U.S. Open has
definite Hooters flavor
Past majors winners Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink are among 32 current or former NGA Hooters Tour members who will be playing in this week’s 110th U.S. Open Championship.
Several players who have competed in past Buffalo Run Casino Classics — Gareth Maybin, Derek Lamely and Blaine Peffley — also are in the field.
Current Hooters Tour players Travis Hampshire, Daniel McCarthy, Jon Curran and Eric Axley all qualified for the Open via sectional qualifiers last week.
Other Hooters Tour alumni in the field are David Toms, Brian Gay, Jerry Kelly, Kevin Na, Sean O’Hair, John Rollins, Heath Slocum, Scott Verplank, Camilo Villegas, Gary Woodland, Kent Jones, Ty Tryon, Jim Herman, Brendon de Jonge, Ben Curtis, Tom Lehman, John Mallinger, Erik Compton, Shaun Micheel, J.J. Henry, Deane Pappas and Chris Stroud.
Tour rules altered
A shorts policy was adopted by the NGA Hooters Golf Tour last week at the Bentonville (Ark.) Open.
Players are allowed to wear shorts during practice rounds and using practice facilities on Mondays and Tuesdays.
It’s back to the long slacks for Wednesday pro-ams and for the Thursday start of competition.
Another new tour policy adopted last week dealt with Friday cuts.
This season, the number was bumped to 70 and ties following the second round.
But when a tournament field is 144 players or fewer, it reverts back to 60 and ties.
It was approved by 79 percent of the membership.
No ropes and no admission fees are two things that spectators will notice.
Admission is free all four days.
Unlike the PGA Tour, there are no ropes restricting fans.
“We try to keep them off their fairways, but most people coming to our events are golf-oriented enough that they understand the etiquette enough,” regional tournament director Ryan Waters said.
“We play up the tour as ‘no ropes.’ Our players aren’t off limits. This is a great time to get to know them before they move up and are unattainable.”
‘86 Rule’ in effect
Players better keep their first-round scores at the Buffalo Run Casino Classic below 86.
If they don’t, they will make an early exit.
The NGA Hooters Tour’s “86 Rule” means that any player posting a score of 86 or higher in the first round of competition will be withdrawn from the event without a refund of entry fees.
Nice weather forecast
It will be mostly sunny and hot for the Buffalo Run Casino Classic.
The National Weather Service says the mercury will hit 90 for Thursday’s first round, 92 on Friday and Saturday and 93 for the final round on Sunday.