MADISON, Mississippi (AFP) –
The True South Classic, playing opposite the British Open at Annandale Golf Club this week, is a chance for some of the US PGA Tour’s lesser lights to shine.
Chris Kirk fired four rounds in the 60s last year and won by one stroke over George McNeill and Tom Pernice.
Since earning his first tour title, however, Kirk has endured an erratic season. He was 30th at the John Deere Classic last week after missing the cut in three previous events.
He’s also had two top-10 finishes — including a tie for fifth at Colonial — and will be hoping a return to the scene of his 2011 victory will kick-start his season.
“I have a lot of good memories from last year, on a golf course that really suits my game,” Kirk said.
“These are some of the best greens we putt on all year. It’s hard not to like that. The speed is absolutely perfect and they roll so true. If you have a day where you’re rolling it well you can make a lot of putts and I certainly did that last year.”
The field includes four former major winners — Canadian Mike Weir, Shaun Micheel, Mark Brooks and Lee Janzen.
But with golf’s big guns taking aim at the British Open at Royal Lytham from Thursday, the highest-ranked player in the field is world number 89 D.A. Points.
Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge brings some momentum into the event, having made 13 straight cuts.
De Jonge has three top-20 finishes in his last four starts.
Luke Guthrie, a former university standout who finished tied for 19th in Memphis and tied for fifth at the John Deere in two starts since turning pro, will be trying to build on that beginning and move closer to earning his PGA Tour playing privileges without the benefit of qualifying school.
Guthrie closed out his John Deere campaign on Sunday with a 64, capping the round with a 10-foot birdie.
“It was awesome,” said Guthrie, whose performance at the TPC Deere Run course earned him his spot in the True South Classic.