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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hooters pro golf tour returning to Sikeston

Sunday, July 4, 2004

(Photo)
A player on the NGA Hooters Pro Golf Tour watches the flight of his ball.
SIKESTON -- Professional golf comes to the Bootheel when the National Golf Association/Hooters Tour returns to Sikeston. The NGA/Hooters Health Facilities Rehab Center Classic tees off at the Bootheel Golf Club on July 12-18.

Bootheel Golf Club, a 6,891-yard, par-72 layout located at 1218 N. Ingram Rd. hosts the event for the fifth time.

Jeff Ketterman, general manager and club pro at Bootheel Golf Club, said, "Not only does the town get to see some great golf, but it also gives the local economy a nice shot in the arm."

Health Facilities Rehab Center, a Sikeston-based company headed by Don Bedell which specializes in physical rehabilitation therapy, is in its second year as the title sponsor.

Founded in 1988, the NGA Tour was organized to provide a place for aspiring PGA Tour golfers to develop and hone their skills. It is the third-most prestigious U.S. men's golf tour, behind the PGA and the Nationwide.

Hooters of America, a world-wide restaurant chain known for its famous Hooters Girls, began its sponsorship in 1994.

Names of those competing at the 2004 tournament were unavailable at press time, but Ketterman said he expects a full field.

"This is one of their favorite stops," he added.

The NGA Tour boasts an impressive list of alumni who have achieved noteworthy accomplishments in their golf careers. Among them are two-time U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen, British Open and PGA champion John Daly, British Open winner Tom Lehman, U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk and PGA champion David Toms.

Three Hooters' alums, Shaun Micheel, Ben Curtis and Chad Campbell, won major PGA tour events in 2003.

Micheel is the reigning PGA champion and Curtis outlasted a star-studded field in the British Open.

The Sikeston tournament served as a springboard for 2003 PGA Tour Championship winner Campbell who captured his first professional win here in 1997 at the inaugural Hooters tournament.

Other past Sikeston winners are Zoran Zorkic in '98, Michael Connell in '99 and defending champion Jake Reeves in '03. Connell holds the tournament record of 31-under-par and the course record of 61.

The event was not held in 2000-02.

One possible entrant in the tournament, David Roesch, is far from a household name in golf circles, but he recently made quite a stir in this year's U.S. Open.

Roesch, a 30-year-old from Wisconsin who regularly plays the Hooters Tour, was thinking of giving up golf after this year, but he made it through two stages of qualifying, got into the U.S. Open and birdied four of the first six holes he played. Roesch was in a

large group at 68, two strokes back of first-round leaders Jay Haas, Shigeki Maruyama and Angel Cabrera, at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southhampton, N.Y. He finished with an impressive 10-over 295 for a surprising 31st-place finish on the difficult USGA setup.

Roesch may be reassessing his golf future.

While the four-round NGA/Hooters Health Facilities Rehab Center Classic will be contested on Thursday through Sunday starting at 8 a.m. each day, there are events scheduled throughout the week.

A Monday qualifying round for professionals will begin at 8 a.m. A junior clinic will be held later at 5:30-6:30 p.m., followed by a professional-amateur pairings party at 6:30 p.m.

Practice rounds for the pros are scheduled for Tuesday from 7 a.m.-12 p.m. and Wednesday from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. The pro-am portion of the tournament will be held on Tuesday from 12:30-5:30 p.m. An awards party and barbecue follow the pro-am.

Then on Wednesday, the pros will compete in a long-drive contest at 5:30 p.m.

The golf and accompanying festivities, including an appearance by the Hooters Girls, promise to provide an exciting week at the Bootheel Golf Club.