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NGA member to play in Tour's Wichita Open

Myrtle Beach, S.C.– The National Golf Association Professional Golf Tour announced today that the Tour’s Knoxville News Sentinel Open and Air Capital Classic, formerly known as the Wichita Open, have once again granted unrestricted exemptions to the NGA TOUR for the 2013 season.

Since the start of the 2010 season, the NGA TOUR has secured over 20 and PGA TOUR event exemptions for its members, the most of any developmental tour in the country. The NGA TOUR also continues to be the only developmental tour in the United States to have an exemption into a PGA TOUR event.
“Last season was a great year for the NGA TOUR on and off the course,” said Robin L. Waters, NGA TOUR president. “We were able to secure six Tour event exemptions and a PGA TOUR event exemption for our members. Anytime one of our players gets a chance to compete on the Tour or PGA TOUR, we feel that we are delivering on our ultimate goal of preparing and developing our players for golf’s highest levels.”

In 2012, former NGA TOUR Player of the Year David Skinns earned the NGA TOUR’s exemption into the Wichita Open, where he finished T52. Fellow NGA TOUR Player of the Year Casey Wittenberg claimed the victory last season in Wichita, joining NGA alums Scott Piercy, Jeff Klauk, Tyler Williamson,David Toms and Tom Lehman as past champions.
One of the longest standing Tour events in the country, the Air Capital Classic will embark upon its 23rd year at the Crestview Country Club on Thursday, June 13 through Sunday, June 16.  In 1990, Wichita was one of the original 30 stops on the Hogan Tour.
“It’s great that the NGA TOUR allows us to win these exemptions,” said current member David Skinns. “That’s what everyone on the NGA TOUR is looking for, an opportunity. The top guys on the NGA TOUR can compete on the Tour and win, and you’ve seen that with Ted Potter, Russell Knox and Will Wilcox over the last few years. It’s huge when players get these opportunities.”

The leading NGA member money earner from the Cherry Blossom Classic and Three Ridges Classic will earn a spot in the Wichita Open.

The Knoxville News Sentinel Open has also been a stepping stone for former NGA TOUR players in realizing their dream of playing on the PGA TOUR. Past champions include NGA TOUR alumni Vaughn Taylor, Heath Slocum, Robin Freeman, Eric Johnson, Tim Conley and Chris Kirk.
The event is one of the oldest and most storied events in the tour’s history. Knoxville is joined by Boise, Idaho, Springfield, Mo., and Wichita, Kan., in having hosted a Tour event every year since 1990. Fox Den Country Club has been the host venue in Knoxville every year since 1999.
Last season, Skinns also secured the NGA TOUR’s exemption into the Knoxville Open and finished tied for 66th in the event, which was won by fellow NGA TOUR player Darron Stiles.
This year’s Knoxville Open is scheduled from Thursday, August 15 through Sunday, August 18. The 2013 edition of the Knoxville Open will mark the fourth year in a row the NGA TOUR has been granted an exemption into the long-standing event.
The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Tours and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Tour Professionals.
The NGA has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA TOUR, Euro,, 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; 2012 PGA TOUR winners Mark Wilson, George McNeill, Ted Potter Jr., Scott Stallings and Scott Piercy.
The NGA Pro Golf Tour, established in 1988, predates the Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf. In 2012, the NGA TOUR became the “Official Partner of the 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open” and secured one PGA TOUR and six Tour event exemptions for its members, the most in developmental golf.
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.

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