On Golf

Locals giving tours their best shot


Golf in the Northeast, most of us know, comes with limitations. Shorter season, mainly, but also an inability to practice outdoors year-round, a grace period to allow courses to thaw out and return to peak condition, and other cold-weather pursuits jockeying for our time and attention, such as hockey and snow sports.

That hasn’t stopped many with Northeast ties from pursuing dreams of professional golf, and excelling. There might not be an annual crop of local products making a splash on the elite tours, but it has been done, and can be done.

They might choose to spend a portion — or all — of their year in warmer, more golf-friendly climates, but professional golfers with ties to this area are still having success, from the PGA Tour to developmental circuits, even in Europe. If you’d like to provide some provincial support, here are some of the local golfers who are playing on a number of professional tours, and how they’ve started their 2013 seasons:

PGA Tour

Keegan Bradley


Local connection: Vermont native, Hopkinton High School graduate.

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2013: Ten events, nine cuts made. Already has five top-10 finishes, including a T3 at Bay Hill and a pair of T4s (Kapalua, Honda Classic). Ranks eighth on the money list with $1,412,027.

Noteworthy: Ranked 11th in the world. Had been ranked a career-best 10th in the world, but was bumped to 11th this week by his good friend , Phil Mickelson.

James Driscoll

Local connection: Boston native, part-time resident.

2013: Has made the cut in six of nine events, with a tie for ninth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am his best finish.


Noteworthy: Will be playing in his 200th PGA Tour event this week at the Valero Texas Open. In his first 199, has missed more cuts (103) than he’s made, with a pair of runner-up finishes, nine top-10s, and more than $4.8 million in earnings.

Tim Petrovic

Local connection: Northampton native, University of Hartford graduate.

2013: Three tournaments on the PGA Tour (T50 at Puerto Rico in his only made cut), one event (T62 in Louisiana).

Noteworthy: Petrovic’s only win on the PGA Tour came in a playoff at the 2005 Zurich Classic — over Boston resident James Driscoll. Petrovic averaged 30 PGA Tour starts every year from 2002-12.

Scott Stallings

Local connection: Worcester native.


2013: Has missed four cuts in his last six starts, but had strong showings at the season-opening Tournament of Champions (T13) and at Torrey Pines (T4), when he shot a third-round 63, which matches his lowest on the PGA Tour.

Noteworthy: Lives in Tennessee, but still passionately roots for Boston’s professional sports teams. Is one of 16 players who won PGA Tour events in both 2011 and 2012, which were his first two seasons on tour.

Champions Tour

Brad Faxon

Local connection: Rhode Island resident.

2013: Has played in all five Champions Tour events, with his best finish a tie for 19th. Has struggled lately, shooting a collective 16 over par in his last six competitive rounds.

Noteworthy: Has also dabbled as an announcer, as a putting guru (he remains one of golf’s best with the blade), and was instrumental in helping Gil Hanse redesign TPC Boston. , home of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Dana Quigley

Local connection: Lynnfield native, longtime Rhose Island resident.

2013: Made the cut in all four tournaments he’s played — only because most Champions Tour events have no cut. Hasn’t finished better than 71st this season.

Noteworthy: Winner of 11 Champions Tour events, he made a record 278 consecutive starts on that tour, not missing a tournament for nine years (1997-2005).


Alison Walshe

Local connection: Longtime Westford resident.

2013: Played in three events and made two cuts, with a T41 her best finish.

Noteworthy: Born in Ireland, Walshe started her college career at Boston College, transferred to Tulane, then again to Arizona, where she was an All-American. Best finish in her LPGA career is a T8 at last year’s Kraft Nabisco. , which is this week’s stop. Walshe is in the field. Tour

Brad Adamonis

Local connection: Rhode Island native, longtime resident.

2013: Will make his season debut at this week’s Brasil Classic.

Noteworthy: Is playing the tour on conditional exempt status as a past champion for his win at the 2007 WNB Golf Classic.

Kevin Johnson

Local connection: Plymouth native.

2013: Will also make his season debut at Brasil Classic.

Noteworthy: Golf’s ultimate grinder, Johnson first played on what is now the Tour in 1990, and has six victories on the developmental circuit, including two in 2009.

Rob Oppenheim

Local connection: Salem native, longtime Andover resident.

2013: Has played in all four tournaments so far, but made just one cut, a T44 in Panama.

Noteworthy: Has been a model of consistency the last three seasons, winning between $129,000 and $149,000 with finishes of 42d, 43d, and 44th on the money list.

Fran Quinn

Local connection: Worcester native, Holden resident.

2013: Has missed all three cuts, failing to break 71 in six rounds.

Noteworthy: Pulled off the rare double of winning the Massachusetts Amateur (1986) and Massachusetts Open (1990) in a five-year span.

Jim Renner

Local connection: Plainville resident.

2013: A second-place finish at the Colombia Championship and a T4 at the Louisiana Open have Renner Second on the money list with $101,540. A top-25 finish at year’s end sends him to next season’s PGA Tour.

Noteworthy: While at Bishop Feehan, was a two-time Globe All-Scholastic golfer of the year. Won the 2001 Massachusetts Amateur, and has spent one season (2011) on the PGA Tour.

Patrick Sheehan

Local connection: Providence native.

2013: Played in the first four tournaments, missed the first two cuts, then finished 61st and T22.

Noteworthy: Was teammates with Tim Petrovic and Jerry Kelly at the University of Hartford, and has spent six seasons on the PGA Tour, including 2012.

Michael Sims

Local connection: University of Rhode Island graduate.

2013: Missed the cut in his debut, then tied for 61st at the Chile Classic.

Noteworthy: Best finish in 96 career Tour starts , spanning 11 years since his debut in 2002, is T9, which he’s earned three times.

Michael Welch

Local connection: Quincy resident.

2013: Missed the cut in his only start, the Chile Classic.

Noteworthy: After years of toiling on lesser circuits, reigning Massachusetts Open champion earned his first Tour card by advancing to the final stage of the PGA Tour’s Qualifying School last December.

NGA Hooters Tour

Jon Curran

Local connection: Hopkinton native.

2013: Monday qualified for the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open and tied for 24th, earning $28,350. That’s more than he’s made in four NGA Hooters starts, which includes a win at the season-opening Members Only Shootout in Tallahassee, Fla.

Noteworthy: Competed in the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach, missing the cut. , in his only other PGA Tour appearance.

Kenneth Lewis

Local connection: East Sandwich resident.

2013: Has not made a start on the NGA Hooters Pro Series schedule.

Noteworthy: Played at Vanderbilt, and had been an assistant professional at Cummaquid.

European Tour

Peter Uihlein

Local connection: New Bedford native.

2013: Tied for sixth in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open. , which got him into the next week’s tournament in Tampa Bay, where he missed the cut. On the European Tour, Uihlein has made the cut in three of four tournaments, including a T19 at the Joburg Open and career-best fourth at the Tshwane Open in South Africa.

Noteworthy: Left Oklahoma State early to begin his professional career after winning the 2010 US Amateur.

Symetra Tour

Jaclyn Sweeney

Local connection: Andover resident.

2013: Is second on the money list with $16,506, which includes a win worth $15,000 in the season-opening tournament. Sweeney also finished T17 in the second event.

Noteworthy: Just missed earning LPGA Tour card last season, finishing 13th on the Symetra money list; top 10 received the promotion.

Briana Vega

Local connection: Andover resident.

2013: Tied for 37th in her first start, then missed the cut in the second.

Noteworthy: Is perhaps best known for winning the sixth installment of Golf Channel’s “Big Break” series.

Michael Whitmer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.