Notebook: Van Aswegen, Malnati making PGA TOUR debuts at Open

October 08, 2013

PGA TOUR DEBUTS – Two recent Tour grads who are in this week’s Open field will be making their very first PGA TOUR starts – South Africa native Tyrone Van Aswegen, who became a U.S. citizen in June, and Tennessee’s Peter Malnati. Hudson Swafford and Brice Garnett, whose only prior TOUR starts came at the U.S. Open, will be playing in their first PGA TOUR cosponsored events. LSU’s Andrew Loupe is making his second TOUR start (2011 Zurich Classic of New Orleans), as is Bronson La’Cassie (2007 John Deere Classic). Fellow grads Wes Roach and Kevin Foley are currently Open alternates. They are seeking to make their TOUR debuts. Tour Championship winner Chesson Hadley is in the field and will be making only his third TOUR start. He played in the Wyndham Championship in his native North Carolina the last two years as a sponsor exemption.

PATRICK CANTLAY STILL ON SIDELINES – Patrick Cantlay opted to not enter the Open as he continues to rest his back, which has been an issue since the spring. Troy Matteson and Joe Durant are the only other players who got in the 132-man field and are not playing.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR BALLOTS – 2013 Player of the Year ballots will be issued to Tour members this week. The deadline for players to submit their ballots is Nov. 8. The winner will be announced shortly thereafter. Four players were nominated – Chesson Hadley, Ben Martin, John Peterson and Michael Putnam.

WEB.COM TOUR GROUP FOCUS – Michael Putnam ( Regular Season leading money winner), John Peterson ( Tour Finals leading money winner) and Chesson Hadley ( Tour Championship winner) will kick off their 2013-14 seasons in the same grouping on Thursday and Friday at the Open.

PRESIDENTS CUP – Twelve Tour alumni competed in last week’s President Cup at Muirfield Village Golf Club, surpassing 2011 (11) and 2009 (nine) for the most alumni participants in a single Cup.

MISCELLANEOUS STATS – The following are a few miscellaneous stats from the 2013 season:

Most Birdies: 358 - Ben Martin
Longest Drive: 398 yards - Franklin Corpening
Consecutive Cuts Made: 14 - Will Wilcox (his last 14 events)
Toughest Courses: TPC Avenel Farm (+2.762), U. of Georgia GC (+1.396), Victoria National GC (+1.237)
Easiest Courses: The Reserve at Lake Keowee (-2.792), Hillcrest CC (-2.586), Willow Creek CC (-2.493)
Toughest Holes: Victoria National / par-4 14th (4.566), TPC Potomac / par-4 11th (4.470), Victoria National GC / par-4 18th (4.469)

  • There were no playoffs in the first 13 tournaments, but five in the last 12. Only one other year did the first playoff come later in the season (1997, in the 18th event)
  • 13 of 25 events were either suspended or delayed due to weather
  • No one was a wire-to-wire winner

“QUEST FOR THE CARD” – The final 2013 episode of “Quest for the Card: Inside the Tour” will air Wednesday (Oct. 9) on Golf Channel at 5:30-6 p.m. ET, followed by four re-airs that evening and into Thursday. The Tour Championship and the conclusion of the Tour Finals will be featured.

FIRST STAGE Q-SCHOOL – First Stage of the Tour Qualifying Tournament is underway this week (Oct. 8-11) at sites in Vero Beach and Lakeland, Fla., Lantana, Texas and Maricopa, Ariz. Five more venues will host qualifiers next week (Oct. 15-18), The Woodlands and Lewisville, Texas, Dayton, Nev., Pensacola, Fla. and Florence, S.C., followed by three more (Oct. 22-25) in Pinehurst, N.C., St. Augustine, Fla. and Pine Mountain, Ga. Second Stage (six sites) will take place in mid-November, with the Finals slated for PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. (Dec. 12-17).

PGA TOUR CANADA / Q-SCHOOL EXEMPTIONS – Joe Panzeri, Nick Taylor, Chris Epperson, Carlos Sainz, Jr. and Kyle Stough finished sixth through 10th, respectively, on the 2013 PGA TOUR Canada money list. As a result, they earned an exemption into the final stage of the Tour Qualifying Tournament in December