While the ninth-ranked Auburn men’s golf team were in Colorado this week aiming to advance to the 2011 NCAA Championship in Stillwater, Okla., a total of 10 former Tigers were competing on their respective professional tours.
Jason Dufner and Roland Thatcher teed off on the PGA Tour Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Dufner, who is donating $100 for every birdie he makes, and $500 for every eagle, to aid in disaster relief efforts across Alabama, returns fresh off a top-10 showing at The Players Championship this past weekend.
With a combined five top-10s and eight top-25s, the former college roommates are having their strongest PGA Tour starts to date.
“It’s a testament to the program to see that many guys from the same school who feel that they can continue making a living doing something they love,” said Thatcher. “The numbers that you see on the professional tours trying to play at this level is a small one. It shows the strength of our program through the years to see this many guys still playing the game.”
It’s Thatcher’s first pro appearance since The Heritage.
On the Nationwide Tour, Gary Christian, Scott Weatherly and Will Claxton will compete at the BMW Charity Pro-Am held at three separate North Carolina golf courses. Christian has made four-consecutive cuts this year with his highest finish coming in a tie for 19th at TPC Stonebrae. Weatherly has competed in five 2011 Nationwide events with his top finish also coming at Stonebrae, a tie for 30th.
Claxton, a regular on the Hooters Tour, earned a spot in the event as a result of his 2010 PGA Tour Q-School showing.
The Hooters Tour features five Auburn golfers this week at the Cherry Blossom Classic in Georgetown, Ky. Patton Kizzire, Auburn’s 2007 SEC Champion, will compete alongside Lee Williams, Reid Edstrom, Andrew Medley and Michael Daniels.
“It’s good to have friends out here at the different levels,” said Kizzire. “It is nice to see the Auburn Family on Tour. We’ve all got our friendly rivalries and give each other a hard time. We play with Dufner back home in Auburn between events. It’s good to see him doing so well.”
“I’ve been playing well this year and am just trying to put it all together for one tournament. All of us are preparing for Q-School. That’s the biggest part of the year for all of us. ”
Auburn Media Relations.
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