Five rookie players who received their PGA TOUR cards at last year’s Nationwide Tour Championship right here on Daniel Island are producing impressive wins on the PGA TOUR this year, including rookie Keegan Bradley, who captured the year’s final “major” at last week’s PGA Championship. This is certainly good news for the Nationwide Tour, which is producing some very competitive players:
- Last year’s Nationwide Tour Champion, Brendon Steele, broke through with a win at the Valero Texas Open in April, holding off Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman with a strong par on the 72nd hole. Brendon also shared the leader board last Sunday.
- Fresh off his first first career victory in May at the HP Byron Nelson Championship (following a playoff with Ryan Palmer), Keegan Bradley won his first major title this month in a two-way playoff with fellow American Jason Dufner at the 93rd PGA Championship.
- Scott Stallings won the Greenbrier Classic in July, sinking a birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Bob Estes and Bill Haas.
- Also in July, 26-year old player Chris Kirk took on the Viking Classic, shooting a 4-under 68 to beat Tom Pernice Jr. and George McNeill by one stroke.
- In January, Venezuela native Jhonattan Vegas won the Bob Hope Classic after hitting into the water on the second playoff and making a 13-foot shot for par to beat Gary Woodland.
Watching these five young rookies win big makes this year’s Nationwide Tour line-up even more exciting. Be sure to keep your eye on rising star players such as Mathew Goggin, Matt Davidson, Danny Lee, Kyle Thompson and Scott Brown as they prepare to compete in the 22nd Nationwide Tour Championship on the Daniel Island Club’s Ralston Creek course October 24 – October 30.
The Nationwide Tour’s 22nd season got underway last spring at the Panama Claro Championship in Panama City, Panama. More than 200 players from the United States and 18 other countries are competing in this season-long quest to win one of 25 PGA TOUR cards for 2012. Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Nationwide Tour identifies those players who are ready to compete and win on golf’s biggest stage. Two out of three PGA TOUR members are Nationwide Tour alumni.
Golf fans can follow the Nationwide Tour on its exclusive television home, The Golf Channel. For further information about the Tour, visit www.pgatour.com, and stay tuned to My Island Town for updates on this Fall’s Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island.