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Skinns Defends Three Ridges Title

Former Tennessee star David Skinns successfully defended his title Sunday at the NGA Pro Golf Tour's Three Ridges Classic in Knoxville.

Skinns closed with a final-round of 5-under-par 66 to win by three strokes over Brandon Brown and claim the first prize of $22,000. It was Skinns' second NGA Tour victory this year in seven starts and his second in as many years at Three Ridges Golf Course.

The Lincoln, England, native shot 67-65-69-66--267 for the four days, rallying on Sunday from a tie for third. Two eagles on the front nine aided his cause.

See John Shearer's account of Sunday's final round in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Brown and Skinns are 1-2 in the 2012 NGA Tour Money Standings, with Brown owning $71,707 in earnings to Skinns' $63,274.

Another former Vols standout, David Holmes, posted his best professional finish with a tie for 10th at Three Ridges. The Knoxville native shot 68-69-69-70--276 to earn his best paycheck at $2,763. For the year in 10 NGA Tour starts, Holmes has made six cuts and earned $12,223 to climb into 39th place.

On the European Challenge Tour, former Vols Chris Paisley tied for 28th and Charlie Ford tied for 51st at the Telenet Trophy in Belgium.

Paisley shot 69-74-70-69--282 to earn approximately $1,625, while Ford finished with a scorecard of 68-70-74-74--286 to claim approximately $732 in prize money. Paisley is 34th on the 2012 Challenge Tour money list with $12,663 in earnings, and Ford is 39th with $11,660.

Ford, Paisley Solid in European PGA Stint

A pair of former Tennessee golfers took advantage of their first starts this year on the European PGA Tour to post top-25 finishes Sunday on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

Charlie Ford tied for 16th place at the Madeira Islands Open after shooting 67-68-70-71--276. And Chris Paisley was consistent throughout, finishing with a scorecard of 69-69-69-70--277 that was good enough to tie for 22nd.

The Madeira Islands event is part of both the European PGA and European Challenge tours. The two former Vols had been idle on the Challenge Tour circuit since the Barclays Kenya Open ended April 1. But counting this week's winnings, Paisley and Ford stand 32nd and 33rd, respectively, on the Challenge Tour money list.

Paisley has earned approximately $11,318 and Ford $11,204 during the 2012 season.

Holmes, Skinns Shine on NGA Tour

David Holmes earned his best professional finish and David Skinns moved back into second place on the money list to highlight a pair of former Tennessee Vols on the NGA Pro Golf Tour.

Holmes finished 15th at the Mountain Lakes Classic in Seneca, S.C., earning $2,440 on the strength of a 68-71-72-70--281 scorecard. The 2010 Vols captain has made the cut in four of his six starts this year and stands 37th on the money list with $7,092. Holmes made $8,595 in 18 starts last year in his first season on the NGA Tour.

Skinns shot 70-67-75-66--278 to tie for eighth at the Mountain Lakes event and earn his third top-10 result in five starts this year. Skinns won the Cutter Creek Golf Classic in late March and also finished third at the Killearn Country Club Classic to start the season.

For the year, Skinns has $39,436 in earnings to trail only Brandon Brown of Shelbyville, Ky., by $6,676 on the 2012 money list. Brown jumped into first place after winning this week's tournament and he is the defending NGA Pro Golf Tour money champion from 2011.

Another former Vols golfer, Cameron Lawrence, tied for 50th at the Mountain Lakes event to snap a string of three missed cuts and post his best professional showing. Lawrence had two eagles during the weekend, both on par 4s, and shot 69-76-77-68--290. The two rounds in the 60s were his first since March 1 in the opening round of the season's very first tournament.

The Nationwide Tour resumes this week in Valdosta, Ga., with Philip Pettitt 45th on the 2012 money list at $24,361. Pettitt has made the most of his two made cuts in six starts thus far, finishing 25th and ninth.

Former UT players on the European Challenge Tour return to action May 10-13 at the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal. Chris Paisley is 39th on the early money list with approximately $4,439 and Charlie Ford is 55th with approximately $3,076. Another former Vol, Robin Wingardh, is scheduled to begin playing the Challenge Tour in May.

Both Paisley and Ford have made the cut twice in three Challenge Tour events played on three continents - Asia, South America and Africa.

Skinns 2nd on NGA Money List

David Skinns jumped to second place on the NGA Pro Golf Tour money standings after his win Saturday at the Cutter Creek Golf Classic in North Carolina.

Skinns claimed the $22,000 first prize thanks to his birdie on the second playoff hole that edged Chas Narramore, who hails from Kingston and played collegiately at Middle Tennessee. Skinns has finishes of third, 12th and first in his three starts this year to amass $34,467 in earnings and trail money-leader Tyson Alexander by only $371.

Skinns played for the Vols from 2002-05 and not only won the SEC individual championship his senior season but also earned second team, third team and honorable mention All-America honors during his career.

David Holmes (2007-10) tied for 20th at the same tournament and earned the best paycheck of his young professional career. Holmes pocketed $1,909 after climbing 20 places on the final leaderboard with a closing round of 70.

Through four events, Holmes has made three cuts with finishes of 27th, 23rd and now 20th. He is 38th on the 2012 money list with $4,652.

On the European Challenge Tour, Charlie Ford turned in his best finish of the season with a tie for 30th at the Barclays Kenya Open in Africa. Ford earned approximately $1,825 for his efforts and has $3,124 for the year to rank 55th on the money list.

Chris Paisley missed his first Challenge Tour cut of the year this week but still stands 39th on the money list with approximately $4,509.

Wingardh Ready for Challenge Tour

Former Tennessee golfer Robin Wingardh (2008-11) is preparing a return to the European Challenge Tour in May after playing in eight events last year.

The 2011 Vols captain turned pro after last year's NCAA Championship in Oklahoma and made his very first cut at the Scottish Hydro Challenge in late June. Wingardh went on to make three more cuts in eight tournament appearances, finishing with nearly $5,000 in earnings.

This past winter, Wingardh played six times in the NGA Tour's Winter Series in Florida. After missing the cut in his first tournament, the Swede had five straight top-20s, including a tie for second at Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando. Wingardh finished with $12,972 in earnings.

Already playing on this year's European Challenge Tour are former Vols Chris Paisley (2006-09) and Charlie Ford (2005-08). Paisley placed 22nd and 30th in the first two tournaments and stands 27th on the money list with approximately $4,500 in earnings. Ford missed the first cut but finished 44th at the event in Colombia two weeks ago and is 63rd on the money list in the early going.

The Challenge Tour resumes this week in Kenya.

Three more recent Vols are competing on the NGA Tour Pro Series, formerly the Hooters Tour.

David Skinns (2002-05) has finished third and 12th during his quick start to 2012 and earned $12,467. Skinns is sixth on this year's money list after placing 17th last year, when he won the Knoxville area's River Islands Golf Club Classic and earned more than $50,000.

David Holmes (2007-10) and Cameron Lawrence (2008-10) also are competing on the NGA Tour. Holmes has made two cuts in three tries and finished inside the top 30 both times to amass $2,743 in earnings. Lawrence has made one cut in two tries and earned $1,000.

Philip Pettitt (2005-08) has the week off after missing the cut by two strokes at the Nationwide Tour's Chitimacha Louisiana Open. The Nationwide Tour's next stop is April 5-8 at the Soboba Golf Classic in San Jacinto, Calif.

Former Vols Make European Challenge Cut

Former Tennessee golfers Chris Paisley and Charlie Ford both made the cut at this weekend's European Challenge Tour event in Colombia.

Paisley finished in a tie for 30th place after shooting 77-71-69-73--290 to earn more than $1,900. Ford placed 44th on the strength of his 74-73-73-73--293 scorecard, earning nearly $1,300.

Paisley is playing his first fulltime season on the Challenge Tour -- equivalent to the U.S. PGA's Nationwide Tour -- after a successful 2011 campaign on the Alps Tour. The Vols team captain in 2009 won three times on the Alps circuit in only eight starts to claim more than $37,000 in winnings. He also competed in 10 Challenge Tour events, making seven cuts and finishing 68th with money winnings of nearly $33,000.

So far this year, Paisley has made the cut in both Challenge Tour events and sits in 27th place on the 2012 money list with nearly $4,433 in earnings. He finished 22nd at the season-opening event in India.

Ford is in his third season on the Challenge Tour, with occasional appearances on the European PGA Tour. The 2005-08 Tennessee letterman has $109,138 in career earnings on the Challenge Tour, with an additional $11,320 from the main European Tour.

Ford missed the cut at the India tournament and is tied for 63rd place in the early going of the 2012 money list.

A former teammate of Ford's, Philip Pettitt, missed the cut at this week's Nationwide Tour event in Chile. Pettitt shot 75-68 to fall two strokes shy of the cut line. He is tied for 80th on the early money list with $4,111.

Next Up: Nationwide Tour, Chitimacha Louisiana Open, Broussard, La., March 22-25; Challenge Tour, The Barclays Kenya Open, Nairobi, Kenya, March 29-April 1.

Pettitt Ties for 25th in Panama; Paisley, Ford Back in Action

Former Tennessee golfer Philip Pettitt earned his first paycheck of 2012 with a tie for 25th place over the weekend at the Nationwide Tour's Panama Claro Championship in Panama City.

Pettitt was in the top 10 through two rounds after opening 69-69, but then finished 72-73. He earned $4,111 and rests in a tie for 58th place on the tour's early money list.

The Panama tournament was the second of three Nationwide events taking place in South and Central America to start the season. Pettitt missed the cut at the opening tournament in Colombia, and this week he's headed to Santiago for the Chile Classic Presented by Pacific Rubiales.

The Nationwide Tour's first USA stop is the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in Broussard, La., near Lafayette, on March 22-25. This year's Knoxville News Sentinel Open Presented by Pilot is Aug. 23-26 at Fox Den Country Club.

Pettitt earned his place on the Nationwide Tour through the PGA Final Stage Qualifying Tournament in December.

In 2011, Pettitt placed third on the NGA Pro Golf Tour money list in his third full season on that tour. He won twice and made the cut in all 17 of his tournament appearances, finishing with winnings of $112,121.50.

He then won his Second Stage Qualifying Tournament in Brooksville, Fla., by five strokes to advance to the Q-School finals, where he tied for 72nd place and earned Nationwide status.

The Murfreesboro native helped the Vols to a pair of NCAA Championship appearances during his 2004-08 collegiate career.

In 2009, Pettitt was NGA Pro Golf Tour Rookie of the Year.

Meanwhile, another pair of former Vols -- Chris Paisley and Charlie Ford -- resume play when the European Challenge Tour lands in the this hemisphere Thursday through Sunday at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Paisley tied for 22nd place in the tour's opener, the Gujarat Kensville Challenge in Ahmedabad, India, back in late January. Ford missed the cut in that event.

The European Challenge Tour is the European PGA equivalent of the Nationwide Tour.