NGA Tour News: LSU Descends on Houston

2012 Texas Honing Open NGA Tour News; At Least 7 LSU Tigers in field, John Peterson to play Travelers

Myrtle Beach, SC, June 22, 2012 --( With at least seven former Louisiana State University Tigers in the field at the NGA Tour’s Texas Honing Open this week at Sterling Country Club, Houston is starting to look a lot more like Baton Rouge.

There would be at least eight former Tigers in the field this week, but John Peterson dropped out to play in the Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour after earning an exemption by way of his T4 finish at the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco last week. He will rejoin the NGA Tour at next week’s Golfcrest Classic, also played in Houston.

Peterson contended until the very end at the U.S. Open, and improved his Official World Golf Ranking by over 500 positions. His hole-in-one at the 180-yard 13th was the shot of the championship and was Peterson’s first hole-in-one. His shot also gave him the No. 1 play on Sports Center’s weekend top-10 plays.

Ken Looper — currently 8th on the NGA Tour money list — was one of Peterson’s teammates at LSU and sees Peterson’s performance at the U.S. Open as a way to increase his own confidence as a professional.

“He doesn’t beat me every time we play. Obviously he is really good, but he isn’t above and beyond all of us,” Looper said. “It makes me think I can do the same thing.”

Looper and Peterson were both seniors at the same time on LSU’s golf team along with Austin Gutgsell, who is also teeing it up in Houston this week. NGA player Clayton Rotz was also a member of the LSU golf team at the same time.

Watching a former teammate contend at a major championship proved to Looper how small the difference is between playing golf on the NGA Tour and the highest levels of professional golf.

“The difference between playing at this level and the highest level is so small,” Looper said. “He (Peterson) got an opportunity to go play out there and I didn’t, that’s it.”

Having so many LSU players on the NGA TOUR provides a level of comfort for the former Tigers. But other SEC players, not just former teammates, also bolster that comfort.

“Tyson Alexander played at Florida, Jonathan Randolph played at Ole Miss and Hudson Johnson played at Vanderbilt,” Looper said.

Other former LSU Tigers in the field are Brent Blaum, William Lanier, Jarrod Barsamian and Andrew Loupe.

The first round of the Texas Honing Open will start on Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 a.m.

The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Nationwide Tours and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Nationwide Tour Professionals.

The NGA has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA Tour, Euro, Nationwide, and Champions Tour cards. In fact, NGA alumni have won an incredible Fifteen (15) “Major” Championships.

NGA Alumni include: 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson; 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley; 2010 PGA TOUR Player of the Year and 2003 US Open Champion Jim Furyk; 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink; 2009 U.S. Open Champion Lucas Glover; 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson; 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel; 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis; two-time U.S. Open Champion Lee Janzen; British Open and PGA Champion John Daly; British Open Champion Tom Lehman; PGA Champion David Toms; 2003 Tour Championship Winner Chad Campbell; 2010 NGA Player of the Year Michael Thompson; 2011 PGA TOUR winners Sean O'Hair, Scott Piercy, Scott Stallings, Mark Wilson, Gary Woodland and many, many more.
At this year’s PGA Tour Qualifying School, 52% of those earning full exempt status on the PGA TOUR and 67% of those earning full exempt status on the Nationwide Tour were past NGA Professionals. Another 16 NGA Professionals advanced to the PGA TOUR for 2012 by finishing inside the Top 25 on the Nationwide Tour money list, including 2011 NGA members Ted Potter Jr., Russell Knox and Billy Hurley III.

The NGA Pro Golf Tour, established in 1988, predates the Nationwide Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf.

NGA Pro Golf Tour, “Official Partner of the 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open.”

For more information on the NGA or the NGA Pro Golf Tour, please visit our website at or contact our Tour Office at (800) 992-8748.
NGA Pro Golf Tour
Ryan Waters