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Clayton Rask wins Killearn Country Club Classic

Tallahassee, Fla. – (February 25, 2013) – Clayton Rask had always dreamed of going to the final hole of regulation, making a birdie and celebrating his first NGA TOUR victory. While he was only able to make good on one of the three wishes, at least it was the one he wanted the most.

When the Killearn Country Club Classic was shortened to 36 holes, Rask was declared the winner on Monday afternoon, giving him plenty of time to celebrate before this week’s NGA TOUR event in Tifton, Ga.

“You’d like to go up to 18 in the final round and make the birdie putt, but that’s not the way it happened,” said Rask, who finished with a 13-under 131 total and earned $28,000 for the victory. “It’s a win and I get credit for it. That’s why you go out and play as hard as you can every round. You never know what can happen.”

That was certainly the case with the season-opening event at Killearn.

After a massive front of inclement weather pushed the first round into Friday and the finish of the second round into Sunday, the NGA TOUR shortened the event to 54 holes with hopes of a Sunday finish. Unfortunately, rain didn’t allow many of the leaders to complete the final round of play.

The decision was made to finish on Tuesday, but due to continuous rains and flood warnings in the Tallahassee area, the event was shortened to 36 holes.

After a 5-under 67 in the first round left him tied for seventh, Rask, a former Minnesota Golden Gopher from Otsego, Minn., started inching up the leaderboard in the second round. Rask played his first 12 holes of the second round at 5-under par before play was suspended due to rain on Friday.

“Anytime you have delays it can be tough,” said Rask. “Luckily, I’ve had my fair share of experience with them. You can’t get frustrated and start listening to what other people have to say about the situation. You can’t control the conditions. You just have to stay focused.

Rask did just that when he returned to complete his second round on Saturday, picking up three more birdies and finishing with an 8-under 64 that gave him the outright lead and led to a two-stroke victory over Trent Whitekiller.

“I got off to a good start in the second round and had a couple of up and downs to keep the round going,” said Rask. “Despite the weather, the greens at Killearn were in great shape and I putted well. I had all the confidence in the world when I got over my putts. My putting was my saving grace this week.”

With the win, Rask takes the early lead in the NGA TOUR money standings and hopes to stay there in order to receive one of the many Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR event exemptions to be given to NGA TOUR members this season.

“I looked at all those exemptions at the beginning of the season, and they’re definitely part of my goals for the year,” said Rask. “If you’re playing well out here, you never know what can happen if you can get into one of those events.”

Whitekiller, a former Oklahoma State standout from Sallisaw, Okla., opened with a 7-under 65 to earn a share of the first-round lead and carded a 4-under 68 in the second round. While he played both rounds bogey-free, the Cowboy alum came up short of his first victory, finishing at 11-under par.

Miami’s James Vargas and Zack Fischer of Wake Village, Texas, finished tied for third at 10-under par, while Lake City’s Blayne Barber, Longwood’s Jeff Corr, Chris Erwin of Brentwood, Tenn., and Canadian Marc-Etienne Bussieres finished T5 at 9-under par.

Rains stop final round at Killearn

Tallahassee, Fla. – (February 24, 2013) – For the fourth day in a row, Mother Nature played havoc with the NGA TOUR event at Killearn Country Club, forcing the conclusion of the $200,000 Killearn Country Club Classic to a Tuesday finish.

After a massive front of inclement weather pushed the first round into Friday and the finish of the second round into Sunday, the NGA TOUR shortened the event to 54 holes with hopes of a Sunday finish. Unfortunately, rain didn’t allow many of the leaders to complete the final round of play.

David Skinns, a former University of Tennessee All-American from Lincoln, England, was able to complete the final round and his 6-under 66 gave him the clubhouse lead with a 13-under 203 total.

Second-round leader Clayton Rask, a former Minnesota Golden Gopher from Otsego, Minn., was also 13-under par at the conclusion of play. Rask was even par through 14 holes of the final round on Sunday.

Kelly Kraft, the 2011 U.S. Amateur champion from Dallas, also posted a 6-under 66 in the final round to move from T21 into a tie for third at 12-under par. Rookies Trent Whitekiller and Blayne Barber and multi-time NGA TOUR winner James Vargas were also tied for third when play was halted on Sunday.

Lake City’s Barber, who finished T42 in last week’s PGA TOUR event, was 3-under par through 15 holes; Vargas, a University of Florida alumnus from Miami, was 2-under through 15 holes; and Whitekiller, a former Oklahoma State standout from Sallisaw, Okla., was 1-under par through 14 holes.

Web.com Tour veterans Josh Broadaway and Jeff Corr were 11-under par and tied for seventh at the conclusion of play on Sunday. Broadaway of Albany, Ga., completed the final round with a bogey-free 6-under 66, while Corr of Longwood was 2 under through 15 holes.

Erik Barnes (67), T.J. Bordeaux (65), Daniel Mazziotta (68), Jon Curran (68) and Stuart Anderson (69) finished the event tied for ninth at 10-under par. Hunter Hamrick, Rick Cochran III, Chris Erwin and Zack Fischer were still on the course when play was suspended and also T9 at 10-under par.

Clayton Rask takes clubhouse lead at Killearn

Tallahassee, Fla. – (February 23, 2013) – For the second day in a row rain halted the NGA TOUR’s Killearn Country Club Classic, but this time there was a new name atop the leaderboard when rain forced the suspension of play on Saturday.

After sitting at 5-under par through 12 holes in his second round on Friday, Clayton Rask of Otsego, Minn., added three more birdies and no bogeys on Saturday en route to an 8-under 64 and the clubhouse lead.

“I just tried to stay in the same routine,” said Rask, a former Minnesota Golden Gopher. “[In the first round], I didn't hit it as well, so when I got done I went to the range and worked it out.”

Rask, who posted a first-round 67, is 13-under par through two rounds and three shots ahead of Zack Fischer.

Fischer, a University of Texas at Arlington alumnus from Wake Village, Texas, also carded an 8-under 64 in the second round. In his first NGA TOUR start, Fischer was 10-under par and in second place when play was halted.

Chris Erwin, Marc-Etienne Bussieres and Blayne Barber also completed their second rounds and finished the day tied for third. Erwin, a Valdosta State alumnus, posted a 5-under 67, while Bussieres and Barber, who finished T42 in the PGA TOUR’s Northern Trust Open this season, carded 3-under 69s in the second round. All three are 9-under par after two rounds.

Rick Cockran III, a former Middle Tennessee State standout, is solo sixth at 8-under par after posting back-to-back 68s. Adam Hogue (67), Stuart Anderson (66) and David Skinns (67) finished the day tied for seventh at 7-under par.

First-round co-leader Trent Whitekiller was still on the course when play was suspended on Saturday, but his 7-under 65 in the first round kept the Oklahoma State alumnus seventh on the leaderboard.

For full-field scores, click here.

Second round suspended in Killearn Country Club Classic

Tallahassee, Fla. – February 22, 2013 – Mother Nature was the winner in the second round of the Killearn Country Club Classic on Friday. After fog delayed play to start the day, storms forced the suspension of the second round. The event will resume at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Before the inclement weather moved in, everyone in the field was able to complete the first round, but Wesley Graham and Trent Whitekiller were still atop the leaderboard in the $200,000 event

Whitekiller, a former All-American at Oklahoma State University from Sallisaw, Okla., and Graham, a former Florida State University standout from Port Orange, posted 7-under 65s in the first round.

Longwood’s Sam Ryder and Lake City’s Blayne Barber posted first-round 66s to earn a share of third with NGA TOUR veterans James Vargas (Miami) and Marc-Etienne Bussieres (Quebec).

Lakeland’s Danny Evelyn is tied for seventh with Max Gilbert (St. George, Quebec), Clayton Rask (Otsego, Minn.) and T.J. Bordeaux (Tacoma, Wash.) after shooting a 5-under 67 in the first round.

Joseph Kinney, Daniel Mazziotta, Justin Hueber, Jason Millard, Ken Looper, Chris Erwin, Andrew Landry, Rich Cochran, Seth Fair, Ryan Brehm, Jesse Hutchins and FSU alum Kyle Cobb are T11 at 4-under par.

First Round Update: Trent Whitekiller, Wesley Graham share Killearn lead-

Tallahassee, Fla. – February 21, 2013 – In a field filled with battle-tested veterans, a pair of relative newcomers to the NGA TOUR made their presence known in the first round of the Killearn Country Club Classic on Thursday.NGA rookies Wesley Graham and Trent Whitekiller opened with $200,000 event with 7-under 65s and held a share of the lead in the clubhouse when play was suspended due to darkness at 6:30 p.m. during the first round.

Whitekiller, a former All-American at Oklahoma State University from Sallisaw, Okla., played the 6,988-yard course without a bogey in the first round and rattled in seven birdies to earn a share of the clubhouse lead in his second NGA TOUR start.

“It was just one of those days,” said Whitekiller, a former teammate of PGA TOUR star Rickie Fowler at OSU. “I only missed two greens and those were on the fringe. It was a stress-free round, and that doesn’t happen too often.”

Graham, a former Florida State University standout from Port Orange, carded eight birdies and one bogey to join Whitekiller atop the leaderboard. Graham is making just his fifth NGA TOUR Pro Series start.

Longwood’s Sam Ryder and Lake City’s Blayne Barber made it four rookies pacing the field. In his sixth Pro Series start, Ryder, a former Stetson University golfer, posted seven birdies and one bogey in the opening round, while Barber, a former Auburn All-American, had four birdies and an eagle on Thursday. Barber, who finished T42 last week in the PGA TOUR’s Northern Trust Open, and Ryder are tied for third with NGA TOUR veterans James Vargas and Marc-Etienne Bussieres.

Vargas, a former University of Florida golfer from Miami, had six birdies, two bogeys and an eagle in the first round and Bussieres, a former University South Alabama golfer from Quebec, carded eight birdies and two bogeys in the opening round.

Lakeland’s Danny Evelyn posted seven birdies and two bogeys during Thursday’s first round en route to a 5-under 67. Evelyn, a former Florida Southern golfer, is tied for seventh with Max Gilbert (St. George, Quebec), Clayton Rask (Otsego, Minn.) and T.J. Bordeaux (Tacoma, Wash.).

Joseph Kinney, Daniel Mazziotta, Justin Hueber, Jason Millard, Ken Looper, Chris Erwin, Andrew Landry, Rich Cochran, Seth Fair, Ryan Brehm, Jesse Hutchins and FSU alum Kyle Cobb opened with 4-under 68s and were tied for 11th when play was halted.

The players unable to complete the first round will restart at 8 a.m. on Friday. The second round of the Killearn Country Club Classic will start at its regularly scheduled time. As always, admission is free to the public.

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