The Joplin Globe
After an absence of almost two years, professional golf is back at Peoria Ridge Golf Course.
The $100,000 Buffalo Run-Prairie Moon Casinos Classic will be played today through Saturday at Peoria Ridge, located just outside Miami, Okla. The winner will receive $15,000.
The tournament is a stop on the Adams Golf Pro Tour Series, which began in 1994. This year’s schedule includes tournaments in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas.
The NGA Hooters Pro Golf Tour held tournaments in Miami from 2003-2011, with the 2011 event rescheduled to September after the May 22 tornado hit Joplin.
There was no tournament last year at Peoria Ridge — plans for a season-ending NGA Hooters Tour Championship fell through — but the Adams Tour has come to Peoria Ridge this week.
This is the middle point of the tour’s 15-tournament schedule. Proceeds from this week’s event will be given to the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Development Foundation.
Many of the tour players come from Texas, including four of the top five money winners and five of the seven tournament winners.
Lance Lopez, Richmond, Texas, tops the season money list with $40,782. He’s made all seven cuts this season, highlighted by his victory at the Fakier Open in Houma, La., in early April and a second place at the Merrill Lynch Open in Baton Rouge, La., one month later. He’s posted four more top-10s, and his worst finish is a tie for 20th.
Zack Reeves is a two-time winner on tour — the season-opening Coca-Cola Walmart Open in Alexandra, La., and the Bay Oaks golf Open in Houston. Reeves, from Arlington, Texas, is second on the money list with $39,091, and he’s finished in the top-15 in all six of his starts.
Devin Carrey of South Surry, B.C., won the Merrill Lynch Open and is third in money with $24,461, but he is not entered this week.
Mark Walker of Fort Worth ($23,698) and Bobby Massa of Tyler ($21,906) complete the top five in money winnings. Walker won the Texas Honing Open in Pearland, and Massa has two third places and tie for fifth in five starts.
Garrett Driver, Humble, Texas, won the Victoria Texas Open.
Tee times off No. 1 and No. 10 begin at 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
The field includes Bran Bruce of Joplin and amateurs Nate Neel and Chad Walker from Miami. All three tee off at 9:20 this morning — Walker off No. 1, Bruce and Neel off No. 10.