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Reno-Tahoe Open, NGA TOUR offer players another shot at the “Big Time”

Myrtle Beach, S.C. (February 22, 2013) – Since an early age, 2012 NGA TOUR Player of the Year Brandon Brown longed for a chance to play on the PGA TOUR. And while Brown certainly has the game to compete at any level, without status on the PGA TOUR, opportunities are scarce. But thanks to a partnership between the NGA TOUR and the PGA TOUR’s Reno-Tahoe Open, Brown got the opportunity he had always dreamed of, and now he – or any other NGA TOUR member – gets another shot at the “Big Time” with the recent announcement that the leading NGA TOUR member as of July 14, 2013 earns a spot into the 15th annual Reno-Tahoe Open.

Brown, an Eastern Kentucky alumnus from Shelbyville, Ky., used his PGA TOUR opportunity not only to learn, but to take home his first PGA TOUR check.

“It was a great experience and very beneficial to play with the PGA TOUR regulars and see where I stacked up,” said Brown. “I thought I played well, except for the third round. It gave me a chance to see where I stood, play in front of bigger crowds and play a great course. It’s beyond words, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

And this year, Brown, or whichever member leads on the NGA TOUR Pro Series money list through the July 8-14 NGA Natchez, Miss., event, again gets the chance to take home a “Big Time” paycheck Aug. 4 at Montrêux Golf & Country Club in Reno, Nev.

“I can’t thank the Reno-Tahoe Open committee enough for allowing one of our members another opportunity to play in their event; we are elated,” said Robin L. Waters, NGA TOUR president. “Golf is a game of opportunities and hopefully, this exemption will help one of our players achieve their lifelong dream of making it to the 'Big Time.'”

Over the years, NGA TOUR alumni have made quite an impact on the Reno-Tahoe Open, winning the event eight times in the last nine years. The last NGA alum to win the event was Scott Piercy in 2011, who believes the partnership is mutually-beneficial. 

“The NGA has all the intangibles,” said Piercy, the two-time PGA TOUR winner and former NGA TOUR winner. “They teach you how to travel and play against the best in four-day walking events just like the bigger tours. No other developmental tour prepares you better for life on the Web.com and PGA TOUR. I know my time on the NGA TOUR was a huge part of my development.”

Reno-Tahoe Open Executive Director Jana Smoley couldn’t agree more.

“The partnership between the Reno-Tahoe Open and the NGA is all about hope and the amazing stories behind every successful golfer. Every professional golfer on the PGA TOUR has a great history behind him, and the Reno-Tahoe Open is proud to play a part in the story of a young, up-and-coming golfer,” said Smoley. “It is every young golfer’s dream to have the chance to play on the PGA TOUR, and we hope that this exemption provides just that opportunity to a PGA TOUR hopeful and shows these young, talented golfers that we want them.”

The Reno-Tahoe Open is truly 'BIG TIME' as one of just 45 PGA TOUR events worldwide, and now the only event on the PGA TOUR calendar with a Modified Stableford scoring format. This year’s Reno-Tahoe Open takes place July 29-August 4, 2013 at the stunning Montrêux Golf & Country Club, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course and one of the longest on the PGA TOUR.

“We see the NGA Pro Golf Tour as the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States, after the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour,” added Waters. “It is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour professionals, as well. This exemption opportunity, to have one of our professionals play in a PGA TOUR event, further highlights our Tour as the leading developmental tour.”

For more information on the Reno-Tahoe Open, visit www.RenoTahoeOpen.com or call 775-322-3900.

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