VALDOSTA, Ga. -- At 7,781 yards, host Kinderlou Forest Golf Club remains the longest golf course on the Nationwide Tour this year, followed by the 7,708-yard El Bosque Country Club in Leon, Mexico, which sits at almost 6,000 feet above sea level. The longest course on the PGA TOUR this year is Kiawah Island's Ocean Course, measuring 7,606 yards for the PGA Championship.
PEACH STATE COLLEGES STEER TALENT TO NATIONWIDE TOUR -- Annually, Georgia produces some of college golf's brightest stars. In 2012, there are an abundant number of former collegians looking to play their way onto the PGA TOUR via the Nationwide Tour. The University of Georgia is represented by six (Russell Henley, Hudson Swafford, Scott Parel, Justin Bolli, Paul Claxton and Richard Scott) and Georgia Tech by three (Paul Haley II, Matt Weibring and Nicholas Thompson).
Rounding out the group are Aron Price (Georgia Southern) and Brent Witcher (Valdosta State). All but Weibring have a spot in the South Georgia Classic field. Inaugural South Georgia Classic champion John Kimbell (2007) did not attend college but was born in Atlanta and lives in LaFayette. Cross-handed playing Josh Broadaway was born and still resides in nearby Albany. Both will be at Kinderlou Forest.
TITLE DEFENSE -- Brendan Steele made a solid defense of his first PGA TOUR title when he finished T4 at the Valero Texas Open last week. Rounds of 69-67 on the weekend led to his second top 10 of the year (T5, Waste Management Phoenix Open).
PUTTER WOES -- Nationwide Tour "25" graduate Matt Every came frustratingly close to snaring his first PGA TOUR win on Sunday at the Valero Texas Open. Four misses of short-range putts on the incoming nine on Sunday were his undoing. A win may not be far off for the talented former University of Florida All-American. His T2 at the TPC San Antonio was his fourth top 10 of the year in 11 starts. Every has climbed to 24th in the FedExCup standings.
MATT DAVIDSON, ON THE MEND -- New Jersey native Matt Davidson hopes to return to the Nationwide Tour in May or June after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee while playing basketball in December one day after returning from PGA TOUR Qualifying School. The 2004 Furman University grad began rehabilitation work in January, following Dec. 23rd reconstructive surgery. He hit golf balls for the first time in early April. Davidson hopes to make his return in June at The Rex Hospital Open or the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open. Davidson was coming off a 2011 season that saw him climb from 66th on the Nationwide Tour money list in 2010 to 34th.
AMERICANS OFF TO STRONG 2012 START -- Though one out of every four Nationwide Tour members was born outside the United States (59 of 235 members), Americans are dominating the winner's list thus far in 2012. The first five events were won by Skip Kendall, Edward Loar, Paul Haley II, Casey Wittenberg and Andres Gonzales. The most recent event was won by Alex Aragon, who was born in Mexico City but moved to San Diego at age 3 ½ and graduated from Stanford University. Last year, three of the first four tournaments were won by international members. By season's end internationals had captured ten of the Tour's 26 tournaments.
FORMER RED AND BLACK STARS RETURN TO ATHENS -- Next Monday's (April 30th) Pro/Celebrity Pro-Am at the Stadion Classic at UGA will feature a number of former University of Georgia gridiron greats, including Drew Butler, Kevin Butler, Shaun Chapas, Robert Edwards, David Greene, Garrison Hearst, Matthew Stafford, Matt Stinchcomb and Hines Ward¸ plus basketball stars Shandon Anderson and Literial Green.
CORRECTION -- "Storylines" misspelled the last name of Holly Sonders of Golf Channel in last week's note on new celebrities who are playing in the BMW Charity Pro-Am. We regret the error.
DID YOU KNOW? -- Last year's South Georgia Classic winner Ted Potter Jr. was the first Monday qualifier to win on the Nationwide Tour since Kyle Reifers at the 2006 Chattanooga Classic, and the 20th player in Tour history to do so.
BIRTHDAY BOYS -- Celebrating a birthday in Valdosta this week is Kevin Johnson (25th/turns 45).
NEXT WEEK -- It's up the interstate to northeast Georgia for the Stadion Classic at UGA in Athens, which is home to the University of Georgia. (May 3-6).