While Jonathan Randolph is far from a slouch the other 11 months of the year, the former Ole Miss All-American seems to have an affinity for August, winning the Eagles Landing Classic.
Last season, Randolph, of Brandon, Miss., picked up victories in the second and fourth week of the month en route to earning a share of the Rookie of the Year Award. On Sunday, Randolph rallied from a five-shot deficit and ousted Rick Cochran III in a playoff to win the Eagle’s Landing Classic. All three of Randolph’s wins on the NGA TOUR have come in August.
“Maybe because I was born in August,” joked Randolph, who earned $22,450 for the victory. “It’s just one of those things that happens. You work the whole year to get your game in shape for Q-School. I don’t believe in quick fixes. I’ve been working on some things and been patient with it.”
Whatever Randolph has been tweaking, it worked well in the final round.
Playing on a tough, par-70 layout, Randolph birdied three of his first six holes, while Cochran was 1-over going to No. 7.
“The front side played tough all week,” said Randolph, who finished with rounds of 67-65-64-70 for a 14-under 266 total. “Coming into the final round, I wanted get to 3 under on the front and go 4 under on the back.”
Randolph birdied Nos. 12 and 14 to take his first lead of the day, but he would struggle to achieve his goal of 7-under par for the round.
“I birdied a few early on the back and needed two more to reach my goal,” said Randolph “I didn’t know where I stood, so I was really trying to get two more. I wasn’t able to do it, but thankfully I got into a playoff.”
Though Cochran didn’t have his best stuff in the final round, the former Middle Tennessee State standout turned in a gritty performance. Needing a birdie on the final hole of regulation to force extra holes, the Paducah, Ky., native did just that.
“My hats off to Rick for birdieing No. 18,” said Randolph. “That’s not an easy hole and he did what he had to do. It’s not that I didn’t think he couldn’t do, but it had been playing tough all week.”
The duo returned to the par-4 finishing hole for the playoff and it was Randolph’s turn to show his mettle. After his drive found a bunker, the former Tiger made a superb up-and-down to send the match to another hole. On the second playoff hole, Randolph stuffed his approach and made birdie, while Cochran’s birdie bid didn’t fall.
“Rick and I are buddies, but we also know it’s a dog-eat-dog world out here,” said Randolph. “We’re actually staying together next week, so that’ll be fun. He played well this week and he’s a really good sport.”
Cochran, the nephew of PGA TOUR winner Russ Cochran, finished with rounds of 67-65-64-70 and earned $11,450 for the runner-up effort, his best showing of the 2013 season.
Nicholas Wilson, a former University of Missouri golfer from Columbia, Mo., also posted his best finish of the year in the Eagle’s Landing Classic. Wilson carded rounds of 65-70-65-70 for a 10-under 270 total and finished solo third at 10-under par. Wilson earned $8,600 for the podium finish.
Jack Newman, the 2008 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, and 2012 U.S.
Amateur Public Links runner-up Kevin Aylwin finished in a tie for fourth at 9-under par. Newman, of Des Moines, Iowa, posted a 5-under 65 on Sunday, while Aylwin, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., carded a 1-over 71 in the final round.
Adam Hart (68) and Cedric Scotto (72) finished in a tied for sixth at 8-under par, while Justin Lower (68), Christopher Ross (70) and Matt Harmon (70) ended the $150,000 event in a tie for eighth at 7-under par.
The NGA TOUR would like to thank all the staff, sponsors and volunteers at Eagle’s Landing for providing a wonderful setting for the event. The NGA TOUR will return to action next week with the playing of the Woodcreek Classic in Elgin, S.C.
The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Web.com Tours and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Web.com Tour Professionals.
The NGA has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA TOUR, Euro, Web.com, and Champions Tour cards. In fact, NGA alumni have won an incredible Fifteen (15) “Major” Championships.
NGA alumni include: 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson; 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 U.S. Open Champion Lucas Glover; 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson; 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel; 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis; two-time U.S. 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; 2012 PGA TOUR winners Mark Wilson, George McNeill, Ted Potter Jr., Scott Stallings and Scott Piercy.
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 Web.com Tour were past NGA Professionals. Another 16 NGA Professionals advanced to the PGA TOUR for 2012 by finishing inside the Top 25 on the Web.com 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 Web.com Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf. In 2012, the NGA TOUR became the “Official Partner of the 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open” and secured one PGA TOUR and six Web.com Tour event exemptions for its members, the most in developmental golf.