The Miccosukee Golf & Country Club Course is green, trimmed, and ready to greet hungry pros next week. Those professionals have one thing on their minds — earning PGA Tour cards.
“Preparations for the tournament are going real good and we’re all set, and ready to go,” said Don Strock, the former Dolphins quarterback who is the executive director of the Miccosukee Championship, which runs Oct. 11-14.
Big bucks are involved, with a total purse of $600,000, and the winner taking home $108,000.
Preceding next week’s Thursday through Sunday tournament, which is part of the Web.com Tour (formerly the Nationwide Tour), will be many offshoot events:
• Monday: First Tee kids clinic featuring trick-shot artist Dennis Walters.
• Tuesday: Practice rounds by the professionals.
• Wednesday, Oct. 10: The Miami HEAT Pro-Am with shotgun starts at 7:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. Expected to play are a couple of Strock’s Dolphin buddies — Dan Marino and Nat Moore.
Strock, who helped teach Marino how to play golf, has been an excellent golfer over the years but tournament-organizing duties have hurt his game.
Asked how he’s playing, Strock responded, “Terrible. Running a tournament takes up a lot of time. I haven’t been playing.”
Even with recent deluges, Strock is optimistic about the course’s condition. “We’ve had a lot of rain and the course is wet, but we have a lot of lakes that the water can drain into,” he said.
The top 25 money winners on the Web.com Tour will earn their PGA cards with approximately 25 others making it in other ways. The current top five Web.com money winners are Luke Garcia ($382,463), Casey Wittenberg ($342,653), Luke List ($331,079), Ben Kohles ($295,057) and Robert Streb ($274,391).
The money falls well short of the $8 million-plus that PGA Tour money leader and world No. 1 Rory McIlroy has collected this year, but it’s those type of dollars the Web.com Tour players at the Miccosukee event can dream about.
After all, Keegan Bradley — PGA Championship winner, U.S. Ryder Cup member, and one of golf’s up-and-coming stars — played several times in the Miccosukee as a no-name (failing to win the event) and he’s doing just fine.
• The best round of the South Florida college women’s season was shot Tuesday when FIU senior Tania Tare fired a 9-under-par 63 to move from 34th place into a tie for third in the Johnie Imes Invitational at the University of Missouri. Meghan MacLaren, an FIU freshman, finished tied with Tare in third, and the FIU team finished fourth.
• Barry University fired a final-round team score of 302 to finish second in the Jay Jennison Memorial tournament hosted by Flagler College in St. Augustine. Barry senior Marcus Segerstrom shot a 76-69-70 for a 1-under 215 to win the individual championship.