(Myrtle Beach, S.C.) - In a time when other developmental tours outside of the United States are being granted a certain number of guaranteed spots, the NGA Tour continues to lead all tours by having more players advance into Final Stage of the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament than any other tour in golf. The NGA Tour will have an astounding 95 current and past players competing in the Final Stage of the inaugural Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament scheduled for December 12-15, 2013 at the PGA West Nicklaus TC and TPC Stadium courses in La Quinta, Cal.
What makes the number even more incredible is the fact that it is more than the 87 the NGA Tour graduated from 2nd stage last year, even though Q School entries have dropped by 19 percent for this year according to the PGA Tour's executive vice president of tournament operations Andy Pazder. So, while the number of Q School participants has declined, the number of NGA Tour players advancing has increased. This speaks volumes about the level of talent that is competing day in and day out on the NGA Tour and the talent only seems to be getting better and the players advancing quicker. Of the 95 NGA players advancing, 62 had played in at least one NGA event this year with 35 being full time members. And it's no wonder with how closely the NGA Tour emulates the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour.
Both players who won PGA Tour event exemptions on the NGA Tour this past season advanced; Reno-Tahoe Open event exemption winner Justin Lower and Sanderson Farms Championship event exemption winner Ryan Blaum. This year's contingency also includes 3 award winners from this past NGA Tour season; Player of the Year Jon Curran, Rookie of the Year Blayne Barber, and Golf Achievement Award Winner Jonathan Randolph. Randolph also won the NGA Tour co-Rookie of the Year in 2012. Fellow NGA Golf Achievement Award Winners Brent Long (2010) and Mark Silvers (2012) also advanced. Curran wasn't the only NGA Tour Player of the Year to advance with Michael Connell (2002) and David Skinns (2008) also advancing. 2002 NGA Most Improved Award Winner Josh Broadaway also advanced.
NGA alumni advancing into Final Stage also accounted for 10 wins on the NGA Tour Pro Series this season. Jon Curran led the way with 3 wins including the season opening Members Only Shootout, the Brunswick-Heritage Oaks Classic, and the Honda Powersports Classic. Justin Lower had two wins with the Spring Hill Classic and Mountain Lakes Classic. Riley Wheeldon won the Kandy Waters Memorial Classic in May, Blayne Barber won the popular Savannah Lakes Village Classic, Matt Hendrix won the Cutter Creek Classic, Ryan Blaum won the Magnolia Bluffs Casino Classic (which earned him the Sanderson Farms Championship event exemption), and Jonathan Randolph won the Eagles Landing Classic.
Of note, 2013 NGA Tour member Justin Hueber fired a final day 66 to join five other players on the number in Brooksville, Fla., including fellow 2013 NGA Tour members Mark Blakefield, Doug Letson, and Jonathan Randolph. And fellow 2013 NGA Tour member Brandon Bunn shot a final round 68 to get in on the number Gautier, Miss. where 2012 NGA Tour member Matt Fast earned medalist honors. 2013 NGA Tour Player of the Year Jon Curran finished 3rd at his site in Plantation, Fla. while Player of the Year runner-up Justin Lower finished 2nd at his site in Gautier, Miss. 2012 NGA Tour member and 2013 NGA Tour player Connor Arendell, who had Web.com Tour status in 2013 and advanced to Final Stage this year as well, earlier secured exempt status onto the European Tour for next season through the European Tour's Q School.
The Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament has taken the place of the former PGA Tour Qualifying School, since PGA Tour cards can no longer be earned through the qualifying school. This year's Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament will hand out exempt status Web.com Tour membership to the low 45 places and ties at Final Stage categorized as follows. The Medalist at Final Stage will be exempt for the 2014 season and exempt from any periodic re-orders. Players finishing after the winner and ties through 10th place and ties will be exempt until the third periodic re-order of the 2014 season. Players finishing after the 10th and ties position through 45th and ties will be exempt until the second periodic re-order of the 2014 season. Players finishing after the 45th and ties position will receive conditional Web.com Tour status for the 2014 season alternating, based on their spot, with the 76th thru 100th positions from the 2013 Web.com Tour Regular Season.
This past season the periodic re-orders on the Web.com Tour took place after every 4th event so, should this hold true for the 2014 season, those players finishing 2nd thru 10th should expect to receive a guaranteed 12 starts while those players finishing 11th thru 45th should expect to receive a guaranteed eight starts (barring any ties).
The NGA Tour is the No. 3 Men's Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA Tour and Web.com Tour professionals. On average, over 40% of every PGA Tour field, and over 60% of every Web.com Tour field, have spent time on the NGA Tour. In fact, NGA Tour alumni, including Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson, have won an astounding 15 Championships.
For more information on the NGA Pro Golf Tour visit www.ngatour.com or contact Joy Johnson at (800) 992-8748 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.