10) for a four-in-a-row stretch on his way to a first-round 68, which put him one shot off the lead heading into today’s second round of play.
The overflow site for first stage was set up at Lake Caroline Golf Club in Madison, MS. Through 18 holes of play, current eGolf Tour member Marcus Manley of Lake Buena Vista, FL is tied for second at 5-under par after opening up with a 65 on Tuesday. The long-hitting Manley is just two shots off the day one lead after carding six birdies against one bogey in the opening round. Former eGolf Tour member Eric Onesi, a member of the Web.com Tour, is tied with Manley and three other players at 5-under par. A host of players are tied for eighth after carding rounds of 3-under 67 to kick off their weeks, including three-time eGolf Tour winner Ted Brown of Glen Allen, VA.
Check the eGolf Tour website daily for updates from all first stage sites. For live scoring results from each site on PGATOUR.com, please click here.