Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 19, 2013

Players to watch in this year’s Tour

South Georgia Classic begins April 23

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla — As with each new season, the Tour introduces golf fans to a new cast of talented golfers from around the world who are eager to navigate the path to the PGA TOUR. 

More than 200 players, including 68 from 16 countries outside the U.S., are about to begin their season-long quest to follow in the footsteps of former Tour alumni, like 2012 major champions Bubba Watson.

Those who emerge will have proved they are ready to compete and win on golf’s biggest stage.

The 2013 Tour season begins Thursday at the Panama Claro Championship in Panama City, Panama. The Tour visits Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta April 23-28 for the annual South Georgia Classic.

The following are relatively new faces to the Tour in 2013, but all of whom have resumes, demonstrated potential in 2012 and/or have a unique story line. The following players will also be present for the SGC in April:

Joseph Bramlett – Age 24…born in Stanford, Calif…resides in Saratoga, Calif…2010 graduate of Stanford U…at 6’4” is one of the Tour’s tallest players…earned his 2011 PGA TOUR card via Qualifying School, finishing 196th on the 2012 money list…finished 28th on Tour money list in 2012…is one of two African-American Tour members (Jeremiah Wooding)…fully-exempt.

Patrick Cantlay – Age 20…born in Long Beach, Calif…resides in Los Alamitos, Calif…enjoyed limited but decorated amateur/collegiate career…was college golf’s top player as a freshman in 2010-11 while attending UCLA…2011 U.S. Amateur runner-up and Walker Cup team member…won McCormack Medal as world’s No. 1 amateur…competed in four Tour events in 2012, finishing runner-up in a playoff at the Chiquita Classic…finished 79th on the money list…also competed in 10 PGA TOUR events in 2012, as either an amateur (three) or a pro (seven), making eight cuts…has conditional status.

Chris DeForest – Age 24…born in Kingsport, N.Y…resides in Palm Bay, Fla…2011 graduate of the U. of Illinois, where he won five college titles and was honorable mention All-American…at 6’3” is a bomber off the tee…T5 finish at second-to-last event of 2012 (Miccouskee Championship) led to 98th spot on final money list….conditional status.

Kevin Foley – Age 25…born in New Brunswick, N.J…resides in Somerville, N.J…a 2012 graduate of Penn State, where he was a three-time All-American, winning a school record six titles…youngest of eight children…had no Tour status to start 2012…played his way onto Tour, finishing 52nd on the money list, with four top 10s in 16 starts…fully exempt.

Matt Hill – Age 24…born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada…resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla…attended North Carolina State, where he won the 2009 NCAA Championship and 2009 Jack Nicklaus Award as a     sophomore…won seven times that year, which tied Tiger Woods’ record for most wins by a college golfer in one season…PGA TOUR Canada’s leading money-winner in 2012…conditional status.

Danny Lee – Age 22…born in Seoul, South Korea…at age 8, moved to New Zealand, where he is now a citizen…won 2008 U.S. Amateur…as an amateur, became youngest winner of a European Tour event in 2009…finished sixth on Tour money list in 2011 and 166th on PGA TOUR money list in 2012…still among professional golf’s youngest players…fully exempt.

Andrew Loupe – Age 24…born and still resides in Baton Rouge, La…2012 graduate of LSU, where he was a two-time All-American and on the All-SEC honor roll all four years…earned all-state high school honors as a shooting guard in basketball, averaging 21.6 points per game as a senior…fully exempt.

Jamie Lovemark – Age 25…born in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif…resides in Jupiter, Fla…enjoyed stellar college career at USC…was youngest Player of the Year in Tour history in 2010 at age 22…PGA TOUR career never got off the ground due to back issues that led to surgery in 2011…played on medical exemption in 2012, but failed to earn required money to retain TOUR playing privileges…completed 2012 on Tour (12 events)…conditional status.

Bryden Macpherson – Age 22…born in Melbourne, Australia…resides in Jupiter, Fla…attended U. of Georgia, where he was 2010 SEC Freshman of the Year…won 2011 British Amateur…turned professional following his 2012 Masters appearance…conditional status.

Ben Martin – Age 25…born and resides in Greenwood, S.C…2009 Clemson graduate…2009 U.S. Amateur runner-up…finished T2 at 2010 Q-School, then 164th on the PGA TOUR in 2011…finished 3rd at final full-field event in 2012 to secure the 60th and final spot in the season-ending Tour Championship, where he finished T13 to end the year 54th in earnings…fully exempt.

John Peterson – Age 23…born and resides in Fort Worth, Texas…attended LSU, where he was a three-time All-American and won the 2011 NCAA individual championship…was playoff runner-up that summer as a collegiate invitee at Tour event in Columbus, Ohio…finished T4 in the 2012 U.S. Open…got into eight other PGA TOUR events in 2012, earning $327,091 as a non-member to secure Tour membership for 2013…conditional status.  

Sam Saunders – Age 25…born in Orlando, Fla…recently married, he resides in Fort Collins, Colo…attended Clemson…had conditional status on Tour in 2012 that resulted in a 50th-place finish on the money list…had three top 10s, with T2 at the Utah Championship his best finish…fully exempt. He is the grandson to golf legend Arnold Palmer.

Richard Scott – Age 29…born in Windsor, Ont., Canada…resides in St. Simons Island, Ga…2006 graduate of the University of Georgia, where he was a two-time All-American…won the Canadian Amateur in 2003, 2005 and 2006…in first year on Tour in 2012 finished 53rd on the money list….fully exempt.

Hudson Swafford – Age 25…born in Lakeland, Fla…resides in Tallahassee, Fla…2011 graduate of the University of Georgia, along with Russell Henley and Harris English…was a three-time All-American at UGA…holed out on the 72nd hole for 62 at last year’s Stadion Classic at UGA, which led to victory…tailed off at end of season to drop out of “The 25”, finishing 27th in earnings…fully exempt.

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