ALUMNI UPDATE – NORTHERN TRUST OPEN AND NATIONWIDE TOUR SEASON DEBUT

PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Jimmy Walker hits a tee shot on the second hole during the third round of the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club on February 18, 2012 in Pacific Palisades, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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By Ryan Woodcock

There was a full slate of golf action this past weekend, with the PGA TOUR playing the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, and the Nationwide Tour kicking of the 2012 season in Bogota, Colombia for the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship.

NORTHERN TRUST OPEN
A total of 20 GPT alums made the cut at Riviera, led by Jimmy Walker, who shot rounds of 72-66-72-69 to finish T4 at 5-under par.  Walker birdied the final hole to jump into the Top-5, and he earned his third Top-10 finish in six events so far in 2012.  He currently ranks 21st in the FedEx Cup standings.

J.B. Holmes fired an opening-round 67 and finished at T8 for the week at 4-under, while Bubba Watson shot rounds of 70-69-72-71 and finished T13 at 2-under.  Watson is off to a great start to 2012, with all four of his finishes inside the Top-20 (T5 at WM Phoenix Open).  He currently sits 23rd in FedEx Cup points.

Brandt Snedeker rebounded from his opening round 75 and closed out the week with rounds of 70-68-70 to finish T17 at 1-under par, along with Michael Thompson and Marc Leishman, who also finished at 1-under.  Snedeker, who won in a playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open a few weeks back, ranks fifth in the FedEx Cup standings, while the T17 was Leishman’s best finish so far this year.

Kevin Chappell and Kevin Stadler round out the Top-25, finishing T24 at even-par.  For Stadler it was his second Top-25 finish in the last two weeks.

For complete results from the Northern Trust Open, CLICK HERE

NATIONWIDE TOUR – PACIFIC RUBIALES COLOMBIA CHAMPIONSHIP
It was a great start to the 2012 Nationwide Tour season for our GPT alums, with two guys finishing runner-up and five finishing in the Top-10.  Andres Gonzales shot a final-round 68, which included a birdie on the final hole to finish T2, one shot back of winner Skip Kendall, who also birdied the final hole to earn the win.  Andrew Svoboda joined Gonzales at T2, thanks in part to his 66-67 in rounds two and three. 

James Hahn shot rounds of 70-69-67-70 and finished T4 at 8-under par, while Kevin Johnson finished T6 at 7-under and Michael Connell finished solo 10th at 6-under.  Johnson closed with a final-round 67 to vault into the Top-6, while Connell shot a pair of 69s to close out the weekend.

For the week, a total of 33 GT alums made the cut, with 14 players finishing in the Top-20.  Brian Smock finished T11 at 5-under par; while Jason Allred, Tyrone Van Aswegen, Ryan Hietala and Michael Sim finished T13 at 4-under par.  Rounding out the Top-20 were four players who finished T20 at 3-under par for the week, including Fabian Gomez, Steve LeBrun, Troy Merritt and Erik Flores. 

For complete results from the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship, CLICK HERE

That’s a wrap for this week.  Next up we’ve got two events on the PGA TOUR this week – The WGC Accenture Match Play Championships down in Tucson (Feb. 22-26), and the Mayakoba Golf Classic south of the border (Feb. 23-26).  The Nationwide Tour will have a few weeks off before getting back to action Mar. 1-4 at the Panama Claro Championship.  Good luck to everyone playing this week, either in Arizona or in Mexico, and as always, check back here for a complete recap of all the action!