Homa, Paolini among All-Americans in Mylan Classic
Thursday, August 1, 2013
The Web.com Tour’s Mylan Classic will boast some of the nation’s top collegiate players this week at Southpointe Golf Club in Canonsburg, Pa.
Five Division I Ping first-team All-Americans will be in the field: Florida State’s Daniel Berger, New Mexico’s James Erkenbeck, TCU’s Julien Brun, Central Florida’s Greg Eason and California’s Max Homa.
Erkenbeck, Brun and Eason are expected to return to school in the fall. Brun will be a junior, while Erkenbeck and Eason will be seniors. Berger has turned professional after stellar freshman and sophomore years at Florida State.
Homa, the 2013 NCAA individual medalist and a recent Cal graduate, will play on the U.S. team for the Walker Cup matches on Sept. 6-7 at National Golf Links in Southampton, N.Y., and then turn professional.
Homa is coming off a T-8 finish at the Porter Cup in Lewiston, N.Y., last week. The 2013 U.S. Open participant feels more at home this week because he has good family friends who live in nearby Mount Lebanon.
In only his second professional event, his first being the U.S. Open, Homa feels confident about his game after going through "the wringer" at Merion. He said he learned more about his game that week than he could ever imagine.
“I think that players who have earned the collegiate exemption have had so much success, so I’m confidence about the week,” Homa said.
He is looking to be in contention by week's end.
“Golf is golf; you just never know,” he said.
Three Division I Ping second-team All-Americans also will play in the Mylan Classic: North Carolina State’s Albin Choi, Duke’s Brinson Paolini and Cal’s Joel Stalter.
Choi and Paolini have turned professional after their junior and senior seasons, respectively. Choi, a native of Toronto, has decided to take his talents to his homeland. He has played in two PGA Tour Canada events. His best finish was T-20 at the Times Colonist Island Savings Open at Uplands Golf Club.
Paolini has followed the footsteps of Brooks Koepka and Peter Uilhein to play in Europe on the Challenge Tour.
Paolini planned on staying amateur throughout the summer, but was granted a sponsor exemption into the Swiss Challenge, and hasn’t looked back since. He finished T-2 and T-25 (Mugello Tuscany Open) before breaking out with a victory at the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge this past week.
“I had so much confidence in my game (after the Virginia Amateur), and belief that I could play out there,” Paolini said. “It was the icing on the cake.”
Nathan Smith, a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and two-time Walker Cup player, also is entered in the Mylan. Smith resides in nearby Pittsburgh. Smith will be joined by 2011 Walker Cup teammate Blayne Barber, who competes on the NGA Tour, where he has four top-5 finishes in five tournaments this season and is No. 4 on the money list. Division II Player of the Year Alex Carpenter, who recently completed his career at Abilene Christian, also is in the field.