FORMER PIONEER FIRES 63 TO QUALIFY FOR WEB.COM EVENT

brad hawkinsFormer Tusculum golfer Brad Hawkins posted a nine-under par 63 to qualify for this weekend’s News-Sentinel Open presented by Pilot.

Hawkins carded nine birdies and nine pars to post the low score of the day on the par-72, 7,036-yard Three Ridges Golf Course layout.  He was one of six individuals to qualify in the 104-player field.
Hawkins recorded four birdies for his 32 on his outward nine and followed with five birdies on the inward side, including birdies on holes 17 and 18 to punch his ticket for the Web.com event which starts on Thursday at Fox Den Country Club.
Also moving onto this weekend’s 72-hole event are Andy Pope (Orlando, Fla.) and Joey Garber (St. Simons Island, Ga.) who carded eight-under rounds of 64, while James Devault (Bluff City, Tenn.) and Michael Van Sickle (McKees Rocks, Pa.) each fired 65 (-7).  Nathan Stamey (Bluffton, S.C.) secured the sixth and final spot with his 66 (-6).
Another former Tusculum golfer, Warren Cheney, was involved in the other News-Sentinel Open qualifier on Monday, which was held at Willow Creek Golf Club in Knoxville.  Cheney carded a four-under par 67, but missed the qualifying cut by three shots.
Hawkins recorded his first professional victory earlier this summer by winning the GProTour’s Charlotte Classic.  The 2016 Tusculum graduate carded an 11-under par total of 205 over the 54-hole tournament, including a final round 68 (-4).  He would finish in a tie with Drew Czuchry of Alpharetta, Georgia at minus-11, but Hawkins claimed the win in a playoff and claim the $6,700 first prize.
Hawkins has played in three GProTour events this summer as he tied for eighth place at the Starmount Forest event and finished sixth at the Monroe Tournament in late June.  In his three events, he has totaled $9221.75 in prize money.
Hawkins, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, starred on the Tusculum golf team from 2014-2016 where he accounted for one of the best playing careers in school history.
Hawkins’ career scoring average of 71.37 established a new school and South Atlantic Conference record. His five career medalist wins are tied for third most at Tusculum, while his 24 career sub-par rounds are a TC record.  He was also a semifinalist for the 2016 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award.
Hawkins, who was named to the 2016 GCAA Division II PING All-America Team, posted a 70.71 stroke average in his senior campaign.  Hawkins was named the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year, becoming the fourth Pioneer in program history to earn the league’s top golf honor. His seasonal stroke average was also a new SAC-best.  Hawkins finished in the top-five in nine of his 12 events, including medalist honors at the State Farm Intercollegiate, Pioneer Classic and Hargett Memorial Intercollegiate.  He qualified for the NCAA II Super Regional where he finished 15th.
Hawkins posted a school single-season record 16 sub-par rounds, with nine of those in the 60s, including an 18-hole TC and SAC record 63 at the 2015 Pioneer Classic.  During the Pioneer Classic, he carded the lowest 36-hole score in school and SAC history with an eight-under par 132.  He also established the 54-hole TC and SAC record with a remarkable 16-under par 200 at the 2015 State Farm Intercollegiate.
He graduated from Tusculum with honors while majoring in sport management. He earned CoSIDA Academic All-America® first team honors and was named to the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, Dean’s List, Charles Oliver Gray Honors List and was a two-time GCAA All-America Scholar.
From 2011-2015, Cheney shined on the Tusculum links where he posted a 76.46 career stroke average, which is the 16th-lowest in program history.  The Nashville, Tennessee native captured medalist honors on two occasions in his Tusculum career, including wins at the 2012 Walters State Fall Classic and the 2015 Etowah Spring Challenge.  A member of the Dean’s List, graduated from Tusculum in 2015.
Hawkins and Cheney led the Pioneers to the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Championship and a berth to the NCAA Super Regional, both firsts for the program.

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