Hilton Head Winner Expected back at JDC

23 04 2009

Brian Gay, who won the Verizon Heritage by a whopping 10 strokes at Hilton Head last Sunday,
has a strong John Deere Classic connection.

Gay was in contention last year when Kenny Perry prevailed, finishing T-12, and he finished T-18 in 2007. The 37-year-old former University of Florida star has played in eight of the last 10 John Deere Classics and is penciled in to be back this year, barring unforeseen circumstances.

Gay is one of those rank-and-file PGA Tour pros who has had a remarkable career, all the while staying out of the spotlight.

But the spotlight has been shining a little brighter lately since his most recent victory and his win at the 2008 Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico.

Gay has more than $9 million in official earnings since joining the PGA Tour in 1996. With his victory at Hilton Head, Gay earned an exemption into next year’s Masters Tournament. It will be his first official trip to Augusta National.

Now No. 53 on the Official World Golf Rankings, Gay is only 5-10, 155 pounds, so it’s interesting to look at his stats to see how he competes with the big boys.

Although Gay averages “only” 270 yards off the tee (178th on Tour), he hits 74 percent of his fairways (4th), 68 percent of his greens in regulation (32nd), takes 1.75 putts (40th), and gets up and down from the sand 63 percent of the time (12th). Taken together, these individual stats give him a scoring average of 69.68, sixth best on Tour.

So, short hitters, take heart. You, too, can play great golf. And if you don’t believe it, come out to the John Deere Classic this summer – July 9-12 – and let Brian Gay show you how it’s done.

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