Notebook: Loar named Player of the Month

April 16, 2013

A GOOD WEEK ON THE CALENDAR – Alex Aragon won his second Tour event on Sunday, the WNB Golf Classic, 364 days after capturing his first title, the 2012 TPC Stonebrae Classic on April 15. The 34-year-old Stanford University graduate was playing his 67th Tour event and moved from 87th to sixth on the money list.

ROUGH DAY FOR MOST – Aragon battled from five back on Sunday to win the WNB Golf Classic. His final-round 66 came on a blowy west Texas afternoon when winds gusted to 30-35 mph at Midland Country Club. The San Diego resident attacked early making birdies on six of his first seven holes. The rest of the field struggled, including third-round leader Edward Loar (75/T4). The final-round scoring average was 73.286, with only six of 77 players posting sub-70 scores.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH – Loar is the Tour Player of the Month for February/March. The 2000 Oklahoma State University grad made four starts and had finishes of T19 (Colombia), T2 (Chile) and 1st (Louisiana) in March. Including Sunday’s T4 in Midland, Loar is 49-under par in his last three events.

YOUTHFUL DAY HAD WEB.COM TOUR IMPACT – For the second time in three years, former Tour standout Jason Day had a top-three finish at the Masters.  In 2007, the then 19-year-old Aussie made his full-time debut in America in sparkling fashion on the Tour. In July he became the Tour’s youngest winner when he claimed the Legend Financial Group Classic near Cleveland. Later that month he scorched Champions Run in Omaha, shooting 62-63 (17 under) on the weekend to tie the Tour record for best back-to-back rounds (since broken), finishing runner-up to Roland Thatcher. A wrist injury curtailed the end of his season but a fifth-place finish on the money list sent him on his way to the PGA TOUR.  Day’s introduction to the U.S. came in 2006 when he received invites to play in seven PGA TOUR events and made five cuts.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS – Tour member Dawie van der Walt has a busy year ahead of him. A win last month at the European Tour’s Tshwane Open in his native South Africa left the 6’5” van der Walt with some choices to make. His European Tour win gave him exempt status through 2015. His stated goal, however, is to earn a PGA TOUR card. Currently 11th on the money list, the former Lamar University (Texas) All-American is clearly in the picture for a card through the Tour. van der Walt has indicated he wishes to maintain his Tour status in Europe and will do so by playing six events in a row in late spring/early summer. He needs nine starts total in Europe and plans to add three more once the Tour season is over in late September.

MASTERS DEBUT – John Peterson made the cut in his first Masters appearance, representing the Tour as the first exempt player to secure an invitation. After opening with a solid first-round 71, he finished 60th shooting 77-74-80 the last three days. The LSU product is set to return to the Tour in Valdosta next week and then Athens as he pursues his 2013-14 PGA TOUR card.

BILLY CASPER TO SUPPORT REX HOSPITAL OPEN – World Golf Hall of Fame member Billy Casper will be a co-chairman for this year’s Rex Hospital Open. The 51-time PGA TOUR winner will participate in a number of tournament activities during the week, including the trophy presentation on Sunday. Two of Casper’s wins came in North Carolina, at the 1962 and 1968 Greater Greensboro Open. He is joined as a co-chair by community leader Jimmy Talton of CAPTRUST. The 2013 Rex Hospital Open will be played June 17-23 at TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, N.C. It has raised more than $7 million for Rex Hospital programs and services.

NEXT WEEK – The Tour visits Valdosta and Kinderlou Forest Golf Club for the 7th South Georgia Classic presented by First State Bank & Trust Co.