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Vandeventer, Pettitt Advance to U.S. Open Sectionals

Tennessee junior Jay Vandeventer and former Vols golfer Philip Pettitt shot matching 7-under-par 65s Wednesday to lead the field in U.S. Open local qualifying at Knoxville's Holston Hills Country Club.

Pettitt started on No. 10 and shot 35-30--65 over the 7,082-yard layout, while Vandeventer started on No. 1 and played bogey-free to a 32-33--65 scorecard. Those two individuals are among five who advanced from Holston Hills to sectional qualifying at a date and site to be determined.

Read the local recap here by the Knoxville News Sentinel's John Shearer.

This year's U.S. Open takes place June 14-17 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Members of the Tennessee golf team kept their games tournament sharp over the weekend by competing in Knoxville's Holston Hills Invitational.

Senior Darren Renwick, who won the two-day event in 2010, finished second this time by a single stroke to local product and former Lincoln Memorial golfer Craig Reasor. Renwick shot 68-70--138 for the tournament, one shot better than teammate and fellow senior Justin Walker at 68-71--139.

Renwick and Walker were two of seven current Vols competing. Brandon Rodgers tied for 12th at 70-72--142, and Rick Lamb joined Jay Vandeventer in a group that tied for 14th place. Lamb shot 72-71--143, while Vandeventer's scorecard was 71-72--143.

Marshall Talkington tied for 22nd at 74-71--145, with Danny Keddie tying for 30th at 72-75--147. Only Garrick Porteous of the current Vols squad did not participate.

In addition to the seven UT squad members, two incoming 2012 signees were in action and fared well. Alcoa's Grant Daugherty tied for 24th at 72-74--146, and Chad Merzbacher of Dublin, Ohio, shot 72-75--147 and tied for 30th.

In the professional ranks, former Vols star David Skinns competed on the Nationwide Tour for the second week in a row and finished 34th at the Stadion Classic in Athens, Ga.

Skinns began play this year on the NGA Pro Golf Tour and was second on the money list with $39,436 through April 22, having finished in the top 12 four times out of five starts. But he advanced to the Nationwide Tour's South Georgia Classic in Valdosta two weeks ago through Monday qualifying and tied for 18th place.

Skinns opened with 65 at the Athens tournament but then closed with rounds of 70-74-70 to post a 5-under 279. The Lincoln, England, native has made an additional $10,026 in two weeks on the Nationwide Tour.

Holmes, Skinns Earn Top-20 Showings

David Holmes posted his second straight top-20 finish and David Skinns had a successful week on the Nationwide Tour to highlight the professional golf weekend.

Holmes closed with consecutive rounds of 69 to tie for 19th place at the NGA Tour's Savannah Lakes Village Classic in McCormick, S.C. The former Vols captain earned $2,368 and moved up four places to 33rd on the 2012 money list with $9,460.

Holmes has five made cuts in seven starts this year, with 27th his worst showing thus far. The Knoxville native's last three finishes are 20th, 15th and now 19th.

Skinns was second on the NGA Tour money list going into the weekend but bypassed the Savannah Lakes event after qualifying Monday for the Nationwide Tour's South Georgia Classic in Valdosta. The former All-American at Tennessee shot a final-round 68 to tie for 18th and earn $7,111.

Skinns remains fourth in the NGA Tour money standings with $39,436.

Philip Pettitt, who won the NGA's Savannah Lakes event in 2011, also made the Nationwide cut in South Georgia. The Murfreesboro native tied for 63rd in his third made cut out of seven attempts. Pettitt earned $1,750 this weekend and is 53rd in the Nationwide Tour rankings with $26,111.

Holmes, Skinns Shine on NGA Tour

David Holmes earned his best professional finish and David Skinns moved back into second place on the money list to highlight a pair of former Tennessee Vols on the NGA Pro Golf Tour.

Holmes finished 15th at the Mountain Lakes Classic in Seneca, S.C., earning $2,440 on the strength of a 68-71-72-70--281 scorecard. The 2010 Vols captain has made the cut in four of his six starts this year and stands 37th on the money list with $7,092. Holmes made $8,595 in 18 starts last year in his first season on the NGA Tour.

Skinns shot 70-67-75-66--278 to tie for eighth at the Mountain Lakes event and earn his third top-10 result in five starts this year. Skinns won the Cutter Creek Golf Classic in late March and also finished third at the Killearn Country Club Classic to start the season.

For the year, Skinns has $39,436 in earnings to trail only Brandon Brown of Shelbyville, Ky., by $6,676 on the 2012 money list. Brown jumped into first place after winning this week's tournament and he is the defending NGA Pro Golf Tour money champion from 2011.

Another former Vols golfer, Cameron Lawrence, tied for 50th at the Mountain Lakes event to snap a string of three missed cuts and post his best professional showing. Lawrence had two eagles during the weekend, both on par 4s, and shot 69-76-77-68--290. The two rounds in the 60s were his first since March 1 in the opening round of the season's very first tournament.

The Nationwide Tour resumes this week in Valdosta, Ga., with Philip Pettitt 45th on the 2012 money list at $24,361. Pettitt has made the most of his two made cuts in six starts thus far, finishing 25th and ninth.

Former UT players on the European Challenge Tour return to action May 10-13 at the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal. Chris Paisley is 39th on the early money list with approximately $4,439 and Charlie Ford is 55th with approximately $3,076. Another former Vol, Robin Wingardh, is scheduled to begin playing the Challenge Tour in May.

Both Paisley and Ford have made the cut twice in three Challenge Tour events played on three continents - Asia, South America and Africa.

Daugherty Third at AJGA Georgia Tourney

Tennessee signee Grant Daugherty finished third over the weekend at the 2012 Exide Technologies Junior Open in Johns Creek, Ga.

Daugherty shot 73-70 to post 1-under-par 143, two strokes behind champion Lee McCoy of Clarkesville, Ga. The Alcoa native birdied three straight holes down the stretch Sunday to finish one shot behind the low round of the day. On Saturday, Daugherty carded five birdies over a six-hole stretch in the middle of his round before faltering at the end with a bogey-triple bogey finish.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the 36-hole stroke play competition took place at The Country Club of the South, site of last year's PGA Championship won by Keegan Bradley.

Daugherty won the Tennessee State High School Class A-AA Championship in 2010, completing a sweep of four prep postseason tournaments that year.

He then captured the 2011 Tennessee Junior Amateur title and qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur, where he was 10th in stroke play before losing 1-down in the match play round of 64.

Daugherty concluded the 2011 AJGA circuit with three top-20 finishes.

Daugherty is joined in the Vols' 2012 signing class by Chad Merzbacher of Dublin, Ohio, and Michael Nagy of Manistique, Mich.

Holmes Featured on 'The Third Nine'

Former Tennessee captain David Holmes is featured on this week's video edition of "The Third Nine" from the NGA Pro Golf Tour.

Holmes is playing his second full season on the NGA Tour and has made three cuts in five tournaments thus far in 2012. His best pro finish was a tie for 20th at the recent Cutter Creek Golf Classic in North Carolina, where this video was recorded.

The Knoxville native stands 47th on the money list with $4,652.

Holmes lettered four seasons for the Vols from 2007-10 and was a 2009 Ping All-America honorable mention. Holmes captained the squad in 2010, when he earned All-SEC second team honors and led the Vols to a top-25 NCAA Championship finish for the second year in a row.

Holmes finished 13th and 25th in his last two NCAA Championship appearances and was second at the 2009 NCAA Northeast Regional. He also made the Academic All-SEC team three straight years and was a member of the 2007 SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll. In 2009, Cleveland Golf/Srixon named him an All-America Scholar.

Pettitt 9th at Nationwide Event After Closing 65

Philip Pettitt had his best Nationwide Tour result of the season this weekend with a tie for ninth at the Soboba Golf Classic in San Jacinto, Calif.

Pettitt shot 65 in Sunday's final round to lead the field and match the low round of the tournament. His scorecard for the week read 71-74-72-65--282, which earned him a check for $20,250 and his best Nationwide Tour golf payday.

The former All-SEC selection in 2007 at Tennessee vaulted from 94th to 38th on the 2012 Nationwide Tour money list with $24,361. This week was Pettitt's second made cut in five tournaments to start the season.

The tour stays in California this week for the TPC Stonebrae Championship in the San Francisco Bay city of Hayward.

David Skinns is third on the NGA Pro Golf Tour money list after tying for 33rd at the Avoca Classic in Windsor, N.C.

Skinns opened the tournament Wednesday with a 4-under-par 68, but then shot 73-74-76 over the next three rounds amid several weather delays. The former SEC Championship medalist in 2005 at Tennessee already has a win under his belt this season and has claimed $35,816 in just four tournaments.

The NGA Tour returns to action April 19-22 at the Mountain Lakes Classic in Seneca, S.C.

Skinns 2nd on NGA Money List

David Skinns jumped to second place on the NGA Pro Golf Tour money standings after his win Saturday at the Cutter Creek Golf Classic in North Carolina.

Skinns claimed the $22,000 first prize thanks to his birdie on the second playoff hole that edged Chas Narramore, who hails from Kingston and played collegiately at Middle Tennessee. Skinns has finishes of third, 12th and first in his three starts this year to amass $34,467 in earnings and trail money-leader Tyson Alexander by only $371.

Skinns played for the Vols from 2002-05 and not only won the SEC individual championship his senior season but also earned second team, third team and honorable mention All-America honors during his career.

David Holmes (2007-10) tied for 20th at the same tournament and earned the best paycheck of his young professional career. Holmes pocketed $1,909 after climbing 20 places on the final leaderboard with a closing round of 70.

Through four events, Holmes has made three cuts with finishes of 27th, 23rd and now 20th. He is 38th on the 2012 money list with $4,652.

On the European Challenge Tour, Charlie Ford turned in his best finish of the season with a tie for 30th at the Barclays Kenya Open in Africa. Ford earned approximately $1,825 for his efforts and has $3,124 for the year to rank 55th on the money list.

Chris Paisley missed his first Challenge Tour cut of the year this week but still stands 39th on the money list with approximately $4,509.

Skinns Victorious in North Carolina

Former Tennessee star David Skinns won his fifth career NGA Pro Golf Tour title Saturday when he captured the Cutter Creek Golf Classic on the second playoff hole.

Skinns, who won the 2005 SEC individual championship during a stellar Vols career, began the final round with a two-stroke lead but needed to birdie the 18th hole to force a playoff against Chas Narramore. Skinns then birdied No. 18 twice in succession to claim his first NGA win since last year at the River Islands Classic outside Knoxville.

"No win comes easy, but this one was a battle today," said Skinns, who earned $22,000. "I saw Chas set that number, and I knew I had to play well coming down the stretch. I did that and snuck through in the playoff."

Skinns entered the week sixth on this year's money list after finishing 12th and third in his first two starts of 2012.

Another former Vol, David Holmes, had his best career NGA Tour finish with a tie for 20th. The Knoxville native and 2007-10 Vols golfer carded a final-round 70 to improve 20 places on the leaderboard.

For the complete story, click here.

Wingardh Ready for Challenge Tour

Former Tennessee golfer Robin Wingardh (2008-11) is preparing a return to the European Challenge Tour in May after playing in eight events last year.

The 2011 Vols captain turned pro after last year's NCAA Championship in Oklahoma and made his very first cut at the Scottish Hydro Challenge in late June. Wingardh went on to make three more cuts in eight tournament appearances, finishing with nearly $5,000 in earnings.

This past winter, Wingardh played six times in the NGA Tour's Winter Series in Florida. After missing the cut in his first tournament, the Swede had five straight top-20s, including a tie for second at Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando. Wingardh finished with $12,972 in earnings.

Already playing on this year's European Challenge Tour are former Vols Chris Paisley (2006-09) and Charlie Ford (2005-08). Paisley placed 22nd and 30th in the first two tournaments and stands 27th on the money list with approximately $4,500 in earnings. Ford missed the first cut but finished 44th at the event in Colombia two weeks ago and is 63rd on the money list in the early going.

The Challenge Tour resumes this week in Kenya.

Three more recent Vols are competing on the NGA Tour Pro Series, formerly the Hooters Tour.

David Skinns (2002-05) has finished third and 12th during his quick start to 2012 and earned $12,467. Skinns is sixth on this year's money list after placing 17th last year, when he won the Knoxville area's River Islands Golf Club Classic and earned more than $50,000.

David Holmes (2007-10) and Cameron Lawrence (2008-10) also are competing on the NGA Tour. Holmes has made two cuts in three tries and finished inside the top 30 both times to amass $2,743 in earnings. Lawrence has made one cut in two tries and earned $1,000.

Philip Pettitt (2005-08) has the week off after missing the cut by two strokes at the Nationwide Tour's Chitimacha Louisiana Open. The Nationwide Tour's next stop is April 5-8 at the Soboba Golf Classic in San Jacinto, Calif.

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