YOUTH PUTS ON A SHOW -- Russell Henley (age 23), Patrick Cantlay (20) and Morgan Hoffmann (23) stole the show in Charlotte on Ryder Cup Sunday, giving a preview of what the future of the PGA TOUR might look like. Henley, the third round co-leader, hung on to win the Chiquita Classic, draining a 20-footer on the 72-hole to force a three-way playoff. Cantlay and Hoffmann blistered The Club at Longview on Sunday, both shooting 65, which included seven birdies in their first 16 holes. A routine par on the 73rd hole by Henley gave the Macon, Ga. native his first win as a professional. It was his second Web.com Tour win, the first having come in May of last year at the Stadion Classic while he was an amateur and less than a month away from earning his University of Georgia degree. The trio of golfers racked up numerous junior titles, amateur victories, All-American and other college/amateur honors prior to turning pro.
|NEEDIEST KIDS CHAMPIONSHIP|
CANTLAY EARNS MEMBERSHIP -- Patrick Cantlay came to Charlotte and the Chiquita Classic last Monday with no status. By Sunday he was bidding to become the 21st player in Web.com Tour history to win as a Monday qualifier. His T2 check for $48,400 secured him Special Temporary Membership on the Web.com Tour (he exceeded the earnings of last year's 100th player, $43,293). The California native's top-25 finish at The Club at Longview also earned him a spot in this week's Neediest Kids Championship. After next week's Miccosukee Championship, Cantlay will be eligible for the final reshuffle and a spot in the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters, the Tour's final full-field event of 2012. Fellow Chiquita Classic runner-up Morgan Hoffmann earned Special Temporary Membership two weeks ago at the WNB Golf Classic. He moved from 78th on the money list to 43rd.
LUKE GUTHRIE RETURNS, PURSUES JASON GORE IN RECORD BOOK -- After a week off to hit the books at the University of Illinois and take in the Ryder Cup, Luke Guthrie returns to the Web.com Tour this week in pursuit of his third straight win. The 22-year-old surprised the golf world winning back-to-back events in Boise, Idaho and Midland, Texas, which catapulted him to No. 1 on the money list. Only one player has won in three consecutive starts on the Web.com Tour -- Jason Gore in 2005. Guthrie will play his fourth PGA TOUR event of the year as a sponsor invitee at next week's Frys.com Open
EYE ON NO. 60 -- A mere $43 separates No. 60 Alex Prugh and No. 61 Matt Harmon on the money list. Only the top-60 after the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open get to play in the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch. The top 60 will be fully exempt on the Web.com Tour in 2013 if they don't earn their PGA TOUR card via "The 25".
NEEDIEST KIDS PROVIDES VALUED CONTRIBUTION IN D.C. AREA -- Neediest Kids came on board in January with the goal to "raise the organization's profile, create awareness around the challenges at-risk kids face, and ultimately, help more children succeed in school," Neediest Kids CEO Amy Ginsburg said at the time. Specifically, Neediest Kids helps low-income children in the Washington, D.C. area get the basic things they need to succeed in school -- from eye glasses to warm coats, new shoes, toiletries, and a lot more.
TPC POTOMAC AT AVENEL FARM IN GOOD COMPANY WITH TPC SAWGRASS -- As new host venue of the Neediest Kids Championship, the recently-renovated 220-acre TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm becomes only the second TPC facility to host events on all three tours that are under the umbrella of the PGA TOUR. TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm previously hosted the PGA TOUR (1987-2006) and Champions Tour (2010). The flagship property within the TPC network, TPC Sawgrass at PGA TOUR headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. has also welcomed all three tours, dating back to the 1980s.
SPOTLIGHT ON JUSTIN HICKS -- Looking to make his way back to the PGA TOUR, Justin Hicks is clearly having the best season among the non-winners on the Web.com Tour thus far in 2012. The Michigan native who played full time on the PGA TOUR last year is seventh on the money list, with nine top 10s, including three in his last four starts, and 13 top 25s in 21 starts. His closest brush with victory came in Wichita, where he finished T2. In June, Hicks qualified for the U.S. Open and finished T45. He has two career Web.com Tour wins, which came in 2008 in Canada and 2010 in Greenville, S.C.
DUKE BUTLER IV TO DIRECT HOTEL FITNESS CHAMPIONSHIP -- Duke Butler IV has been named tournament director of the Hotel Fitness Championship in Fort Wayne, Ind., one of four Web.com Tour Finals events that will debut in 2013. Since graduating from the University of Florida in 2005, Butler has worked with PGA TOUR tournaments and sponsors in various sports marketing roles, most recently with the Frys.com Open. He was a teammate with current PGA TOUR members and former All-Americans Camilo Villegas and Matt Every at UF. Butler will relocate from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. to Fort Wayne.
CHITIMACHA LOUISIANA OPEN SCORES FOR CHARITY -- The Chitimacha Louisiana Open recently distributed $152,547 to 50 local and regional charities and youth groups in the Lafayette, La. area. First played in 1992, the tournament has raised more than $4 million.
DID YOU KNOW?? -- Luke Guthrie and another former Illini and fellow Web.com Tour member Chris DeForest halved their 2004 Junior Ryder Cup match against Rory McIlroy and his partner Marius Thorp in Westfield Center, Ohio.
BIRTHDAY BOY -- Celebrating birthdays at the Neediest Kids Championship this week are Scott Gutschewski (Oct. 1st/turns 36), Richard Scott (2nd/29) and Cliff Kresge (3rd/44). No. 15 Andrew Svoboda (2nd/33) will be celebrating his birthday at home this week.
NEXT WEEK -- The Web.com Tour heads south to Miami, Fla. for the Miccosukee Championship at Miccosukee Golf and Country Club (Oct. 11-14).