Moving On the 15 Graduates of the 2000 BUYCOM Tour

By Golf Channel NewsroomFebruary 2, 2001, 5:00 pm
Every December, the 15 top finishers at the grueling PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, or Q-School, win the right to play the big tour the following year. Here's a look at the class of 2000.
1. SPIKE McROY - Number 1 on the Buy.Com money list, Spike McRoy is back again for another go at the PGA Tour. He previously played the regular tour in 1997 and 1998, but last year won the Buy.Com Tour Championship and was named Buy.Com Player of the Year. He had won the Dakota Dunes Open earlier in the year. McRoy first was a member of the Buy.Com Tour in 1992 after a collegiate career at the University of Alabama. He is an aficionado of the stock market.
2. MARK HENSBY - A native of Australia who now lives in Phoenix, Ariz., Hensby begins his first year of play on the regular tour. Mark became a father last year for the first time, daughter Chase born in February. He entered 29 Buy.Com events last year and was in the top 10 five times. Hensby held the top spot in the money list for sixteen weeks, surrendering it at the Buy.Com Tour Championship to McRoy with a tie for 39th.
3. TIM CLARK - This South African was born in Durban but played college golf at North Carolina State University. Only 5-7 and 150 pounds, he played the Buy.Com tour for two years before finally breaking through. He won twice in 2000 within three weeks' time, at the Fort Smith Classic and the Boise Open. The Boise win gave him a first-place check of $100,080, largest in the tour's 11-year history. In 1997, he was Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year.
4. BRINEY BAIRD - Briney, the son of Senior Tour pro Butch Baird, was a member of the PGA Tour in 1999 and the Buy.Com in 1997-98 and 2000. A South Florida native, he played in 26 events last year, finishing in the top 10 an even 10 times and the top 25 14 times. He won the Monterrey Open and was never lower than eighth after the first nine events of the season. Baird played high school soccer and was Most Valuable Player of the team.
5. IAN LEGGATT - A native of Canada, Leggatt spent only one year on the Buy.Com Tour. He made the cut in 11 of the first 12 Buy.Com events and finished in the top 10 six times and in the top 25 10 times. Leggatt won at the Dayton Open, one of four Canadians to win on the Buy.Com Tour last year. He served as athletic director for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Tx., and was a former national speed skating champion of Canada.
6. CHRIS SMITH - Three-time holder of a PGA Tour card, the last time in 1999, Smith had seven top-10s and 13 top-25s. He established a Buy.Com record with five runner-up finishes and is No. 1 on the all-time Buy.Com money list with $605,332. He was out for seven weeks last year with a wrist injury incurred at the Omaha Classic. Smith has a drive of 427 yards at the 1999 Honda Classic, a PGA Tour record. He was an All-American at Ohio State in 1991 and Indiana State Amateur Champion in 1990.
7. KENT JONES - A member of the Buy.Com Tour for three years and the PGA Tour in 1998-99, Jones was the first two-time winner of the 2000 Buy.Com season. He won both the Shreveport Open and the Greensboro Open. His 263 score broke a Buy.Com Greensboro record. College teammate of PGA Tour's Tim Herron at New Mexico, he played the Canadian Tour in 1993 and 1994 and the Hooters Tour in 1995.
8. TRIPP ISENHOUR - Isenhour is playing on the PGA Tour the first year, having been a member of the Buy.Com Tour for four years. He won a Buy.Com event for the first time last year when he won the Mississippi Gulf Coast tournament. A native of Saulsbury, N.C., Isenhour went to Georgia Tech and graduated in 1990. He was an All-American at Georgia Tech in 1990.
9. PAUL GOW - This Aussie was a four-year Buy.Com performer, having played the tour from 1996 to last year. He joined the American tour after playing five events on his native Australian Tour. He played 15 Buy.Com events last year and finished in the top 10 in nine of them. Included among his high finishes was a win at the Hershey Open. Winner of the 2000 Canon Challenge, he finished sixth last year on the Australian Order of Merit (money ranking.)
10. JOHN RIEGGER - This 38-year-old was a member of the Buy.Com Tour back in 1991, but after a tie for third in the Tour Championship, he moved up from the No. 16 position to gain another PGA Tour card. He earned more money last year ($200,904) than he had in 29 starts on the regular tour in 1998 ($150,874.) Riegger was the winner of the 1985 Southland Classic as a collegian at Lamar University. He has also won several international titles.
11. DAVID BERGANIO, JR. - Berganio is a four-year Buy.Com performer - 1996 and 1998-2000 - after playing on the PGA Tour for one year. He had a victory in the 2000 Wichita Open and had four top-10 finishes. He was introduced to the game while growing up in an economically depressed area of Los Angeles by a local priest who gave him his first set of clubs. A college career at the University of Arizona followed with Berganio turning pro in 1993.
12. JEFF GALLAGHER - Hailing from the golfing Gallagher family - Brother Jim, Jr., was a former Ryder Cupper and sister Jackie Gallagher-Smith plays the LPGA - Jeff has been a member of the PGA Tour three of the past six years. The other eight he has played the Buy.Com, since its establishment in 1990. He played in 14 events in 2000 and finished in the top 10 six times, including a victory in the South Carolina Classic. He stands ninth of the all-time Buy.Com money list.
13. J.J. HENRY - His first year on the PGA Tour coming up, Henry was a member of the Buy.Com in 1999 and 2000. He entered 29 events in 2000 and finished in the top 10 five times. Henry won the Knoxville Open and added holes-in-one at the Greater Cleveland Classic and the Tri-Cities. The 1998 Co-College Player of the Year, he was undefeated in four years of high school competition. Brother Kevin is a member of the University of Tulsa golf team.
14. KELLY GRUNEWALD - A Texan by birth, Grunewald played just one year on the Buy.Com Tour. Nine times he finished in the top 10, six times in the top five. He failed, however, to break though with a victory. Leading money-winner of the 1999 TearDrop Tour and 1995 Lone Star Tour Player of the Year, Grunewald was also Southland Conference Player of the Year.
15. JEFF HART - Forty-year-old grinder who has been off and on the PGA Tour since turning pro in 1983. He captured his first victory at the Buy.Com Steamtown Classic last year. The victory came in his 209th professional event - 129 PGA Tour events and 80 on the Buy.Com. Had his best season on the regular tour in 1989, when he finished 169th on the money list. Jeff is a 1981 third-team All-American at Southern California, and 1982 first-teamer.
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Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.

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“Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

“There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

“Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

“Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.