Notebook: Two of last week's PGA TOUR winners share roots

March 12, 2013

KEVIN KISNER FOCUSES ON PGA TOUR RETURN – Former University of Georgia Bulldog Kevin Kisner made a big step toward returning to the PGA TOUR on Sunday when he captured the Chile Classic by one shot over Edward Loar and Brice Garnett.  A check for $117,000 moved the 29-year old to second spot on the Tour money list, despite missing the cut in his first two starts in Panama and Colombia.  Kisner had near identical seasons on the PGA TOUR in 2011 and 2012, competing in 24 events and making 10 cuts both years, and finishing 153rd and 195th, respectively, in FedExCup points.

SCOTT BROWN’S FIRST TOUR TITLE IS ALUMNI WIN NO. 351 – Scott Brown collected his first PGA TOUR trophy with his victory at the Puerto Rico Open. It was the 351st Tour alumni win on TOUR. Brown, an Augusta, Ga. native, is a 2011 Web .com Tour graduate.  He finished eighth on the money list.

NAME CHANGE TO FINALS EVENT IN COLUMBUS, OHIO – Officials of the Tour Finals event in Columbus, Ohio announced a new name and logo for the Sept. 12-15 tournament.  The “Nationwide Children’s Championship” (formerly the “Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship”) will be played at the Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course as the third of four Finals tournaments.  The  changes were made to connect the tournament more directly with its primary beneficiary, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a non-profit pediatric hospital and research center located in Columbus. Nationwide Children’s has received $2.75 million in tournament proceeds since the first Tour event was played in Columbus in 2007. 

KEY CHANGES ANNOUNCED IN WICHITA, TOO – Wichita’s long-running Tour event will have a new name in 2013, the Air Capital Classic, in recognition of Wichita’s unique positioning as home to many of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, including Beachcraft, Bombardier, Cessna and Spirit.  One of the Tour’s four still-existing tournaments from its inaugural 1990 season, the Air Capital Classic will be played June 13-16 at Crestview Country Club, where 2012 Player of the Year Casey Wittenberg captured a two-shot victory last year. The 2012 event generated $200,000 for local charities.

HAPPY 21st, PATRICK – The Tour’s leading money winner and youngest member, Patrick Cantlay, turns 21 this Sunday (March 17th), which also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day. Happy birthday, Patrick!  Playing as a sponsor exemption, Cantlay posted a T30 finish in the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open on Sunday, one week following his Colombia Championship win on the Tour.

TOUR WINNERS SHARE ROOTS – Two of last week's TOUR winners, Kevin Kisner (Chile Classic) and Scott Brown (Puerto Rico Open), have at least two things in common. Both are recent alums of the Tour (2010 and 2011, respectively) and both play out of the storied Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, S.C.  Less than a year apart in age, the two were born very close to one another - Kisner in Aiken and Brown in Augusta, Ga.

DISTANCE CONVERSION – Luke List is picking up where he left off on the Tour last year. The 2007 Vanderbilt grad led the Tour in 2012 in Driving Distance with an average of 324.0 yards.  On the PGA TOUR this year, List is also No. 1, with a 307.8 average.  He leads Nicolas Colsaerts by 6/10th of a yard (307.2).

CHILEAN CONTENDER BRINGS OUT THE FANS – More than 7,000 Chilean golf fans turned out on Sunday to cheer Santiago native Benjamin Alvarado, who entered the final round of the Chile Classic tied for the lead.  A one-under 71 left the 27-year old three back of winner Kevin Kisner.  A two-time All-American at Arizona State University before turning pro in 2008, Alvarado made a big move toward Special Temporary Membership on the Tour for 2013 with his T4 check for $28,600. He needs to reach $54,799 in earnings (equivalent of last year’s 100th place on the money list) to gain status. His top-25 finish in Chile secured him a spot in next week’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open.

NEXT WEEK – The Tour plays its first tournament on U.S. soil next week (March 21-24), the 22nd Chitimacha Louisiana Open near Lafayette.