June 4, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- With his collegiate playing career closed, Northwestern senior Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) will make his first professional start this week at the Web.com Tour Cleveland Open before he even walks in graduation ceremonies.
Perry, who competed Monday at the Springfield, Ohio, U.S. Open 36-hole sectional qualifier, received a sponsor's exemption into the 156-man field at the Cleveland Open, which begins tomorrow, Thursday, June 5, at Lakewood Country Club in suburban Westlake, Ohio. Perry will join fellow NU alums Scott Harrington and Chris Wilson -- both Web.com Tour veterans -- in the field in Cleveland.
Perry closed his senior season at Northwestern with six top-10 finishes including three top-3 results and a win in 11 team starts. He owns the school's 54-hole tournament scoring record (a 16-under 200 achieved at the 2013 Northwestern Spring Invitational), the second-best single-round score (a 9-under 63 fired at the 2014 Puerto Rico Classic) and the third-best career scoring average for a Wildcat (72.78, behind only Luke Donald and Eric Chun).
Perry's pro turn this week links him with a strong group of other Northwestern graduates, including several who were teammates, who have found recent success as professionals on circuits around the world:
Sam Chien (2012): Chien currently leads the PGA Tour China Order of Merit with three top-10s in the first three tournaments including a wire-to-wire victory at the Buick Open in May. The top five finishers on the Order of Merit after the 12 event season earn full Web.com Tour cards for the following year.
David Lipsky (2011): The 2010 Big Ten champion currently ranks third on the 2014 Asian Tour Order of Merit thanks in large part to a runner-up performance at the European Tour co-sponsored Championship at Laguna National last month. Lipsky, who won the 2012 Asian Tour Q School, played both the Asian and Web.com Tours last year.
Chris Wilson (2007): The 2006 Big Ten champion and 2010 PGA TOUR member enters this week's Web.com Tour Cleveland Open ranked 35th on the season money list after an eighth-place finish at last week's Rex Hospital Open, his second top-10 of the year. The top 25 money winners after the Web.com Tour regular season earn PGA TOUR cards for the following year.
Scott Harrington (2003): Harrington, a member of two Big Ten championship teams at Northwestern, is making his 10th start of the Web.com Tour season at the Cleveland Open after making six cuts with one top-25 finish to date. Harrington played a career-high 25 tournaments on the Tour last year.
Luke Donald (2001): The former World No. 1 who still employs NU head coach Pat Goss as his short game coach finished third at the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, two weeks ago. Donald also had a runner-up performance at the PGA TOUR's RBC Heritage in April and has re-entered the top-20 of the Official World Golf Ranking ahead of next week's U.S. Open.
Fran Quinn (1987): On Monday, Quinn won medalist honors at the Purchase, N.Y., U.S. Open sectional qualifier to earn a tee time next week at Pinehurst No. 2. His best-career U.S. Open finish was a 43rd-place result in 1994. Quinn has made at least one Web.com Tour start every year since 1990 and has over $1 million in career earnings on the Tour. Several times in his career, Quinn earned his PGA TOUR card, most recently for the 2010 season though injuries hampered his performance and a Major Medical Exemption expired in 2012.
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