Defending champion Matt Harmon and six of the top 10 players on the NGA/Hooters Tour's money list are among the early entrants for the Buffalo Run Casino Classic which will be held Sept. 21-24 at the Peoria Ridge Golf Course.
Harmon, who had the second-lowest score in tournament history while winning the 2010 BRCC by five strokes, is 26th on the money list with $33,893. He's had only two top five finishes, but has cashed in nine of his 12 events.
Harmon, who fell short of the final stage of the PGA Q-school last fall, has mixed in several Monday qualifiers for Nationwide events with his Hooters Tour schedule.
Brandon Brown and Jeff Corr, who won the event here in 2008, are running 1-2 in the money standings.
Brown, from Shelbyville, Ky., has posted three wins and has seven top 10 finishes in 15 events, has earned $146,501. He was tied for 10th through the first two rounds at this weekend's Woodcreek Classic in Elgin, S.C.
Corr, from Longwood, Fla,, has two victories and has finished in the top 10 in 10 of his 18 events while pocketing $130.426. He was tied for fifth at the halfway point in the Woodcreek Classic.
Others in the top 10 who are coming to Miami are No 4 Nick Rousey of Pensacola, Fla.; No 5 Lee Williams of Alexander City, Ala., No. 8 James Vargas of Miami, Fla., and No 9 Justin B. Smith of Franklin, Pa.
Among the early entrants are 2010 runner-up Kyle Ellis of Senatobia, Miss., and Marion Danzler of Orangeburg, S.C.
Danzler has played in the tournament every year since its inception in 2003. His best finish was a tie for sixth in 2004.
The tournament, now the Tour's final event of the season, was moved from June due to the tornado that struck Joplin. Housing issues, among other things, led NGA/Hooters Tour officials and local organizers to push the event back.
Not only will the tournament be the final event of the 2011 season, but it also will be the tour's final stop as the NGA/Hooters Tour.
Hooters of America announced last month that it would drop sponsorship of the tournament at the end of this season.
National Golf Association president Robin Waters said a search is under way to find a new title sponsor.
The Buffalo Run Casino Classic is the only stop on the tour that features a Wednesday-through-Saturday format. It originally was set up this way to allow players to get on the road for the next week's event, which was in south Texas.
Despite the change in dates, it will stick with this format.
As a result, players still will begin to arrive next Sunday - the tour will be coming off an off-week - and the Grand Lake Shrine Club scramble will be held next Sunday.
The pro-am tournaments will be Tuesday, Sept. 20, then the tournament kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
After the Thursday round, the field will be cut to the lowest 65 scorers, plus ties, to compete in the final two rounds.
The first tee time each day is 7:30 a.m.