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Daniel McCarthy wins Milton Martin Honda Classic

Gainesville, Ga. – (March 24, 2013) – One would think that the differences between Syracuse, N.Y., and Gainesville, Ga., would be vast, but Syracuse native Daniel McCarthy believes the two cities have more in common than most realize, especially when it comes to golf.

After finishing T11 in the 2011 event at Chattahoochee Golf Club, the former Le Moyne College standout and 2013 Web.com Tour member earmarked the Milton Martin Honda Classic on his calendar.

“One of the reasons I came back to play here was the greens were very similar to what I grew up playing in terms of the undulations, speed, firmness and stuff like that,” said McCarthy. “The weather is also very similar to spring golf in upset New York. I’ve played golf in these types of conditions probably more than most people in this field.”

It showed.

McCarthy overcame firm greens and cold temperatures in the first two rounds to move atop the leaderboard at 5-under par. And when the final two rounds were canceled due to incessant rains, the former Dolphin earned his first victory on the NGA TOUR Pro Series by a single stroke over Seth Fair.

“I was pleased with the way I played,” said McCarthy, who earned $28,000. “I kept the ball in front of me. I didn’t get out of position more than a couple of times, which is very important out here. That’s the reason I played as well as I did.”

Despite the field average being well over par, McCarthy was one of two golfers that posted sub-par rounds on Thursday and Friday, shooting a 2-under 70 in the first round and a 3-under 69 in the second round. Over the course of two rounds, McCarthy carded nine birdies, 23 pars and just four bogeys en route to his first victory on the top-rated developmental tour.

“I’m definitely going to throw this into my confidence for the Web.com Tour events that I’m going to get into this season and future NGA TOUR events,” said McCarthy, who earned conditional status on the Web.com Tour this season after advancing to the final stage of PGA Tour Q-School in 2012. “The competition on the NGA TOUR is very similar to what you’re going to see on the Web.com Tour. If you can win on this tour, you can win on that tour, and even win on the PGA TOUR.”

Fair, a former All-American at the University of Indianapolis, was the only other golfer in the field to post two sub-par rounds during the Milton Martin Honda Classic. Fair opened with a 1-under 70 on Thursday and closed with a 3-under 69 in Friday’s second round. Fair, of Fishers, Ind., posted nine birdies, 22 pars and five bogeys during the event and finished at 4-under par. Despite coming up just shy of his first victory, Fair’s runner-up finish was a career-best for the former Greyhound and his third top-10 finish of the season.

Will McCurdy of Auburn, Ala., also posted a career-best effort in the Milton Martin Honda Classic. The former University of Auburn stalwart posted a 3-under 69 on Thursday to earn a share of the lead, but his even-par 72 in the second round left him at 3-under par and in solo third at the finish.

Warner Robins’ Chris Wolfe, who also held a share of the first-round lead with a 3-under 69, posted a 1-over 73 in the second round to slip into a tie for fourth with rookie Trent Whitekiller at 2-under par. After shooting a 2-under 70 on Thursday, Whitekiller, an Oklahoma State alumnus from Sallisaw, Okla., carded an even-par 72 in the second round. Wolfe, a former Armstrong Atlantic State University golfer, matched his career-best finish with his T4, while Whitekiller claimed his fourth top-10 finish of the season.  

Jack Newman, the 2008 U.S. Public Links champion from Des Moines, Iowa, carded rounds of 73 and 70 to finish at 1-under par and tied for sixth with Kent Bulle (Glasgow, Ky.), Andrew Medley (Athens, Ala.) and Will Mitchell (Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada).

Through the first five events of the NGA TOUR season, five first-time winners have been crowned. Past NGA TOUR winners Justin Lower (Canal Fulton, Ohio) and Chas Narramore (Kingston, Tenn.) hoped to break that streak this week, but the duo had to settle for a share of 10th place with Patton Kizzire (St. Simons Island) and Tyler Brown (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) at even par.

For full-field scores, click here

The NGA TOUR would like to thank all the staff at Chattahoochee Golf Club and volunteers at the Milton Martin Honda Classic for another great event.

The NGA TOUR will return to action with the playing of the NeSmith Chevrolet Classic at Sapelo Hammock Golf Club in Shellman Bluff, Ga., on April 1-7.

Saturday Update: Daniel McCarthy holds lead in Milton Martin Honda Classic

Gainesville, Ga. – (March 23, 2013) – After facing a tough layout over the first two rounds of the Milton Martin Honda Classic, NGA TOUR players were granted a reprieve on Saturday, albeit and unwanted one.  
 
Heavy rains forced the third round at Chattahoochee Golf Course to be postponed until Sunday and shortened the 72-hole event to 54 holes. Daniel McCarthy will carry the lead into the final round in pursuit of his first NGA TOUR victory.

McCarthy backed up his first-round 70 with a 3-under 69 in the second round of the NGA TOUR’s Milton Martin Honda Classic on Friday to take the lead at 5-under par. McCarthy, a former Le Moyne College standout from Syracuse, N.Y., posted four birdies and one bogey at Chattahoochee Golf Course in the second round of play and finished the day one stroke clear of Seth Fair.

Fair, a former All-American at the University of Indianapolis, also shot a 3-under 69 in the second round of the Milton Martin Honda Classic. Fair, of Fishers, Ind., posted six birdies and three birdies on Friday to reach 4-under par for the event. Like McCarthy, Fair is also searching for his first victory on the NGA TOUR.

After holding a share of the first-round lead, Will McCurdy of Auburn, Ala., slipped to third with an even-par 72 in the second round. The former University of Auburn stalwart is 3-under par going into the final round. McCurdy will join Fair and McCarthy in the final pairing, which goes off at 10:20 a.m. on Sunday.

Warner Robins’ Chris Wolfe, who also held a share of the first-round lead, posted a 1-over 73 in the second round to slip into a tie for fourth with rookie Trent Whitekiller at 2-under par. After shooting a 2-under 70 on Thursday, Whitekiller, an Oklahoma State alumnus from Sallisaw, Okla., carded an even-par 72 in the second round.

Jack Newman, the 2008 U.S. Public Links champion, shot a 2-under 70 in the second round to move into a tie for seventh with Kent Bulle (72), Andrew Medley (71) and Will Mitchell (72) at 1-under par.

Through the first four events of the NGA TOUR season, four first-time winners have been crowned – and it looks as if that trend may continue. The top nine on the leaderboard have yet to break into the winner’s circle on the top-rated developmental tour.

Past NGA TOUR winners Justin Lower and Chas Narramore will be looking to put an end to the streak on Sunday. Lower, who won the Spring Hill Classic earlier this season, matched the low round of the tournament with a 68 in the second round to join Narramore, a 2012 NGA TOUR winner, in a tie for 10th at even par. Patton Kizzire and Tyler Brown are also T10 and even-par going into the final round.

For full-field scores, click here.

The final round of the Milton Martin Honda Classic will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday and the awards ceremony will follow immediately after the tournament. As always, admission is free to the public.

Friday Update: Daniel McCarthy holds clubhouse lead in Milton Martin Honda Classic

Gainesville, Ga. – (March 22, 2013) – Daniel McCarthy backed up his first-round 70 with a 3-under 69 in the second round of the NGA TOUR’s Milton Martin Honda Classic on Friday to take the clubhouse lead at 5-under par.
 
McCarthy, a former Le Moyne College standout from Syracuse, N.Y., posted four birdies and one bogey at Chattahoochee Golf Course in the second round of play and finished the day one stroke clear of Seth Fair when play was suspended due to darkness late on Friday afternoon.

Fair, a former All-American at the University of Indianapolis, also shot a 3-under 69 in the second round of the Milton Martin Honda Classic. Fair, of Fishers, Ind., posted six birdies and three birdies on Friday to reach 4-under par for the event. Both Fair and McCarthy are searching for their first win on the NGA TOUR.

After holding a share of the first-round lead, Will McCurdy of Auburn, Ala., slipped into a tie for third with an even-par 72 in the second round. The former University of Auburn stalwart is 3-under par and tied with Stephen Grant of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Grant was still on the course when pay was suspended.

Warner Robins’ Chris Wolfe, who also held a share of the first-round lead, posted a 1-over 73 in the second round to slip into a tie for fifth with rookie Trent Whitekiller at 2-under par. After shooting a 2-under 70 on Thursday, Whitekiller, an Oklahoma State alumnus from Sallisaw, Okla., carded an even-par 72 on Friday.

Jack Newman, the 2008 U.S. Public Links champion, shot a 2-under 70 in the second round to move into a tie for seventh with Kent Bulle (72), Andrew Medley (71) and Will Mitchell (72) at 1-under par.

For full-field scores, click here.

The second round of the Milton Martin Honda Classic will resume at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday and the third round will start shortly thereafter. As always, admission is free to the public.

First Round Update: Grant, Wolfe, McCurdy hold clubhouse lead in Milton Martin Honda Classic

Gainesville, Ga. – (March 21, 2013) – Stephen Grant has faced plenty of tough competition in his career, but most of it was in the form of hacking defenders during his time as a striker for the Shamrock Rovers F.C. But on Thursday, the soccer-player-turned golfer proved he was anything but a one-dimensional athlete.
 
Grant, who now resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., posted four birdies and one bogey in the opening round of the $200,000 Milton Martin Honda Classic at Chattahoochee Golf Course and held a share of the lead with Chris Wolfe and Will McCurdy in the clubhouse at 3-under par when play was suspended due to darkness. 

Wolfe of Warner Robins posted five birdies, four bogeys and one eagle in the opening round, while McCurdy, a former Auburn University standout from Auburn, Ala., carded five birdies and two bogeys in the opening round to join Grant atop the leaderboard.

Super rookie Trent Whitekiller kept up his solid play in the first round, finishing the day tied for fourth. Whitekiller, a former Oklahoma State standout from Sallisaw, Okla., carded a 2-under 70 to join NGA TOUR veterans Chas Narramore (Kingston, Tenn.) and Daniel McCarthy (Syracuse, N.Y.) in a tie for fourth.

Seth Fair, Will Mitchell and Kent Bulle were the only other golfers to finish the first round under par on Thursday. Fair, a University of Indianapolis All-American from Fishers, Ind., carded three birdies and two bogeys, while Bulle, a former Middle Tennessee State standout from Glasgow, Ky., and Canadian Mitchell did the same, finishing with 1-under 71s.

Patton Kizzire (St. Simons Island), Andrew Medley (Athens, Ala.) and Jonathan Bartlett (Vero Beach, Fla.) were tied for 10th at even par when play was halted at 7:48 p.m.

Chris Naegel, Renaud Langevin, Gregory Huxman, Justin Regier and Jack Newman finished the day 1-over par and tied for 13th.

For full-field scores, click here. 

The first round of the Milton Martin Honda Classic will resume at 7:45 a.m. and the second round will begin at 8 a.m. As usual, admission is free to the public.

Strong field set for Milton Martin Honda Classic

Myrtle Beach, S.C. – (March 19, 2013) – Through the first four events of the NGA TOUR’s Pro Series, parity has been the prevailing theme. Four different winners have been crowned thus far in 2013.
 
Jon Curran, a former Vanderbilt standout of Tequesta, Fla., outlasted Chris Ross in a two-hole playoff to claim the season-opening Members Only Shootout at Killearn Country Club; Clayton Rask, a former University of Minnesota golfer from Otsego, Minn., earned a two-stroke win in the Killearn Country Club Classic; Justin Lower, a former Malone University stalwart from Canal Fulton, Ohio, won the Spring Hill Classic; and Riley Wheedlon, a University of Louisville alumnus from Comox, B.C., took last week’s Kandy Waters Memorial Classic by one shot over Brian Richey and Patton Kizzire.

While the NGA TOUR has a storied history for attracting the deepest fields this side of the PGA and Web.com Tours, the fact that the aforementioned golfers were also first-time winners on the top-rated developmental tour only adds to the lore.

This week’s Milton Martin Honda Classic will be no different as over 175 of the best up-and-coming golfers descended on the Chattahoochee Golf Club in Gainesville, Ga., for the $200,000 event.

With a field filled with NGA winners, former PGA and Web.com Tour players and highly-decorated rookies, there will be no clear-cut favorite this week. However, based on their strong starts, Lower, Wheeldon, Rask and Curran could break the first-timer streak this week.

After four events, Lower leads the 2013 NGA TOUR money standings, Wheeldon is second, Rask is third and Curran is fourth. While they would love to claim the victory, a solid finish is a must for the foursome, considering the NGA money leader at the season’s midpoint will receive an event exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Reno-Tahoe Open.

In addition to earning the lion’s share of the $200,000 purse and moving into prime position in the Reno-Tahoe Open exemption race, this week’s winner will also be in contention to earn an event exemption into the Web.com Tour’s BMW Charity Pro-Am, which will be awarded to the highest earner after the next four events. With his win last week, Wheeldon current leads the standings.

Though he hasn’t won this season, Trent Whitekiller may be one of the hottest golfers on the NGA TOUR coming into the Milton Martin Honda Classic. After playing his first nine rounds on the NGA TOUR par or better, the Oklahoma State alumnus from Sallisaw, Okla., struggled – like everyone – in last week’s Kandy Waters Memorial Classic. Despite his T19 finish last week, Whitekiller is fifth on the NGA TOUR money list and has three top-10 finishes in his first four starts on the NGA TOUR.

Perennial NGA TOUR favorite Brandon Brown and 2011 Web.com Tour member Travis Bertoni will be looking to become the first two-time winners in the history of the Milton Martin Honda Classic this week.

In 2011, Brown, a former Western Kentucky golfer, edged Zach Sucher and James Vargas in the rain-shortened event to claim his first victory since 2007 on the NGA Tour, and the Shelbyville, Ky., golfer hasn’t slowed down since. Brown has earned four more NGA TOUR wins and the 2012 NGA Player of the Year award since his 2011 victory.

In 2010, Bertoni, a Cal Poly alumnus, ran away from the field, posting a 19-under 265 total and winning by five shots over current PGA TOUR member Roberto Castro. The 2012 Milton Martin Honda Classic was canceled due to weather.

After winning a tour-high three times in 2012, David Skinns of Lincoln, England, started out the 2013 season with a T12 finish and will be one of the favorites this week. The former University of Tennessee All-American has finished inside the top 15 in 10 of his last 13 starts on the NGA TOUR Pro Series. Skinns, a former NGA TOUR Player of the Year and Suwanee, Ga. Resident, held a share of the lead during the first round of the PGA TOUR’s Tampa Bay Championship a week ago.

Jeff Corr, a 2012 Web.com Tour member, is another veteran player that is expected to contend for the win this week. The Jacksonville State alum is a four-time NGA TOUR Pro Series winner and two-time victor on the Bridgestone Winter Series this season. Corr of Longwood, Fla., has finished inside the top 15 in 10 of his last 14 starts on the NGA TOUR.

Highly-touted rookie Hunter Hamrick, a former University of Alabama All-American, lived up to his billing in the season-opener at Killearn, finishing T9, and will be looking to continue his stellar play this week. Hamrick, who helped the Crimson Tide to a No. 1 ranking in 2012, competed in five PGA TOUR events last season, including the U.S. Open where he finished T46. Hamrick also posted a T10 finish in the True South Classic on his way to earning over $115,000 on the PGA TOUR in 2012.

This week’s field will also include 2012 NGA Pro Series winners Rick Cochran, the nephew of PGA winner Russ Cochran and a Middle Tennessee State alumnus; Jonathan Randolph, a 2010 All-Nicklaus team member and All-American selection from Ole Miss; Ken Looper, a former LSU standout; Chas Narramore, a former Middle Tennessee State stalwart; Tyson Alexander, a former University of Florida All-American: and Jay Woodson, a former James Madison University linkster.

Others notable participants include: Stuart Anderson, a 2012 Web.com Tour member; T.J. Bordeaux, a BWS winner and four-time Big West All-Conference selection at the University of Pacific; Major Manning, a former Web.com Tour member; Jack Newman, the 2008 U.S. Public Links champion; and multi-time NGA TOUR winners James Vargas and Mark Blakefield.

There will also be a large contingent of Georgia golfers hoping to keep the winner’s check in state. Chattahoochee director of golf Rodger Hogan is part of the field along with other locals, including Jim Foote (Gainesville), Ryan Chitwood (Lula) and Blake Palmer (Dawsonville).

The first round of the Milton Martin Honda Classic is scheduled to start on Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 a.m. As always, admission is free to the public.

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The NGA Pro Golf Tour, established in 1988, predates the Web.com 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 Web.com Tour event exemptions for its members, the most in developmental golf.

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