PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Justin Hicks, Brooks Koepka, Derek Fathauer, Nicholas Thompson, Alan Morin, Scott Langley, Ken Duke, and Erik Compton are playing in the PGA Tour's Honda Clasic this week at PGA National. Over the years they have combined for 31 GOLFslinger Tour wins.
What so many people don't know is that on the GOLFslinger Tour we have PGA Tour caliber golf being played 12 months a year in south Florida.
Sixteen out of 30 players advancing through the Honda Classic Pre-Qualfiers last Wednesday and Thursday were GOLFslinger Tour players, including the Medalist from Wednesday at the Fountains, Eric Cole (64), and the Co-Medalists from Madison Green, Matt Hill and Thomas Buran who shot 68. In addition to the 16 pre-Qualifiers, another 31 current and former GOLFslinger Tour players were already exempt into the Monday Qualifier February 24 at Mayacoo Lakes in West Palm Beach. So 47 players with GOLFslinger Tour experience attempted to qualify for the four spots available for the PGA Tour Honda Classic and Derek Fathauer did.
One of those players, Charlie Winegardner, knows how to go low. In the Holiday Team Championship back in December, Charlie and his partner Dan Obremski shot 14-under par 57. Back in high school, Charlie shot a 29. On Monday, Charlie had it going on a day that could give him the opportunity to put his game on display for the world to see.
Dan Obremski and Charlie Winegardner (on the right)
It started off on the #10 hole, his first, when he holed an 8-iron for an eagle 2. Then he made a 6 footer on #11 and 20 footer on #12 to find himself 4-under par thru 3 holes. He added 3 more birdies from about 10 feet on #14, #16 and #17 to turn at 7-under par 28. Charlie and his caddy were both excited about the fantastic position he was in with nine holes to play. While they talked about staying in the present and 1 shot at a time, it was impossible to keep thoughts of a 59 or playing in the Honda Classic from creeping in. While he did not play bad on his second nine, the putts stopped dropping and a couple of pulled tee shots resulted in a 6-under par 66, 2 shots outside the number.
The difference in skill level between a PGA Tour, Web.com Tour, and a top developmental tour player is almost immeasurable. Sometimes it just comes down to timing.
Monday Qualifiying Results
Monday, February 24th Mayacoo Lakes Results
Wednesday, February 19th Fountains CC Results
Thursday, February 20th Madison Green Results
Thursday, February 20th Fountains CC Results
2014 Honda Classic Round 1 Scores