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Inside Golf: Nagy to make pro debut this weekend

CHIP SHOTS

The eGolf Professional Tour's Southern Open this week at the Club at Irish Creek and Warrior Golf Club is one of the tour's biggest events and has one of its strongest fields. This week features several recent college stars, including the professional debut of former Charlotte 49ers star Corey Nagy and former Clemson golfer Ben Martin, runner-up in the 2009 U.S. Amateur.

Also in the field are Wake Forest's Brendan Gielow, a Walker Cup player, and Florida's Tyson Alexander, two-time Azalea Amateur champion.

How much is the PGA Tour stop worth to Hilton Head Island each year? According to a study done at Clemson this year, it had an economic impact of $81million with $72million in direct spending.

The average tournament spectator spends $345 a day at Hilton Head, and 71 percent of the fans said they visit the island primarily for the tournament. The tournament is searching for a new title sponsor and its future is uncertain.

The survey found that 62 percent of respondents who live outside Beaufort County said they might not return to the island if the tournament is not played.

Katherine Perry of Cary shot 68 to lead sectional qualifying at Sapona Country Cub in Lexington for next month's U.S. Women's Amateur at Charlotte Country Club. Among the local players advancing are Corrine Carr of Pinehurst, Taelor Rubin of Raleigh and Eleana Collins of Pinehurst.

Barry Dyche shot 68 and Ryan Whalen shot 69 at Pine Island Country Club on Monday to lead qualifying for next month's Charlotte City Amateur. A second qualifier is scheduled July 26.

The Carolina Am, a 200-player tournament scheduled for July 31-Aug.1, has been moved from Springfield Golf Club to Carolina Lakes.

Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Padraig Harrington were awarded honorary doctorates Tuesday by the University of St. Andrews.

OBSERVATIONS

Paula Creamer gave women's pro golf exactly what it needed with her victory in the U.S. Women's Open on Sunday. Other than Michelle Wie, Creamer is the most popular and marketable player in the game and by winning the Open, she cemented her credentials beyond her smile.

Creamer has the ability to draw casual fans to the women's game with her personality and style. Her pink outfits were initially a gimmick, but they helped make her recognizable. Winning the Open at Oakmont was a career-altering achievement and a great stroke of fortune for the women's game.

Logan Harrell's victory in the Carolinas Amateur was huge for the Huntersville resident. Harrell, 18, who will be a freshman at South Carolina this fall, has been one of the best players in the area for a while, but winning arguably the biggest amateur title in the two states put him on another level.

Couple Harrell's win with Laura Wearn's recent victory in the North Carolina women's amateur and it's already been a strong season for Charlotte-area players.

Tiger Woods has taken the Scotty Cameron putter he's used since 1999 out of his bag and replaced it this week with a Nike Method putter. It's a major equipment move for Woods, who isn't one to constantly tinker with his clubs.

He ranks 96th on tour in putting this year, maybe his biggest area of struggle in his return. He said the reason he's changing this week is because he's always had trouble putting slow greens and he likes the way the ball jumps off the Nike putter. It was unclear whether the change is temporary or permanent, but I'm thinking it might be long-term.

The Old Course greens at St. Andrews are enormous but they were rolling at less than 10 on the Stimpmeter on Tuesday, Woods said, after watching tournament officials test a green.

He said he and caddie Steve Williams have talked often about what he should do on slow greens and the decision was made to change this week.

Woods did, however, win both his Opens at St. Andrews using the Scotty Cameron putter.

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