APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – With professional golf tours across the globe slowly winding toward their respective conclusions as winter approaches, it’s time once more to check in on Austin Peay State University men’s golf alumni as they pursue their professional ambitions.
One Gov whose career certainly moved forward in 2017 was Grant Leaver. The 2016 APSU Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee blew through the SwingThought Tour this season, winning the points race (24,481), leading the national series in winnings ($31,170) and winning “The 44”, SwingThought’s sponsorship element for the Web.com Tour’s qualifying school.
In late July, Leaver also made the cut at the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship in Opelika, Alabama, tying for 42nd thanks to a third-round 64.
Another Gov who made quite a leap in 2017 was Marco Iten. Splitting time between the Challenge Tour and the ProGolf Tour in Europe, Iten ascended as high as No. 470 in the world after a win in the Gut Bissenmoore Classic and a runner-up finish in the Starnberg Open, both held in Germany.
Already, Iten has earned his spot on the Challenge Tour—Europe’s equivalent to Web.com—for 2018. Among his accolades pulling double-duty on that tour in 2017, he earned a ninth-place finish at the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge and followed that with three rounds in the 60s at the Prague Golf Challenge.
This weekend, Iten will start play in Q-school finals for the European Tour, held at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain. The top-25 players in the six-round event will earn their tour cards for the 2018 season.
A back injury limited what Erik Barnes was able to do comfortably on the course in 2017, but he’ll be back with a vengeance in 2018. He shot a season-best 64 in the second round of July’s Web.com Tour Utah Championship. His 312.9 yard average drive ranked 24th on the tour for the 2017 season.
2016 graduate Chris Baker spent some time on the Mackenzie Tour after a ninth-place finish at the PGA Tour Canada Q-School in April. He posted a t-36th finish at the Cape Breton Open in September, his season-best, and earned conditional admit status on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica circuit.
The older brother of current Governor Chase Korte also made quite a splash this season on the professional level. Dustin Korte won the Colbert Charity Classic, an Adams Pro Tour event, in late July in Manhattan, Kansas, and also qualified for the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship in July.
More recently Korte, Barnes and Leaver made the Web.com Tour’s Q-School a decidedly Governors-centric affair. The trio each gained admittance to the final round of Q-School on Nov. 10, with all qualifiers for the final stage assured a Web.com Tour card for the 2018 season. The top 45 finishers and ties at the Final Stage, held December 7th-10th at Whirlwind GC in Chandler, Arizona, will be guaranteed a healthy number of starts during the first part of the 2018 season.
“The success that our alums are having in the professional ranks is a testament to player development in our program,” said head coach Robbie Wilson. “Guys can come to Clarksville, graduate with a quality education, and be ready to turn professional after school. We are certainly proud of the hard work our players put in while they are at APSU.”