Sebring, Fla. (January 25, 2014) -- Peter Campbell of Nova Scotia, Canada claimed medalist honors at the NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Qualifying Tournament on Saturday. The outright leader through three rounds, Campbell carded a 69 on the final round to win by three shots at 7-under 281.
Campbell leads a group of 51 players who earned their Tour card for the 2014 season. The leading twenty will enter the season with full exempt status, while the remaining 31 will have conditional status.
“I can’t complain. I did what I came here to do, so job accomplished,” said Campbell, 30. The Canadian shot par or better in each of the four rounds at the Sun ‘N Lake Golf Club’s Deer Run Golf Course in Sebring.
Campbell entered the day in a tie for first at 3-under for the event and pulled away on the ten holes he played Saturday morning with birdies on 11, 12, 16 and 18, plus a bogey on 17.
“Great conditions today. It was ideal for scoring. I played solid for the ten holes (I played today). Made one ten-footer for par, but other than that I had a lot of looks at birdies,” Campbell said.
A PGA TOUR Canada member the last two seasons, Campbell will be playing for the first time in Latin America.
“I’m looking forward to it. I have heard a lot of good things about it, so I’m excited," Campbell said.
Trailing Campbell by three strokes, Adam Long of Jupiter, Fla. carded a 68 to finish as runner-up. Illinois' Bradley Hopfinger carded a final round 67, the lowest of the day, to finish in a three-way tie for third along with England’s Tom Berry, 68, and Texas’ Cody Gribble, 71.
The NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica 16-tournament schedule begins with the 67th playing of the Arturo Calle Colombian Open presented by Diners Club next month. The opening round of that first event is 26 days away.
Weather: Ideal conditions. Partly cloudy, with temperatures in the mid 50s. Winds NNW at 4 mph.
Playoff: The day finished with a three-way playoff for the final two spots inside the top 20 who will have full exempt status this season. Casey Johnson Jr. was the first to secure the full card with a birdie on the third playoff hole at No. 10. Austin Graham birdied next hole, No. 18, to edge out Andrew Mason and secure the other full card available.
New members by country: The 51 players who earned their card this week represent nine countries. The following is the player breakdown by country: United States (40), Canada (3), England (2), Austria (1), Colombia (1), Ireland (1), Germany (1), Mexico (1) and Sweden (1).
Impressive final stretch: A birdie-birdie-birdie finish secured full status for Colombia's Diego Velásquez, who entered the last three holes in a tie for 25th. The 26-year old from Bogota finished in a tie for the 11th spot as the leading Latin American player on the field. “I took advantage of the conditions. There was no wind and it wasn’t as cold either, so the ball was flying farther this morning. In addition to that, the greens were just perfect,” said the young man who graduated from Oregon State University in 2010 and lives in Orlando.
Velásquez earned his Tour card with a T13 finish at this same Qualifying Tournament last year, but he finished 73rd on the Tour’s Order of Merit to lose his card. “I have higher expectations going into my second season on Tour. Last year was tough, as I was going through some changes on my swing and on my mental approach. Hopefully, everything will come together this year,” said Velásquez.
Meet the top 20: Presented in the order they finished at this Qualifying Tournament in Sebring, the following are some details on the 20 players who earned full exempt status to start the NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica 2014 season next month.
Peter Campbell, 30, Nova Scotia, Canada
Pro since 2006. Graduated from Southern Wesleyan University. Played the last two seasons on PGA TOUR Canada.
Adam Long, 26, Jupiter, Fla
Pro since May 2010. Duke University. He was a member of the Web.com Tour in 2012, making 17 starts and collecting one top 10 finish at the WNB Golf Classic. Won a NGA Tour event in 2011.
Tom Berry, 22, London, England
Pro since September 2013. San Diego State University. Won the NCAA Preview Championship in 2012.
Bradley Hopfinger, 24, Lake Forest, Ill.
Pro since August 2011. University of Iowa. Was a two-time Academic All-American.
Coddy Gribble, 23, Dallas, Texas
Pro since June 2013. University of Texas. A member of the University of Texas team that won the NCAA Championship in 2012.
Robert Rohanna, 27, Naples, Fla.
Pro since December 2010. Penn State University. Won five events in college. Joined the NGA Tour in 2010 and won one event there last year.
Jacob Burger, 24, Orangeburg, S.C.
Pro since January 2013. Clemson University. Played sparingly on the eGolf Tour last season in North and South Carolina.
Will Coleman, 32, Jupiter, Fla.
Pro since 2010. Villanova University. He will be playing his second consecutive season on NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Danny Balin, 31, Rockville, Md.
Pro since 2005. Penn State University. Has qualified for the PGA Championship each of the past four years (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) by finishing in the top 20 at the PGA Professional National Championship. He will be playing his second consecutive season on NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Stephen Hale, 24, Bakersfield, Calif.
Pro since June 2011. UC Berkeley (Cal). Won two events in college. Has played on several mini tours in the U.S.
Diego Velásquez, 26, Bogota, Colombia
Pro since January 2011. Oregon State University. Won three events in college. He will be playing his second consecutive season on NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Stephen Narramore, 26, Kingston, Tenn.
Pro since 2009. Middle Tennessee State University. Won one event on the NGA Tour in 2012.
Rich Cochran III, 27, Paducah, Ky.
Pro since May 2009. Middle Tennessee State University. Won an NGA Tour event in 2012.
Max Scodro, 23, Chicago, Ill.
Pro since 2012. University of Notre Dame. He will be playing his second consecutive season on NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Cody Paladino, 24, Kensington, Conn.
Pro since January 2014. Baylor University. At age 18 collected runner-up honors at the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Won the Connecticut Amateur Championship and the California State Fair Amateur Championship last year.
Erik Barnes, 29, Houston, Texas
Pro since 2007. Texas State University/Dallas Baptist. Played on PGA TOUR Canada last season.
Charlie Harrison, 23, Atlanta, Ga.
Pro since August 2013. Wake Forest University. Has been playing on the Open Golf Atlanta Tour, where he had a first place finish last year.
Stephan Jaeger, 24, Munich, Germany
Pro since August 2012. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Played on the Web.com Tour last season. Finished T7 at the 2013 Puerto Rico Classic in his only start on NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Casey Johnson Jr., 27, Augusta, Ga.
Pro since May 2010. Appalachian State University. Has played on the NGA Tour.
Austin Graham, 24, San Clemente, Calif.
Pro since 2011. UC-Davis. Won four events in college, including the Big West Championship twice (2009 and 2011). He will be playing his second consecutive season on NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.