Jaeger, Apyan earn Tour Latin American status

Jaeger, Apyan earn Tour Latin American status

January 26th, 2014 by David Uchiyama in Sports - Golf

Stephan Jaeger

Stephan Jaeger

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Paul Apyan practices chipping the ball at Black Creek Club golf course in this file photo.

Paul Apyan practices chipping the ball at Black...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Chattanooga based golfers Paul Apyan Jr. and Stephan Jaeger qualified Friday for status on the PGA Tour Latin America.

Jaeger, who prepped at Baylor School and then played for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, tied for 16th in a four-day qualifying tournament in Sebring, Fla., which earned him full status on the 16-tournament tour. Apyan, who played at Hixson High and Southern Miss, tied for 23rd and has the highest conditional status. He should be able to play in at least 14 events.

Both players will be able to set their schedules through May, when the tour takes a break until September, and then attempt to qualify for Web.com Tour events over the summer.

"It's a steppingstone in the right direction after a pretty disappointing Q-school," Jaeger said. "It's a very good plan B."

The schedule will take Jaeger and Apyan -- who speak very little Spanish -- to Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Uruguay, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

"It feels really good," Apyan said. "I'm still trying to soak it all in."

PGAA honors Craig

WindStone head professional Jeff Craig earned the national PGA Junior League captain of the year award Thursday at the annual PGA Show in Orlando.

He received the award for his dedication to the Tennessee Section PGA Junior League, which he helped create and coached in this past summer.

"We found something that we thought would work for kids, get them to play more golf and want them to play more golf," Craig said. "Hopefully we'll have more teams this year."

Davis Love III retweeted a picture of Craig receiving the award from PGA of America honorary president Allen Wronowski. Craig said he thanked his family, Graham Honeycutt from the TPGA and the junior league and dedicated the award to his late father.

"I was trying to keep it together," Craig said. "It was a humbling experience."

Bear Trace singled out

The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is the national public-course and overall winner of the 2013 Environmental Leaders in Golf Award for 2013, according to co-sponsor Golf Digest.

The ELGA is presented to course superintendents -- Paul Carter at Bear Trace -- who demonstrate outstanding leadership in a number of areas affecting the environment.

The magazine noted Carter's efforts in water management, wildlife conservation, communication and outreach. It also noted BTHB's famous eagle camera, converting acres to unmaintained native grasses, installing birdhouses and establishing buffer zones between golf holes and the lake shore.

TGA celebrating 100

The Tennessee Golf Association is observing its centennial anniversary in a big way this year, and part of the celebration includes six gala dinners throughout the state. One of those is set for March 29 at Chattanooga Golf & Country Club.

Each of the dinners, beginning March 8 at Jackson Country Club and concluding June 6 at Memphis CC, is open to the public and costs $100 per person. Anyone interested can see www.tngolf.org/centennial or call Nathaniel Hantle in the TGA office at 615-465-6304.

Also, a commemorative book entitled "Titans of the TGA: Fifty People Who Helped Shape the Tennessee Golf Association's First Hundred Years" will be available for sale in March. Chattanoogan Chris Dortch is the author.

Fox invited to Pebble

Former UTC golfer and 2012 U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox has been invited to compete in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am tournament Feb. 6-9.

Fox played in eight PGA Tour events last year, including three majors, after winning the U.S. Am.

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.