Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Burroughs, Tucker: Local Nike Qualifiers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Burroughs, Tucker: Local Nike Qualifiers

Article excerpt

A Monday qualifying round provided an opportunity for local golfers to hop on the Nike Tour and try their stroke at a $200,000 purse as it visits St. Louis this week.

But after play was completed Tuesday due to Monday showers, the 14 Monday qualifiers were finally decided, and the group consisted of only two area golfers - Mike Tucker and Bret Burroughs.

Burroughs, of University City, survived a playoff with six others who scored a 72 and is grouped with fellow St. Louisan Brian Fogt in Thursday's opening round.

"It's important to get some locals in this event," said Tucker, whose par 71 Monday was good enough to make him one of two St. Louisans in the 133-man field who survived the qualifying round at the Missouri Bluffs Golf Course.

"If there's the chance to get in any Nike or PGA tournament, I think people in the area should go for it without hesitating."

Tucker, a club pro at Bellerive Country Club, went for it, but needed a long hesitation. He faltered with consecutive bogeys at 11 and 12, and lofted his ball into the woods on 13 when the horn sounded Monday at 11:30 a.m. to halt play because of lightning.

"I was losing interest," said Tucker, who played in the last two Gateway Classics but failed to make the cut both times. "The break must have settled me down."

When play resumed two hours later, Tucker salvaged par on 13, and played 1-under the balance of the course, finishing tied for ninth.

Tucker already has one championship in hand this month - the Top-Flite Pro Open at Algonquin Country Club.

"In the past, it has been tough on my ego," Tucker said, concerning the tournament that will draw more than 20,000 spectators this week. "But I'll be more comfortable this year. I'll just say that my goal is to make the cut."

Among those who surpassed Tucker in the qualifying round and are looking beyond Friday's cut are Mario Tiziani and Kory Bowman, roommates on the Hooter's Tour.

Tiziani, from Madison, Wis., and Bowman, from Springfield, Mo., shot a 69 and 70, respectively, and are considered threats in the Gateway Classic.

"I got started well by hitting almost every fairway and I got in position to win," said Tiziani, who played golf at the University of Wisconsin, where his father is the coach. …

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