PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – As with each new season, the Web.com Tour introduces golf fans to a new cast of talented golfers from around the world who are eager to navigate the path to the PGA TOUR. More than 200 players, including 68 from 16 countries outside the U.S., are about to begin their season-long quest to follow in the footsteps of 2012 major champions Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els and their fellow Web.com Tour alumni Jim Furyk, Bill Haas and Brandt Snedeker, who have won the FedExCup the last three years. Those who emerge will have proved they are ready to compete and win on golf’s biggest stage. Already in the early going on the PGA TOUR this year, 2012 Web.com Tour graduates Russell Henley has won the Sony Open in Hawaii and David Lingmerth been a playoff runner-up in the Humana Challenge.
The 2013 Web.com Tour season begins this Thursday (Feb. 21) at the Panama Claro Championship in Panama City, Panama.
The following are relatively new faces to the Web.com Tour in 2013 who have strong resumes, demonstrated potential in 2012 and/or have a unique story line:
Joseph Bramlett (Age 24): Born in Stanford, Calif…resides in Saratoga, Calif…2010 graduate of Stanford U…at 6’4” is one of the Tour’s tallest players…earned his 2011 PGA TOUR card via Qualifying School, finishing 196th on the 2012 money list…finished 28th on Web.com Tour money list in 2012…is one of two African-American Tour members (Jeremiah Wooding)…fully-exempt.
Patrick Cantlay (20): Born in Long Beach, Calif…resides in Los Alamitos, Calif…enjoyed limited but decorated amateur/collegiate career…was college golf’s top player as a freshman in 2010-11 while attending UCLA…2011 U.S. Amateur runner-up and Walker Cup team member…won McCormack Medal as world’s No. 1 amateur…competed in four Web.com Tour events in 2012, finishing runner-up in a playoff at the Chiquita Classic…finished 79th on the money list…also competed in 10 PGA TOUR events in 2012, as either an amateur (three) or a pro (seven), making eight cuts…has conditional status.
Chris DeForest (24): Born in Kingsport, N.Y…resides in Palm Bay, Fla…2011 graduate of the U. of Illinois, where he won five college titles and was honorable mention All-American…at 6’3” is a bomber off the tee…T5 finish at second-to-last event of 2012 (Miccouskee Championship) led to 98th spot on final money list….conditional status.
Kevin Foley (25): Born in New Brunswick, N.J…resides in Somerville, N.J…a 2012 graduate of Penn State, where he was a three-time All-American, winning a school record six titles…youngest of eight children…had no Web.com Tour status to start 2012…played his way onto Tour, finishing 52nd on the money list, with four top 10s in 16 starts…fully exempt.
Adam Hadwin (25): Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada…resides in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada…2009 graduate of U. of Louisville, where he earned honorable mention All-American honors…potential in the professional ranks has been demonstrated in limited PGA TOUR starts and on PGA TOUR Canada…finished 30th in 2012 as a first-year Web.com Tour member…dropped from 25th to 30th on the money list at season-ending Web.com Tour Championship when James Hahn birdied the final hole late of the tournament…fully exempt.
Matt Hill (24): Born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada…resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla…attended North Carolina State, where he won the 2009 NCAA Championship and 2009 Jack Nicklaus Award as a sophomore…won seven times that year, which tied Tiger Woods’ record for most wins by a college golfer in one season…PGA TOUR Canada’s leading money-winner in 2012…conditional status.
Danny Lee (22): Born in Seoul, South Korea…at age 8, moved to New Zealand, where he is now a citizen…won 2008 U.S. Amateur…as an amateur, became youngest winner of a European Tour event in 2009…finished sixth on Web.com Tour money list in 2011 and 166th on PGA TOUR money list in 2012…still among professional golf’s youngest players…fully exempt.
Andrew Loupe (24): Born and still resides in Baton Rouge, La…2012 graduate of LSU, where he was a two-time All-American and on the All-SEC honor roll all four years…earned all-state high school honors as a shooting guard in basketball, averaging 21.6 points per game as a senior…fully exempt.
Jamie Lovemark (25): Born in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif…resides in Jupiter, Fla…enjoyed stellar college career at USC…was youngest Player of the Year in Web.com Tour history in 2010 at age 22…PGA TOUR career never got off the ground due to back issues that led to surgery in 2011…played on medical exemption in 2012, but failed to earn required money to retain TOUR playing privileges…completed 2012 on Web.com Tour (12 events)…conditional status.
Bryden Macpherson (22): Born in Melbourne, Australia…resides in Jupiter, Fla…attended U. of Georgia, where he was 2010 SEC Freshman of the Year…won 2011 British Amateur…turned professional following his 2012 Masters appearance…conditional status.
Ben Martin (25): Born and resides in Greenwood, S.C…2009 Clemson graduate…2009 U.S. Amateur runner-up…finished T2 at 2010 Q-School, then 164th on the PGA TOUR in 2011…finished 3rd at final full-field event in 2012 to secure the 60th and final spot in the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship, where he finished T13 to end the year 54th in earnings…fully exempt.
Corey Nagy (24): Born and still resides in Charlotte, N.C…2010 graduate of UNC-Charlotte, where he won five titles and was a four-time All-American and honor student…led eGolf Tour money list in 2011…rookie year on Web.com Tour in 2012 was hampered by physical issues, leading to just nine starts and only one cut made…conditional status.
John Peterson (23): Born and resides in Fort Worth, Texas…attended LSU, where he was a three-time All-American and won the 2011 NCAA individual championship…was playoff runner-up that summer as a collegiate invitee at Web.com Tour event in Columbus, Ohio…finished T4 in the 2012 U.S. Open…got into eight other PGA TOUR events in 2012, earning $327,091 as a non-member to secure Web.com Tour membership for 2013…conditional status.
Sam Saunders (25): Born in Orlando, Fla…recently married, he resides in Fort Collins, Colo…attended Clemson…had conditional status on Web.com Tour in 2012 that resulted in a 50th-place finish on the money list…had three top 10s, with T2 at the Utah Championship his best finish…fully exempt.
Richard Scott (29): Born in Windsor, Ont., Canada…resides in St. Simons Island, Ga…2006 graduate of the U. of Georgia, where he was a two-time All-American…won the Canadian Amateur in 2003, 2005 and 2006…in first year on Web.com Tour in 2012 finished 53rd on the money list….fully exempt.
Hudson Swafford (25): Born in Lakeland, Fla…resides in Tallahassee, Fla…2011 graduate of U. of Georgia, along with Russell Henley and Harris English…was a three-time All-American at UGA…holed out on the 72nd hole for 62 at last year’s Stadion Classic at UGA, which led to victory…tailed off at end of season to drop out of “The 25”, finishing 27th in earnings…fully exempt.
Kevin Tway (24): Born and still resides in Edmond, Okla…attended Oklahoma State, where he won five titles and was a four-time All-American…will be a Web.com Tour member for the first time…father, Bob, is eight-time PGA TOUR winner…conditional status.
Tyrone Van Aswegen (31): Born in Johannesburg, South Africa…resides in San Diego, Calif…2004 graduate of Oklahoma City University…had four top 10s and was the solo 54-hole leader twice on Web.com Tour in 2012…was in contention to earn his TOUR card, but slipped to 43rd at season’s end…fully exempt.
In addition to the players listed above, the five leading money-winners off last fall’s PGA TOUR Latinoamérica join the Web.com Tour this year seeking to play their way onto the PGA TOUR – No. 1 Ariel Canete of Argentina, No. 2 Oscar Fraustro, No. 3 Clodomiro Carranza, No. 4 Matias O’Curry and No. 5 Tommy Cocha. All are natives of Argentina, except Fraustro, who is from Mexico. Canete has fully-exempt status. The other four have conditional status. All but Canete are first-time Tour members. Canete had conditional status in 1996 via the 1995 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament. He made one cut in seven starts.