Notebook: Official tournament name announced for May's event in Mexico

March 26, 2013

WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG? – Edward Loar’s win on Sunday at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open jumped him five spots to No. 1 on the Tour money list.  The Oklahoma State University product and father of triplets becomes the first lefty to assume the top spot at any time in the 24-year history of the Tour.  He did so in Tour event No. 684.  Ted Potter, Jr. got as high as No. 3 after his second win of the year in 2011.  Loar posted a T19 (Colombia) and a T2 (Chile) in his other two starts this year.

TOURNAMENT NAME UPDATE: MÉXICO CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY BANAMEX – The official name of the Tour event scheduled for May 20-26 in Leon, Mexico will be the “México Championship presented by Banamex”. 

2013 WEB.COM TOUR VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR – Steve McGrath of the Stadion Classic at UGA in Athens, Ga. has been selected Tour Volunteer of the Year for 2012. McGrath was selected among 10,000-plus fellow Tour volunteers. “People like Steve are the heart and soul of the Tour,” said Tour president Bill Calfee. “It is a great pleasure for our staff and players to be associated with an individual who is so dedicated and contributes so much to the success of the Stadion Classic at UGA.”

IN PURSUIT OF MEMBERSHIP – Monday qualifier Blayne Barber finished T6 at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in his first Tour appearance of 2013. With his top-25 finish, the former Auburn University All-American and Walker Cup team member from Lake City, Fla. earned a spot in the Tour’s next stop, the Brasil Classic presented by HSBC (Apr. 4-7). In December he disqualified himself a few days after the first stage of PGA TOUR Qualifying School when he realized he had penalized himself only one shot for a bunker infraction instead of two, and thus had signed an incorrect scorecard. Barber has no member status on the Tour.

STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION – 2012 Tour “25” graduate Morgan Hoffmann was in the Louisiana field and made the most of his week, finishing runner-up to fellow OSU Cowboy Edward Loar. On Saturday, the New Jersey native shot a career low 9-under 62. In five PGA TOUR starts this year, the former top-ranked amateur in the world has made two cuts, including his best finish of the year, a T14 in the recent Puerto Rico Open. In his only other Tour start of the year, Hoffmann missed the cut in Colombia. “I put a lot of pressure on myself at the beginning of the year and it’s worn off,” Hoffmann said. “I’m just trying to go out there and play golf now and trust my game.” The strategy clearly worked in Lafayette.

MEMORABLE WEEK – First-year Tour member John Hurley had quite a memorable week. On March 16th, he was married (Lyndsey) in Spring, Texas, then made the drive to Lafayette, La. where he successfully Monday-qualified for the Chitimacha Louisiana Open. In his first Tour start of 2013 and only the fourth of his pro career, the 25-year old made the cut (65th). “I’m playing Brazil,” Hurley said. “That will be the honeymoon.”

TOUR PRESIDENT BILL CALFEE ON STRUCTURAL CHANGES – “The change in structure is a big step and it’s exciting for us,” said Tour president Bill Calfee last week in Lafayette when asked about the PGA TOUR’s revamped qualifying system. “It’s certainly going to elevate the structure of this tour. There’s no question this is the best way to identify that the guys out here ( Tour) have the game to play on the PGA TOUR. We just don’t have the room for them on the PGA TOUR. This is a solid tour that stands on its own merits. The fields are tough….every year they’re getting stronger.”

A PROPONENT OF THE NEW CHANGES – Former LSU All-American and 2011 NCAA individual champion John Peterson is excited about the PGA TOUR’s restructure of its qualifying process. “I love this,” the 23-year old from Fort Worth, Texas said last week in Lafayette. “I hate Q-School. I didn’t make it through one stage in my two tries. I never advanced. That’s just one week and it’s all or nothing. I didn’t like that. Here, you have a whole year, you get to play in a schedule, and you know where you’re going to be.” Peterson is off to a very steady start in 2013, adding a T10 on Sunday in the friendly confines of Louisiana to his three previous finishes of T28, T36 and T16. He is 18th in earnings.

NEXT WEEK – The Tour is in Brazil for the inaugural Brasil Classic presented by HSBC at São Paulo Golf Club.