Fore! It’s time for golf once again, and we will strive to keep you updated on the local golf scene this year by letting you know who is playing well in area events, and getting out information about tournaments or news from your country club. A lot has happened since we signed off last October, so let’s get to the first tee.
Langley on Hogan list
Illinois senior Scott Langley has been named to the watch list for the 2011 Ben Hogan Award. The honor is presented annually by Baird Private Wealth Management in association with Colonial Country Club, The Friends of Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America to the top men’s collegiate golfer, taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during a 12-month period.
Langley, a Parkway South grad, is one of 26 on the initial Hogan Award watch list. The semifinalists will be announced April 14, with the three finalists invited to the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas, on May 16 for the announcement of the winner.
Langley, the 2010 NCAA champion who tied for 16th at last year’s U.S. Open, is currently ranked seventh in the World Amateur rankings. He won the clinching match for the U.S. at the Palmer Cup in June and was a member of the three-man U.S. team at the World Team Amateur Championships in Buenos Aries in October. His career stroke average would better Steve Stricker as the best in Illinois history.
Jasper on Nationwide Tour
Shawn Jasper, a 2007 graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in marketing, secured full status on the Nationwide Tour for 2011. He did so at PGA Tour Qualifying School in Orlando, Fla.
“It’s a huge step for me. I’m finally starting to see things coming together,” says Jasper. “It looks like I’ll be able to make a living by playing golf. It’s going to be a fun year.”
The 26-year-old Jasper, Francis Howell graduate and native of Marthasville, finished the six-day, 108-hole marathon in a tie for 64th place with a six-round score of 426 in the event held at the Orange County National Golf Center & Lodge. It was his fourth trip to the PGA Tour Qualifying School but first time to reach the finals of the competition.
Jasper began his professional career the summer after his senior year at the University of Missouri and competed right away on the Canadian Tour. Since then, he has made his way around other small tours including the Hooters Tour and Adams Golf Pro Tour as well as one in North Carolina.
Last summer, Jasper secured his first professional victory and a $6,000 payday at Country Club of St. Albans at the fifth Metropolitan Open Championship. He was the Metropolitan Amateur Match Play champion in 2005. “My ultimate goal will be to finish in the top 25 money winners on the Nationwide so I can go on to the PGA Tour,” Jasper says. “But, my main goals are to get better and keep learning. It was a major step making it up this far. It’s something I’m going to relish and have as much fun as I can.”
The golf community lost a good man with the passing of Jim Blair, a longtime amateur golf standout and an insurance brokerage executive.
He passed away in December at his Frontenac home of complications from multiple sclerosis. He was 79.
Blair, a former member of the Missouri Conservation Commission and the son of the late Missouri Gov. James Blair, won the Missouri state amateur golf championship in 1952 and 1955, and was a three-time St. Louis District Golf Association champion. He played several times in the U.S. Open and competed on the PGA Tour as an amateur in the 1950s.
He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, and also is a member of the St. Louis Golf Hall of Fame.
The 13th annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Golf Tournament will be held May 23 at Boone Valley Golf Club with honorary chair, NFL Hall-of-Famer Jackie Smith.
The shotgun format allows not only the experienced golfer to compete in tournament play, but also offers the novice a chance at true competition on this challenging course with picturesque cliffs, water hazards and sand bunkers to help raise awareness and funds for JDRF. For more information call 729-1846.
If you have any golf news, a tournament to promote, or someone to feature, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading and remember, you can’t birdie all the holes unless you birdie the first one. LN