News >> NGA champion Bubba Watson wins 76th Masters in Playoff

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NGA vet Andrew Svoboda claims career-best finish on NW Tour-

Augusta, Ga. - April 8, 2012 - Former NGA Pro Golf Tour winner Bubba Watson shot a 4-under 68 in the final round of the 76th Masters to force a playoff in the first major championship of the year.

 On the second extra hole, Watson made a miraculous par save to oust Louis Oosthuizen at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday afternoon and walked away with the coveted Green Jacket.

“I never got this far in my dreams,” Watson said during the victory ceremony at Butler Cabin.

While Watson never allowed himself to imagine winning the prestigious event, it took plenty of imagination to recover from an errant tee shot on the second playoff hole.

Watson’s ball landed well offline and the 2004 NGA Michelob Ultra champion needed a sweeping hook out of pine straw to find the putting surface in regulation. He made it look easy.

"I was there earlier today in regulation,” Watson said of his final approach. “I hooked it 40 yards. I’m pretty good at hooking it.”

Watson approach landed within 10 feet, while Oosthuizen’s second shot landed short of the green and his ensuing chip was still outside of Watson’s ball. The long hitting lefty two-putted for par and claimed the 15th major title by NGA Pro Golf Tour alumni. Watson finished with rounds of 69-71-70-68 for a 10-under 278 total.

Former NGA Tour member Jim Furyk carded a 2-under 70 on Sunday to finish 11th at 3-under par, while alum Kevin Na finished T12 at 2-under par. Na shot a final-round 68.

Keegan Bradley and Scott Stallings were playing together on the NGA Pro Golf Tour three years ago and found themselves together again on Sunday. The duo finished 2-over par and tied for 27th.

Former NGA Tour Player of the Year Zach Johnson finished 3-over and tied for 32nd with alum Sean O’Hair.

For full-field scores, click.

Nationwide Tour: Longtime NGA Tour member Andrew Svoboda carded an even-par 71 in the final round of the Soboba Golf Classic and finished second, two shots behind winner Andres Gonzales.

Svoboda, a veteran of 55 NGA Tour starts, finished the event with rounds of 71-70-66-71 for a 6-under 278 total. Despite coming up short, the solo second was the St. John’s product’s career-best effort on the nationwide Tour.

Alum Michael Letzig finished in a tie for third at 5-under par, while alums Justin Hicks and Camilo Benedetti finished T5 at 4-under par.

Two-time 2011 NGA Tour winner Philip Pettitt Jr. shot the lowest round on Sunday to move from T48 into a tie for ninth with former NGA members Jim Renner and Luke List. Pettitt fired a 6-under 65 to finish at 2-under par.

Fellow 2011 NGA Tour members Reid Edstrom and Will Wilcox finished at 1-under par and tied for 12th with alum Joe Durant.

NGA’ers Jim Herman, Justin Bolli, Aron Price, Robert Streb and Robert Damron finished with even-par 284 totals at the Country Club of Soboba Springs and tied for 19th.

Alum Andre Stolz and 2011 member Scott Parel finished T24.

For full-field scores, click.  

NGA'ers close to weekend sweep-

Augusta, Ga. - April 7, 2012 - Former NGA Pro Golf Tour winner Bubba Watson shot a 2-under 70 in the third round of the 76th Masters and will start Sunday in fourth place, three shots off the lead.

Watson, the 2004 NGA Michelob Ultra Classic winner, was 1-over par through 11 holes, but he rallied with three birdies over the final six holes to reach 6-under par for the event. Watson will be paired with Louis Oosthuizen in penultimate group on Sunday at Augusta National.

Alum Sean O’Hair shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday to reach 2-under par for the event. O’Hair, who played on the NGA Tour in 2001, is T11 going into the final round.

Jim Furyk, a 1992 NGA Tour member, is T19 and 1-under par, while 2009 NGA Tour member Scott Stallings is T27 in his first Masters appearance.

Alum Kevin Na shot an even-par 72 in the third round and is T32 at 2-over par, while former NGA Tour Player of the Year Zach Johnson is 3-over and tied for 38th entering the final round.

For full-field scores, click.

Nationwide Tour: Longtime NGA Tour member Andrew Svoboda shot a 5-under 66 in the third round of the Nationwide Tour’s Soboba Classic on Saturday to move into a tie for second at 6-under par.

Svoboda, a veteran of 55 NGA Tour starts, had seven birdies and one bogey at the Country Club at Soboba Springs on Saturday to pull within one shot of leader Andres Gonzales going into the final round.

Alum Michael Letzig shot a 4-under 67 to climb into contention on Moving Day. The former NGA Tour member is solo fourth and four shots off the lead.

NGA veteran Camilo Benedetti will also start the final round within earshot of the lead. Benedetti, who has 44 starts on the NGA Tour, shot a 3-under 68 in the third round to move into fifth at 3-under par.

Shawn Stefani, a 2011 NGA Tour member, will enter the final round 2-under par and tied for sixth with alum Robert Damron, while Will Wilcox, a 2011 member, and Jim Renner, a 2010 member, are T11 at 1-under par.

Jeff Corr, the reigning NGA Player of the Year and current member, shot a 2-under 69 to move into a tie for 15th with alums Robert Streb, Luke List, Aron Price and Scott Gutschewski.

For full-field scores, click.  

Alums Furyk, O'Hair, Woodland 4 back at Augusta National-  

Augusta, Ga. - April 6, 2012 - Former NGA Pro Golf Tour winner Bubba Watson stayed in contention at the 76th Masters after shooting a 1-under 71 in the second round at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday.

Watson, the 2004 NGA Michelob Ultra champion, got off to a rocky start, carding two bogeys and no birdies on the outward nine. However, the lanky lefty got things headed in the right direction during the middle stages of the back nine by reeling off three birdies in a four-hole stretch to return to red numbers and reach 4-under par for the tournament.

Watson will start the weekend trailing only Fred Couples and Jason Dufner, who are 5-under par.

Former NGA Tour members Jim Furyk, Sean O’Hair and Gary Woodland kept themselves within striking distance going into the third round. Woodland and O’Hair shot 2-under 70s, while Furyk shot a 1-over 73. All three are T19 at 1-under par.

Zach Johnson, a former Masters champion and 2001 NGA Tour POY, slipped down the leaderboard a bit in the second round after carding a 2-over 74. Johnson, a 4-time NGA Tour winner, is even par and T24 going into the weekend.

Alums Stewart Cink, David Toms and Kevin Na are 2-over par and T33 entering the final two rounds of play.

For full-field scores, click.

Nationwide Tour: 2011 NGA Tour member Shawn Stefani shot a 3-under 68 in the second round of the Soboba Golf Classic to pull to within one shot of leader Andres Gonzales.

Stefani, a five-year NGA veteran and 2009 Onion Creek champion, had five birdies and two bogeys at The Country Club of Soboba Springs on Friday to reel in first-round leader Gonzales, who carded 1-under 70 in the second round.

Alum Joe Durant matched the low round of the day with a 4-under 67. The stellar round pushed the six-year NGA Tour player up 42 spots on the leaderboard and into a tie for third at 3-under par heading into the weekend.

Reid Edstrom, a 2011 NGA Tour member, shot a 2-under 69 on Friday to put himself in a good position to earn his best finish of the season. The Auburn alumnus is 2-under par and T5 with two rounds to play.

Alums Roger Tambellini, Justin Bolli and Andrew Svoboda are 1-under par and T7, while former NGA’ers Jim Renner, Robert Damron, Camilo Benedetti, Jim Herman and Edward Loar, Alex Coe, Michael Letzig, Aron Price and Diego Velasquez are even par and T12.

Alums Justin Hicks, James Sacheck and Luke List are 1-over and T24. 2011 NGA Tour members Jeff Corr, Robert Streb, Lee Williams and Will Wilcox are T34 and 2 over.

For full-field scores, click.  

Alums Johnson, Furyk, Stallings T10 in Masters-

Augusta, Ga. - April 5, 2012 - While most of the field in the 76th Masters plodded their way round Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday, former NGA Pro Golf Tour winner Bubba Watson freewheeled his way to a 3-under 69 in the opening round.

Watson, the 2004 NGA Michelob Ultra Classic winner, had five birdies and two bogeys in the opening round to finish the day tied for fourth and two shots behind leader Lee Westwood.

Fellow NGA Tour winner Zach Johnson was even par through 12 holes, but the 2001 NGA Tour player of the Year played his final six holes 2-under par to finish in a tie for 10th with former NGA Tour members Jim Furyk and Scott Stallings at 2-under par.

Furyk, a 1992 NGA Tour member, went bogey-free in the first round and made two birdies to finish a 70, while Stallings, a 2009 NGA Tour member, had four birdies and two bogeys in his first start in the Masters.

Keegan Bradley, a 2009 NGA Tour member/winner, was en route to joining the trio in a tie for 10th, but the St. John’s alumnus dropped a shot on No. 18 to fall into a tie for 14th with alums Kevin Na and Stewart Cink.

For full-field scores, click here.

Nationwide Tour: Current NGA Tour member and reigning NGA POY Jeff Corr appears ready to follow in the footsteps of 2011 NGA Tour members Will Wilcox, Ted Potter, Russell Knox, Casey Wittenberg and Matt Hendrix by playing his way onto the Nationwide Tour.

Corr, who Monday qualified for the event, started the day with a bogey on his third hole, but the two-time 2011 NGA Tour winner rebounded with three birdies and no bogeys the rest of the way to finish the opening round of Soboba Golf Classic tied for second at 2-under par.

Ben Briscoe, a 2011 NGA Tour member, rebounded from a dismal start to finish with a 2-under 69 and tied for second. The Old Colwyn, Wales, native was 3 over through three holes before running off five birdies to end the round. NGA alums Derek Fathauer, Justin Bolli, Chris Baryla and Bubba Dickerson also carded 2-under 69s at The Country Club at Soboba Springs to finish the day T2.

Shawn Stefani, a 2011 NGA Tour member, remained hot after finishing T36 in the PGA Tour’s Houston Open last week. The Lamar University graduate had four birdies against three bogeys to finish the opening round 1-under par and tied for 10th with alums Paul Claxton, Ron Whittaker, Justin Hicks, Ewan Porter and Robert Damron.

NGA’ers Cliff Kresge, Andrew Svoboda, John Kimbell, Fernando Mechereffe, Reid Edstrom, Philip Pettitt Jr., Roger Tambellini, Grant Doverspike, James Sacheck, Jim Herman, Edward Loar, Brian Anderson and Robert Streb are even par and T23 following the first round.

For full-field scores, click here.  

Current members Vargas, Corr and Justesen MQ-ed into Soboba-

Myrtle Beach, S.C. - March 4, 2012 - On Thursday, March 5, 15 former NGA Pro Golf Tour players will step to the first tee at The Masters with dreams of grandeur, knowing a win in this prestigious event will be a highlight they carry for life.

While the $1.35 million, a 5-year PGA Tour exemption, 10-year majors exemption, the famous green jacket, a lifetime exemption to The Masters, a spot in the Champions Locker Room and selecting next year’s Champions Dinner menu are nice perks, beating the best in the business and being mentioned in the same sentence as the legends of the game is, perhaps, a more prestigious perk.

Former NGA Pro Golf Tour Player of the Year Zach Johnson knows this firsthand.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native fired rounds of 71-72-76-69 for a four day total of 1-over par 289 to earn a two-stroke victory over then-world No. 1 Tiger Woods, two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen and Rory Sabatini in 2007. With the win, Johnson went from a relatively unknown PGA Tour winner to a household name and Major champion.

Johnson will be looking for his second Masters title this week, but recent NGA Tour graduate Keegan Bradley will be looking to follow Johnson’s path from the NGA Tour to Butler Cabin in less than five years.

Given his recent performance, Bradley, a 2009 NGA Tour member, should enter this week as one of the favorites. Since joining the PGA Tour in 2011, Bradley has captured two wins, including his first Major, the 2011 PGA Championship. The former St. John’s product has yet to win in 2012, but he’s made nine starts and recorded nine top-25 finishes entering this week’s event.

Joining Bradley and Johnson in the field will be fellow NGA alums and PGA Major champions Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, Lucas Glover, David Toms and PGA winners Sean O’Hair, Ryan Palmer, Kevin Na, John Senden, Bubba Watson, Mark Wilson, Gary Woodland, Robert Garrigus and 2009 NGA Tour member Scott Stallings, who is making his first Masters start.

A victory by any of them would be the 15th Major victory by NGA Pro Golf Tour alumni.

While The Masters will take top billing this week, over 100 NGA’ers (over 60 percent of the field) will be taking part in the Nationwide Tour’s Soboba Classic in California, including current members James Vargas, Erick Justesen and 2011 Player of the Year Jeff Corr. And if history is any indicator, one of them will likely be taking the title as well. 

Through the first four Nationwide Tour events of the season, former NGA Pro Golf Tour players have won three times. Last week, 2007 NGA POY Casey Wittenberg broke through with his first Nationwide Tour victory and holds down the No. 1 spot in the PGATour.com’s Power Rankings for the Soboba Golf Classic.

Former NGA’ers Len Mattiace, Luke List and Russell Henley also make an appearance in the Power Rankings this week, holding down the No. 3, 4 and 5 spots, respectively.

While the aforementioned foursome will carry the higher rankings into the event, several current NGA Tour members should not be overlooked this week. After Monday qualifying, Corr, Vargas and Justesen have the game to do what so many NGA members did a season ago - jump to the Nationwide Tour in a single week.

This week’s event will be the fourth edition of the tournament and NGA’ers have won two of the first three. NGA Tour alum Jerod Turner won the inaugural event, while 2011 NGA member Ted Potter Jr. won the event last season in a three-hole playoff.

The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Nationwide Tours and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Nationwide Tour Professionals.

The NGA has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA, Euro, Nationwide, and Champions Tour cards. In fact, NGA alumni have won an incredible Fourteen (14) “Major” Championships.

NGA Alumni include: 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley; 2010 PGA Tour Player of the Year and 2003 US Open Champion Jim Furyk; 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink; 2009 US Open Champion Lucas Glover; 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson; 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel; 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis; two-time US Open Champion Lee Janzen; British Open and PGA Champion John Daly; British Open Champion Tom Lehman; PGA Champion David Toms; 2003 Tour Championship Winner Chad Campbell; 2010 NGA Player of the Year Michael Thompson; 2011 PGA winners Sean O'Hair, Scott Piercy, Scott Stallings, Bubba Watson, Mark Wilson, Gary Woodland and many, many more.

At this year’s PGA Tour Qualifying School, 52% of those earning full exempt status on the PGA Tour and 67% of those earning full exempt status on the Nationwide Tour were past NGA Professionals. Another 16 NGA Professionals advanced to the PGA Tour for 2012 by finishing inside the Top 25 on the Nationwide Tour money list, including 2011 NGA members Ted Potter Jr., Russell Knox and Billy Hurley III.

The NGA Pro Golf Tour, established in 1988, predates the Nationwide Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf. For more information on the NGA or the NGA Pro Golf Tour, please visit our website at www.NGATOUR.com or contact our Tour Office at (800) 992-8748.

NGA Tour alumni in Masters:

Keegan Bradley

Stewart Cink

Jim Furyk

Robert Garrigus

Lucas Glover

Zach Johnson

Kevin Na

Sean O’Hair

Ryan Palmer

John Senden

Scott Stallings

David Toms

Bubba Watson

Mark Wilson

Gary Woodland

Current and Past NGA Tour Players in Soboba Golf Classic:

Brad Adamonis

Brian Anderson

Stuart Anderson

Alex Aragon

Ryan Armour

Chris Baryla

Camilo Benedetti

Justin Bolli

Craig Bowden

D.J. Brigman

Ben Briscoe

Josh Broadaway

Paul Claxton

Michael Connell

Jeff Curl

Jeff Cuzzort

Robert damron

Glen Day

Bryan DeCorso

Chris DeForest

Bubba Dickerson

Joe Durant

Reid Edstrom

Derek Fathauer

Steve Friesen

Brad Fritsch

Stephen Gangluff

Scott Gardner

Jeff Gove

Nathan Green

Scott Gutschewski

Travis Hampshire

Matt Hendrix

Russell Henley

Jim Herman

Justin Hicks

Ryan Hietala

Tom Hoge

Kent Jones

Skip Kendall

John Kimbell

Cliff Kresge

Mike Lavery

Steve LeBrun

Michael Letzig

Luke List

Edward Loar

Andrew Loupe

Will MacKenzie

Ben Martin

Len Mattiace

Matt McQuillan

Rob Oppenheim

Scott Parel

Carl Paulson

Philip Pettitt Jr.

Ewan Porter

Aron Price

Rick Price

Fran Quinn

Jim Renner

Tag Ridings

Alexandre Rocha

Anthony Rodriguez

James Sacheck

Sam Saunders

Patrick Sheehan

Michael Sim

Nate Smith

B.J. Staten

Shawn Stefani

Darron Stiles

Andre Stolz

Robert Streb

Brian Stuard

Andrew Johnson

Hudson Swafford

Roger Tambellini

Jerod Turner

Vance Veazey

Ron Whittaker

Will Wilcox

Lee Williams

Chris Wilson

Casey Wittenberg

Monday Qualifiers:

Erick Justesen

Jeff Corr

James Vargas

Bronson La’Cassie

Joshua Wooding

Will Dodson

Fernando Mecherefee

Diego Velasquez

Grant Doverspike

Brady Stockton

Alts:

Wes Roach

Dennis Clark

Andy Winings

Josh Geary

Andy Bare

Scott Sterling

Andrew Buckle

Alex Coe