KU golfers past and present competing in prestigious events this week

Gary Woodland kisses the championship trophy for photographers after his one-hole playoff win in the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

This is a busy week for several University of Kansas golfers, past and present.

Sera Tadokoro, a sophomore on KU’s women’s golf team, and 2012 graduate Katy (Nugent) Winters are competing in the U.S. Women’s Amateur, which started Monday and extends through Sunday at Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs, Tenn.

Tadokora shot a 3-over 74 on the first day of stroke play, leaving her tied for 96th. Winters is tied for 139th after shooting 78.

Touring PGA pro Gary Woodland and Ryan Vermeer, winner of the PGA Professional Championship, will compete in the PGA Championship at Bellerive.

Vermeer, an All-American at KU, is competing in his second consecutive PGA Championship. He earned one of the 20 spots awarded in the PGA Professional Championship last year when he tied for ninth. He missed the cut at the PGA.

Woodland enters golf’s fourth major on the calendar, played this year at Bellerive in St. Louis,44th in the Official World Golf Ranking, 37th in the FedEx Cup standings and 41st on the PGA Tour money list.

Woodland, who secured his third tour victory at the Phoenix Open on Super Bowl Sunday, is coming off a strong performance (tied for 17th) at the Bridgestone Invitational.

Woodland ranks fifth on the PGA tour in greens in regulation percentage (71.06) and 202nd in one-putt percentage (31.92).

Two-time KU All-American Touring Web.com pro Chris Thompson’s quest to join Wooldand on tour in 2019 continues this week at the Ellie Mae Classic in Hayward, Calif. When he originally made his schedule, Thompson was going to make the tournament one of the few he would skip, but said Monday he will participate. Thompson is coming off the best back-to-back finishes of his career, following his third-place tie in Springfield, Mo. with a fourth-place tie in Overland Park to move to 34th on the money list. The top 25 finishers on the money list in the regular season earn PGA Tour cards. There are two events remaining in the regular season.

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