Myrtle Beach, S.C–If you ask any member to list the reasons they play on the NGA TOUR, you’ll likely hear "to play against the best competition out there" near the top of motives.
Those wishing to test themselves will have plenty of chances this week as a gaggle of the top golfers in the world descend on Killearn Country Club for the playing of the season-opening Killearn Country Club Classic in Tallahassee, Fla.
After cruising to a six-stroke win in the 2012 Killearn Country Club Classic, Tyson Alexander, a former University of Florida golfer from Gainesville, Fla., will return to defend his title this season.
Alexander, the son of UF golf coach Buddy Alexander, carded rounds of
69-65-68-68 for an 18-under 270 total in hostile territory to claim his first NGA TOUR victory.
"Winning on the NGA TOUR let me know that I could do it," said Alexander. "I played on the NGA TOUR in 2011 and I realized how good the players were on the Tour and how tough it was to win out here. It was a big accomplishment. I thought I could do it, but until you do it, you don’t know for sure. The win proved to me that I belonged."
Several Florida State University golfers will try to keep Alexander from doing it again in 2013 and keep the title from leaving town.
Former Florida State golfers Matt Savage, Kyle Cobb, Wesley Graham and Seath Lauer will join nearly 200 of the best up-and-coming golfers in the NGA Tour’s Killearn Country Club Classic, hoping to take the lion’s share of the $200,000 guaranteed purse put up by the No. 3 men’s golf tour in the country.
Savage of Louisville, Ky., joined the NGA Tour in 2009 after a standout collegiate career at FSU, where he was named All-American. As a Seminole, Savage was the first player in school history to earn All-ACC honors three times and set the school record for low round score when he shot a 9-under 63 in the 2009 Florida State Spring Break Invitational.
Savage finished 10th in the inaugural Killearn Country Club Classic and is now the assistant golf coach to Trey Jones at Florida State.
Lauer, the 2009-10 team captain at FSU, was a four-year letterman at Florida State and helped lead the team to a third-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Championship. In addition, the Huntington, Ind., golfer was part of the 2008 ACC Championship team, which won seven tournaments.
Graham helped the Seminoles to four NCAA Regional Championships and two NCAA Championship Finals appearances and into the national rankings during each of the four years of his career. Graham also won his second event as a pro on the NGA TOUR Carolina Series last year.
Cobb was a member of three NCAA Championship teams at Florida State and helped the Seminoles to a third place finish at the NCAA Championship finals in 2010. Cobb will be making his first start on the NGA TOUR Pro Series this week.
Despite the friendly confines, the Seminoles will have to be on top of their game to come out on top of a field filled with the future stars of golf. The Killearn Country Club Classic will feature a horde of NGA TOUR winners, former PGA and Web.com Tour players and dozens of collegiate All-Americans, who are all trying to use the event as a springboard to the PGA Tour like 2011 Killearn Country Club Classic winner Ted Potter Jr. did.