Ex-Hogs climbing PGA hill

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2018
Andrew Landry kisses the trophy for the Valero Texas Open, Sunday, April 22, 2018, in San Antonio. Landry won with a score of 17 under par. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
Andrew Landry kisses the trophy for the Valero Texas Open, Sunday, April 22, 2018, in San Antonio. Landry won with a score of 17 under par. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

FAYETTEVILLE -- Former Arkansas Razorbacks are making a splash on the PGA Tour this season.

Recent first-time winners Andrew Landry and Austin Cook are both in the top 25 of the FedEx Cup rankings, and they will be paired up this afternoon in the first round of The Players Championship at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Landry and Cook will tee off at 1:03 p.m. along with Xander Schauffele. Another ex-Razorback, David Lingmerth, will tee off at 7:49 a.m. with Ryan Armour and Ted Potter Jr.

"It's been a great season," said Landry, who lost a four-hole playoff against Jon Rahm at the Career Builder Challenge on Jan. 21 before breaking through with a victory at the Valero Texas Open on April 22. "Every year I tell myself this is going to be my best year yet, and it's kind of working out this year."

Cook, 27, captured the RSM Classic at Sea Island, Ga., by four strokes Nov. 19 in his 15th PGA start.

"It's nice being out here with guys you played with in college and kind of developed your game with and around," said Cook, of Jonesboro. "It's great for our organization, the University of Arkansas and the coaching staff there.

"David, myself and Andrew have all won in the last two or three years, and it was fairly quick after we graduated. I think it's a good testament to the coaching staff and the facilities that we have up at the University of Arkansas."

Cook and Landry are paired up for the second time this season. They were in the final grouping at the Career Builder Challenge, with Cook leading the field by a stroke, before he fell back into a tie for 14th at the course in La Quinta, Calif.

"I like being paired with Austin," Landry said. "He's calm and he's always such a positive guy."

Former Arkansas Razorbacks are making a splash on the PGA Tour this season.

Landry, 30, is 12th in the FedEx Cup rankings and 18th on the money list with $2.28 million this season. Cook ranks 23rd in the FedEx Cup standings and is 33rd on the money list with $1.7 million.

Lingmerth, of Tranas, Sweden, teamed with Landry on the 2009 Arkansas team for Coach Brad McMakin that finished runner-up to Texas A&M for the NCAA title in the first year of the match-play format. Lingmerth, who owns a home at the TPC Sawgrass, picked up his first victory at The Memorial in 2015 and has $8.3 million in career earnings.

Ethan Tracy, also on the 2009 team, gives the Razorbacks four former players on the tour.

"Georgia, I think they might be the bulldog when it comes to former players on the tour, but I think the Razorbacks and Oklahoma State might be next," Landry said. "We have four guys on tour and some more coming up through the ranks on the Web tour."

Cook was honored at a recent Arkansas baseball game, throwing out the first pitch prior to the Razorbacks' 5-1 victory over No. 4 Texas Tech on April 24.

"That was awesome," Cook said. "I think Hunter [Yurachek], our new athletic director, and the staff up there, they really understand the importance of graduates or alumni who are succeeding in certain sports and giving them credit. It goes a long way for the alumni, and I think it goes a long way for recruiting purposes in the future."

Sports on 05/10/2018

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