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Broadway, NGA Hooters return to Stonebridge

By   /   April 13, 2011  /   Comments

Special to the Journal


Over the years, the NGA/Hooters Tour has been tabbed as the place “Where Tomorrow’s PGA Champions Are Playing Today!” And you need to look no further than the results of the last NGA/Hooters Tour event at Stonebridge Golf & Country Club to see that the tagline is well-deserved.

Blake Adams, Kris Blanks, Chris Stroud, Josh Teater and Joe Affrunti all participated in the 2006 Stonebridge Michelob Ultra Classic and are now playing on the PGA Tour, while countless other participants have advanced to the Nationwide Tour.

The field for the 2011 Michelob Ultra Classic presented by Albany Beverage Co. this Thursday-Sunday at Stonebridge Golf & Country Club, will again feature an all-star cast of up-and-coming golfers, as well as a heralded group of veterans. A portion of the proceeds benefits First Tee of Albany.

Hometown hero Josh Broadaway has filed an entry for the event as well. Broadaway, who has conditional status on the Nationwide Tour, is scheduled to make his first NGA/Hooters Tour Professional Series start since 2005.

During his rookie season in 2005, Broadaway picked up a win and five top-five finishes in 20 starts. The cross-handed golfer finished the season with nearly $74,000 in earnings before moving to the Nationwide Tour.

Will Wilcox is the most recent winner on the NGA/Hooters Tour. The Pell City, Ala., golfer outlasted Billy Hurley and Matthew Harmon by four shots to win the Terry Moore Ford Open at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover, N.C., two weeks ago. The win was the second career NGA/Hooters Tour victory for the former Clayton State golfer and gives him plenty of confidence coming into Stonebridge.

“I really feel the hard work is paying off,” said Wilcox. “Last year, I started playing well and quit working hard, then I started playing terrible. I’m not going to let that happen again.”

Wilcox would have to be considered a frontrunner this week, but everybody in the field will be keeping an eye on two-time NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year Ted Potter, who has two wins already this season and returns to action after skipping the Terry Moore Ford Open.

“When [the players] looked at the entry list at Rock Barn, we all gave big fist pumps because Ted wasn’t in the field,” joked Wilcox.

In addition to the back-to-back wins, Potter, of Ocala, Fla., has finished no worse than 11th this season. And he may be looking for a little revenge this week. In 2006, Potter posted his worst finish of the season at Stonebridge, finishing T59.

Jesse Hutchins, of Kirkersville, Ohio, is also off to a great start to 2011. The former Wright State golfer is second on the money list and has a win and a runner-up finish in five events. Hutchins has good memories of the 6,913-yard layout in Albany. In 2006, Hutchins posted a 21-under-par 267 total and finished third.

Brandon Brown, of Shelbyville, Ky., will also be in the field. Brown, an Eastern Kentucky alumnus, won the Charter Childhood Cancer Awareness Classic in Gainesville, Ga., early this season.

Joining all four 2011 winners in the field at Stonebridge will be Matt Harmon, the 2010 money leader from Grand Rapids, Mich.; Justin Yoder, a 2010 All-Nicklaus Team member from Warrensburg, Mont.; Sean Frost, the son of PGA veteran David Frost; David Gossett, a former PGA Tour winner; Casey Wittenberg, a current Nationwide Tour member and former NGA/Hooters Tour Player of the Year; Brendan Gielow, a former Demon Deacon and 2010 Byron Nelson Award winner; Jack Newman, the 2008 U.S. Public Links Champion; Tadd Fujikawa, the second youngest player to make a PGA Tour cut; and Hugh Royer, a multi-time winner on the Nationwide Tour.

The first round of the 2011 Michelob Ultra Classic presented by Albany Beverage Company will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. As always, admission is free for the public. For more information, visit www.HootersTour.com.

The NGA/Hooters Tour is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Nationwide Tour Professionals than any other tour in the country.

The NGA/Hooters Tour is the Third Largest Men’s 72 Hole Professional Golf Tour in the United States behind the Nationwide and PGA Tours and has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA, Nationwide, and Champions Tour cards. In fact, NGA/Hooters Tour Alumni have won an incredible Twelve (12) “Major” Championships.

Alumni include Jim Furyk, the 2010 FedExCup winner and PGA Tour Player of the Year; Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open Champion; Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open Champion; Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters Champion; Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA Champion; Ben Curtis, winner of the 2003 British Open; Lee Janzen, a two-time US Open winner; John Daly, a British Open and PGA Champion; Tom Lehman, winner of the British Open; David Toms, a past PGA Champion; Chad Campbell, the 2003 Tour Championship winner; Vaughn Taylor, a two-time Reno Tahoe Open winner; Craig Perks, winner of the TPC, and many, many more. At this year’s PGA Tour Qualifying School, 46% of the players that earned full exempt status on the PGA Tour (including 2010 Hooters Tour Player of the Year Michael Thompson) and 52% of the players that earned status on the Nationwide Tour have spent time on the NGA/Hooters Professional Golf Tour. In 2011, 23 former NGA/Hooters Tour players will be advancing to the PGA Tour.


Course Information:

Length 6913 yds. Par 72
Head Professional: Rob Allen
Fairways: Bermuda
Greens: TifDwarf Bermuda

Schedule of Events:
Wednesday, April 13
8 am Practice
12 pm Registration and Lunch for Pro-Am
12:30 pm Long Drive Contest Sponsored by Albany Convention Visitors Bureau
1 pm Shotgun Start for Pro-Am (Hole-in-one wins a Ford Vehicle compliments of Sunbelt Ford and all participants get a chance for a MILLION DOLLAR SHOT, compliments of John Ross Jewelers)
6 pm One lucky player takes the MILLION DOLLAR SHOT
6:01pm Prizes and Awards Dinner in the Clubhouse

Thursday, April 14
Competitive Phase – Michelob Ultra Classic presented by Albany Beverage Company
Round 1
7:30am 168 players

Friday, April 15
Competitive Phase – Michelob Ultra Classic presented by Albany Beverage Company
Round 2
7:30am 168 players

Saturday, April 16
Competitive Phase – Michelob Ultra Classic presented by Albany Beverage Company
Round 3
7:30am Low 65 and ties

Sunday, April 17
Competitive Phase – Michelob Ultra Classic presented by Albany Beverage Company
Final Round
7:30 am Low 65 and ties
2:30 pm Winners Check Presentation Local Charity


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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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