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East County Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 3 months ago

From the Suncoast Classic to stardom

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These five current PGA Tour contenders played in the inaugural LECOM Suncoast Classic.
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Reporter

The PGA Tour often promotes its Korn Ferry Tour competitors as the stars of tomorrow.

Or at least next year.

Those who watched last year's LECOM Suncoast Classic might not have known they were witnessing potential greatness, but a year's time has proven they, indeed, did see some of the world's top golfers.

Mark Hubbard, the winner of last year's inaugural LECOM Suncoast Classic, called it the second best tour in the world, and while the European PGA Tour golfers might give him an argument, the results have shown the Korn Ferry Tour players can step right up to the top level and compete. Here is a look at just five of the golfers who went from playing in Lakewood Ranch to a nice living on the PGA Tour.

All statistics were compiled through Jan. 31.

1. Lanto Griffin

Lanto Griffin is fourth in the FedEx Cup standings. Photo courtesy of PGA Tour Media.

Age: 31

Finish at the 2019 LECOM Suncoast Classic: Tied for 25th with Harry Higgs (12 under par)

Finish on the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour points list: Sixth

Where he is now: Griffin has played exceptional golf since graduating to the PGA Tour, winning the Houston Open (14 under par) by one stroke over Suncoast Classic winner Mark Hubbard and Scott Harrington on Oct. 13. Griffin has seven other top-20 finishes this year and he has missed just two cuts. His play has landed him at No. 4 in the FedEx Cup rankings.

PGA Tour money earned 2019-20 season: $2,242,554

2. Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler is 16th in the FedEx Cup standings. Photo courtesy of PGA Tour Media.

Age: 23 

Finish at the 2019 LECOM Suncoast Classic: Missed the cut (one over par)

Finish on the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour points list: Third

Where he is now: Scheffler did let a disappointing LECOM Suncoast Classic performance deter him. He went on to have eight top-10 finishes (and two wins) on the Korn Ferry Tour, and since getting his PGA Tour card, Scheffler has continued his hot streak. He has four top-10 finishes this season, which include finishing third at The American Express tournament on Jan. 19 (23 under par) and finishing tied for third (18 under par) with three others at the Bermuda Championship on Nov. 3. He is 16th in the FedEx Cup rankings. 

PGA Tour money earned: $1,361,655

3. Mark Hubbard

Mark Hubbard is 28th in the FedEx Cup standings. Photo courtesy of PGA Tour Media.

Age: 30

Finish at the 2019 LECOM Suncoast Classic: Won the tournament (26 under par)

Finish on the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour points list: Ninth

Where he is now: Hubbard is 28th on the FedEx Cup rankings thanks in part to tying for second at the Houston Open (13 under par) with Scott Harrington on Oct. 13. He also tied for 10th at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier (12 under par) with two others on Sept. 15 and finished tied for 13th at the Safeway Open (10 under par) with three others on Sept. 29.  

PGA Tour money earned: $1,072,398

4. Scott Harrington

Scott Harrington is 41st in the FedEx Cup standings. Photo courtesy of PGA Tour Media.

Age: 39

Finish at the 2019 LECOM Suncoast Classic: Tied for 43rd with three others (nine under par)

Finish on the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour points list: 19th

Where he is now: A testament to perseverance, Harrington earned his first PGA Tour Card at 39 and has made the most of his opportunity. He tied for second with Hubbard at the Houston Open (13 under par) and has two other top-25 finishes. He is sitting at No. 41 on the FedEx Cup rankings. 

PGA Tour money earned: $837,787

5. Harry Higgs

Harry Higgs is 35th in the FedEx Cup standings. Photo courtesy of PGA Tour Media.

Age: 28

Finish at the 2019 LECOM Suncoast Classic: Tied for 25th (12 under par)

Finish on the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour points list: Fifth

Where he is now: Higgs is holding down the 35th spot in the FedEx Cup rankings. He finished second at the Bermuda Championship on Nov. 3 (20 under par) and finished tied for ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 26 (nine under par). Higgs' scoring average (70.262) is lower than Hubbard's, but Higgs has missed four cuts in 11 events, while Hubbard has missed just two in 10 events. 

PGA Tour money earned: $737,174

I’m the sports reporter for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, MD. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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