It’s "so far, so good" in 2010 for the NGA Hooters Pro Golf Tour.
"All the other tours seem to be struggling, but we are actually doing well," NGA Hooters Tour president Robin Waters said Tuesday night during the pairings party for the pro-am tournaments held in conjunction with the Buffalo Run Casino Classic.
Last season, Waters said only five of the Hooters Tour’s 18 events had a full field.
"This year, in seven of our first eight, they were either full or over-full," he said. "We’re giving more players a chance to earn a little bit more money and a living. They can stay out a little longer."
The Buffalo Run Casino Classic, which is in its seventh year, began today with 141 players. The tournament started in 2003 as The Stables Classic.
The only downside of the season has been the weather.
The afternoon portion of Wednesday’s pro-am was scrapped after only three holes due to lightning and an ensuing downpour.
Sunny skies and hot temperatures are forecast for all four days of the tournament.
Last week’s Bentonville (Ark.) Classic and the Savannah Lakes Village Classic have been the only events that have been completed without problems this season.
The Sunset Hills Classic was shortened to 54 holes after constant rains forced delays over the first three days of the tournament.
Round 2 of the ADI Classic the following week was suspended by weather.
Three of the first four events at the start of the season had one to three rounds postponed by darkness.
“It’s been everywhere … it’s been rain delays one after another,” said Mark Blakefield, who is the tour’s only double winner this season.
One highlight of the season was Chris Erwin’s 59 during the second round of the ADI Classic.
He had a seven-under par 29 on the front nine then finished at six-under 30 on the back side.
Miami is part of a swing into the southwest by the Hooters Tour.
It began last week at Rogers, Ark., and after a two-week break, will include stops in Pearland and Victoria, Texas.
A number of players who are competing here went to Fort Smith, Ark., Monday in an attempt to qualify for the Nationwide Tour event there.
More than 200 played at two sites, attempting to secure 14 spots in the field.
“You have to figure every week in this country, as far as developmental tours, there are 700 to 900 golfers competing somewhere,” Waters said. “Then, when the PGA Tour Q-School comes up, there is anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 who come out from everywhere.”