A couple years ago, the PGA Tour had a promotional campaign that featured the catch phrase “These guys are good.”
That’s how I would describe those biding their time on the NGA Hooters Tour.
The guys who played in the Buffalo Run Casino Classic were really good!
Seventy-two of the 73 players who made the Friday cut finished at even par or lower. Another 16 were either 1- or 2-under — and missed the cut.
Matt Harmon of Grand Rapids, Mich., won the event with a 25-under par 263 — the second-lowest winning score in the tournament’s eight-year history.
It also was the Hooters Tour’s lowest score for a 72-hole tournament this season.
The previous low was 275 by Mark Blakefield at the ADI Classic and Travis Bertoni at the Georgia Sports Orthopedic Specialists Classic.
His 5-shot margin of victory also ties the season best. Bertoni topped Roberto Castro by five shots during his win in Georgia.
A 62 on Friday helped pave the way for Harmon, who now has two wins this season and four total in his brief NGA Hooters Tour career.
His previous victory this season came at the 2010 Crystal Lake Open at Hampton, Ga.
That tournament was shortened to 54 holes because of the weather.
Harmon beat Blaine Peffley in a one-hole playoff. Both finished regulation at 14-under 202.
By comparison, Harmon had a 22-under 194 through three rounds at the BRCC. He was up by six strokes heading into Sunday.
That allowed him to use a simple game plan: “I almost wanted to run out of holes for those guys to catch me on by playing smart and hitting solid, quality shots.”
His final-round 69 was his worst score of the week, but he still wound up winning by five shots over Kyle Ellis of Senatobia, Miss.
“After last week’s final round I was spraying the ball all over the place, but a good friend gave me some advice on Tuesday and it just clicked for me.”
One thing I didn’t know about Campbell was that he earned NJCAA All-American honors while at Midland (Texas) College.
While Harmon is having a great season — he took over the lead as the top money winner with the victory here — it still pales by Chad Campbell’s mind-numbing 2000 season.
Campbell, who has four PGA Tour wins and has played in the last three Ryder Cups, posted five of his wins from 1996 to 2000.
While the heat and humidity affected everyone, the NGA Hooters Tour staffers were elated that the tournament was completed without any delays.
The afternoon pro-am on Wednesday was washed out after only three holes, but that was the only real hiccup for the week.
The 2007 and ‘08 tournaments were stretched out by 36-hole Sundays and last year, Ted Potter and Martin Flores needed four extra holes to decide a winner.
This time around, play was finished by 2:15 p.m. and everything was wrapped up before 3.
That meant the Hooters Tour staff was able to hit the road and be well on their way to home by sunset.