News >> Knox Goes Wire To Wire In Mississippi

The Gold Strike Casino Golf Classic
Tunica National Golf Club
August 5-8, 2010
Robinsonville, MS (August 8, 2010)… Russell Knox of Scotland carded a bogey free seven-under par 65 at Tunica National Golf Club in the final round of The Gold Strike Casino Golf Classic and to capture his second career NGA Hooters Tour title.
Knox began the final round in first place at twenty-two under par after carding rounds of 62-61-71 over the first three rounds. In Sunday’s final round Knox jumped out early with a birdie on his opening hole and then added three more birdies on holes three, six and nine to turn at four-under par 32 and move his tournament total to twenty-six under par.
“From the opening drive of the week I was hitting the ball really well and I was able to carry that momentum over each day to get my second career win,” said the twenty-six year old of his amazing week on the course. “After I set the course record on Thursday I was a little nervous coming into Friday’s round because it is usually hard to back up a low round but things were going my way and I was able set the record again with a 61.”
On the back nine Sunday Knox left no doubt who the dominant golfer was in Tunica this week as he added birdies on numbers ten, fourteen and sixteen for a final nine of 33 and a tournament total of twenty-nine under par 259. For the week, the former Jacksonville University golfer took advantage of the par five’s on the Tunica National course carding twelve birdies and three eagles to set the pace.
“I got into trouble during yesterday’s front nine and I am glad it happened then and not today,” said Knox. “I am proud of the way that I was able to get back into my groove that I was in the first two days over the final nine yesterday and all eighteen today.”
With his first place finish on Sunday, Russell Knox collects $30,000 and jumps to second on the season’s money list with $82,960 in earnings but more importantly his first place finish puts him in the lead for the Knoxville News Sentinel Open Exemption. The Knoxville News Sentinel Open exemption will be granted to The NGA Hooters Tour leading points winner over the three (3) events in July and August: Auburn, Alabama, Tunica, Mississippi & LaGrange, GA. The NGA Hooters Tour member who accumulates the most points in those three events will earn the exemption into The Knoxville News Sentinel Open. With his first place finish this week and a tie for third finish last week Knox jumps out in front of early leader Michael Thompson by 135 points with 925.
“I earned my only other victory last year in Dancing Rabbit (Choctaw, MS) so I may have to move here (to Mississippi) because my luck is really good here,” joked Knox after his round.
Former Austin Peay state golfer Grant Leaver (Centerville, TN) finished alone in second place eight strokes behind Knox thanks in part to a five-under par 67 on Sunday that vaulted him from fourth to second. For the week, Leaver posted rounds of 65-67-68-67 for a four day total of twenty-one under par 267 and earned him a check worth $16,000.
Current money leader Matt Harmon (Grand Rapids, MI), Todd Bailey (Spanish Fort, AL) and Jerrett Hamilton (Richardson, TX) finished tied for third at eighteen-under par 270. Harmon carded a three-under 69 Sunday, Bailey matched Knox for the low round of the day with a 65 and Hamilton managed only an even par 72 to get the 270 mark. The trio took home $9,200.
Former Ole Miss golfer Kyle Ellis (Senatobia) headed up the local Mississippi contingent in the Gold Strike Casino Classic finishing T-42 at nine-under par 279 for the week. Other Mississippians included Jackson’s Josh Oller (three-under par 285) and Jesse Spiers of Oxford (even par 288). Memphis native Scott Tashie posted an even par 72 Sunday and finished T-58 at five-under par 283.
The NGA Hooters Tour heads back east to LaGrange, GA next week for the Chattahoochee Hospice Classic at Overlook Golf Links with action beginning on Thursday August 12 and finishing on Sunday August 15.
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HOOTS: The NGA Hooters Tour would like to thank Tunica National General Manager Bob Wolcott, head professional Matt Burnetz and all their staffs for great tournament week in Mississippi. The Tour would also like to thank Superintendant Jason Lloyd and his crew as they had the course in perfect condition each and every day. The tour would also like to give  special thanks to the Gold Strike Casino for being the title sponsor and the host hotel for this week’s stop in Tunica.