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November 01, 2011

A little about the new 2012 PGA Tour members

A number of notable players were among the top 25 finishers on the Nationwide Tour money list Sunday following the Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island Club in Charleston. All 25 earned playing status on the 2012 PGA Tour.

A pair of former South Carolina Gamecocks in Kyle Thompson and Mark Anderson are moving up, as is former USC Aiken standout Scott Brown of North Augusta.

Two guys will be easy to root for next year.

Erik Compton, the former University of Georgia golfer who received his second heart transplant three years ago, has reached the PGA Tour. And U.S. Naval Academy graduate Billy Hurley III, who spent five years on active duty, graduated to the PGA Tour . . . barely. He entered the Tour Championship 25th on the money list and left in the same position, finishing $5,341 ahead of No. 26 James Nitties, who fell out of the top 25 Sunday.

Hurley’s first professional title came at the eGolf Tour’s 2006 Cedarwood Classic before he served overseas for two years as part of his Navy commitment. After returning to the game in 2009, Hurley went 0-for-3 on cuts made on the eGolf Tour before playing the tour full time in 2010.

While Hurley only had one top-10 in that 2010 season, he did manage to make 8 of 10 cuts to provide himself even more playing experience heading back to Q-School in the fall.

At the PGA Tour’s annual qualifying tournament, Hurley played his way into final stage and earned conditional status for the 2011 season. With a low status number to start, Hurley began the year as a member of the eGolf Tour and competed in both of the tour’s events in Morocco.

With the help of a few exemptions, Hurley’s Nationwide Tour season began at the Fresh Express Classic in April and started with five missed cuts in six starts.

It wasn’t until back-to-back top-5 finishes at the Wichita Open and Chiquita Classic that Hurley cemented himself as a contender for the Tour’s top 25 promotion. Two more top-10 finishes on the year left Hurley with $180,191 in single-season earnings, which was barely enough.

J.J. Killeen hung on to capture the money title with earnings of $414,273.  The 30-year-old Texan becomes fully exempt on the PGA Tour in 2012 and receives an invitation to The Players Championship in May.

The top 25 are:

Pos.

Name

2011 Earnings

Name

(wins)

Hometown (native country)

College

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

J.J. Killeen  *

$414,273

2

Fort Worth, TX

Texas Christian U.

2

Ted Potter, Jr.  *

$402,470

2

Ocala, FL

--

3

Mathew Goggin

$378,492

2

Charlotte, NC (Australia)

--

4

Jason Kokrak  *

$338,092

2

Warren, OH

Xavier U.

5

Jonas Blixt  *

$327,020

 

Jacksonville Beach, FL

Florida State U.

6

Danny Lee  *

$326,100

1

Irving, TX / Rotorua, New Zealand (South Korea)

--

7

Ken Duke

$313,241

1

Palm City, FL

Henderson State U.

8

Scott Brown  *

$282,502

 

North Augusta, SC

U. of South Carolina-Aiken

9

Gary Christian  *

$260,054

1

Chelsea, AL (England)

Auburn U.

10

Miguel Angel Carballo  *

$258,833

1

Bahia Blanca, Argentina

--

11

Troy Kelly

$248,064

 

Tacoma, WA

U. of Washington

12

Russell Knox  *

$242,821

1

Jacksonville Beach, FL (Scotland)

Jacksonville U.

13

Erik Compton  *

$239,737

1

Coral Gables, FL

U. of Georgia

14

John Mallinger

$237,779

 

Las Vegas, NV

Long Beach State U.

15

Kyle Thompson

$233,949

1

Greenville, SC

U. of South Carolina

16

Kyle Reifers

$233,677

 

Atlanta, GA

Wake Forest U.

17

Gavin Coles

$229,991

1

Winter Garden, FL (Australia)

--

18

Matt Every

$229,066

 

Jacksonville Beach, FL

U. of Florida

19

Daniel Chopra

$225,637

1

Orlando, FL (Sweden)

--

20

Steve Wheatcroft

$225,054

1

Jacksonville, FL

Indiana U.

21

Garth Mulroy

$201,732

1

Raleigh, NC (South Africa)

North Carolina State U.

22

Mark Anderson  *

$188,550

 

Beaufort, SC

U. of South Carolina

23

Roberto Castro  *

$186,563

 

Atlanta, GA

Georgia Tech U.

24

Martin Flores

$182,612

 

Dallas, TX

U. of Oklahoma

25

Billy Hurley III  *

$180,191

 

Annapolis, MD

U.S. Naval Academy

 * = will be first-year member of PGA TOUR in 2012

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