Florida Southern Alum Wins First $40,000 GUARANTEED PURSE Event of Season
(Orlando, Fla.) – Brian Richey, out of Lakeland, Fla., came to Orange County National in Winter Garden, Fla. with little expectations but felt confident in his game. Richey came into the event to gain some competitive reps before competing in second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School. Richey soon found out that driving the ball straight and rolling the flat stick well were the keys to success on the treacherous Crooked Cat and Panther Lake courses at Orange County National.
Richey, who starred at Florida Southern, opened with a 71 on the Crooked Cat course at Orange County National, former host to Final Stage of PGA TOUR Qualifying School.
"I just couldn't get the flat stick rolling in the opening round," explained Richey.
He found his putting stroke in the next two rounds however, firing a 64 in the second round and following up with a 65 in the final round. His three day 16 under par 200 stroke total was good enough for a 4 stroke win over his next nearest competitor, Logan Blondell, who is also out of Lakeland. The victory was worth $16,000 and moved Richey straight to the top of the SwingThought.com Tour Winter Series Money List. The $16,000 winner’s check was Richey’s biggest pay day of his young career and, heading into second stage of Q School, is sure to provide even more reassurance for Richey as he tries to work his way onto the Web.com Tour.
"My game is coming around,” exclaimed Richey, “and, with this win, I am taking a tremendous amount of confidence into second stage."
Richey was also a winner on the SwingThought.com Tour Pro Series this season, running away from the competition in the Palmetto State Open held at River Hills Golf Club in August. Richey was 5 strokes better than his nearest competitor in that event and earned $5400 for his win there.
Blondell, a former standout at Georgia Southern, was also a winner on the SwingThought.com Tour Pro Series this season winning the Three Ridges Golf Classic held at Three Ridges Golf Club in Knoxville, Tenn., the former Web.com Tour host site and current qualifier host. Blondell finished in solo second with scores of 71-67-66 for a three day total of 204, good enough for 12 under par in the event. Logan's second place finish was good enough to earn him $8,000 for the tournament and moved him into second place on the SwingThought.com Tour Winter Series Money List. Delaware alum Justin Martinson, a winner as well on the SwingThought.com Tour Pro Series this season, finished in solo 3rd. Martinson, out of Avondale, Penn., went back to back on the Pro Series with wins in the Albamarle Shootout and the Max Motion Physical Therapy All American Classic. Martinson finished at 10 under par for the 3 day event and earned $4,000 for his 3rd place finish. Martinson’s finish moved him to 4th on the SwingThought.com Tour Winter Series Money List. Louisville alum Riley Wheeldon, out of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, finished tied for 5th which puts him at 3rd on the season money list. The top 60 members on the season ending SwingThought.com Tour Money List will have the opportunity to enter the Winter Series Tour Championship for a Guaranteed minimum purse of $50,000.
Other notes from the week:
Eastern Michigan University alum Christopher Ross, out of Ontario, Canada, made an albatross (double eagle) on the first hole of the 3 day event. The albatross was the 3rd by Ross this year and made national news. Ross made national news earlier this year by winning 3 SwingThought.com Tour events in a row, a feat not accomplished since Zach Johnson’s magical 2001 Player of the Year campaign where he earned the nickname Back to Back to Back Zach. Ross finished tied for 7th in the event. Ross also won this year’s season opening one day event held on Crooked Cat at Orange County National.
Florida alum Phillip Choi of Orlando, Fla. won the Monday single day event held this week on Crooked Cat at Orange County National which earned him free entry into the 3 day $40,000 guaranteed purse event in addition to the first place prize check. Choi is a past SwingThought.com Tour Pro Series winner as well. He won the 2012 TimberCreek Classic in Daphne, Ala. which earned him an exemption into the Mylan Classic on the Web.com Tour.
For full results from the SwingThought.com Tour Winter Series 3 day Orange County National event, visit http://www.swingthought.com/finalresults/ws2014029/#.VFOiAjTF-QE
For full results from the SwingThought.com Tour Winter Series 1 day Orange County National event, visit http://www.swingthought.com/finalresults/ws2014027/#.VFOmHjTF-QE
The SwingThought.com Tour would like to think the entire staff at Orange County National for conducting such great professional events for our tour and our professionals these past two weeks. The SwingThought.com Tour Winter Series heads to Red Tail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla. for one and two day events next week at the championship designed golf course. The single day event winner will gain free entry into the week’s following two day event. The single-day event will be November 3 with the two-day event being conducted November 4 and 5.
For more information on the SwingThought.com Tour Winter Series or to join, visit www.SwingThought.com or call the SwingThought.com Tour offices at 800-992-8748.