Ex-Hawkeye Vince India takes aim at PGA Tour card

Iowa's 2011 Male Athlete of Year heads to Chile, Brazil, Panama ...

Published: March 4 2014 | 1:57 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:08 am in

Maybe it's fitting that someone "India" is unafraid to pursue his golf dreams in other countries and both hemisphere.

Former University of Iowa golf standout Vince India starts a month of nation-hopping Thursday when he tees it up in the Web.com Tour's Chile Classic in Santiago. Next week he'll play in Brazil. The week after that, Panama. And the week after that? Louisiana.

The road to the PGA Tour starts out by going a long way from home before settling in North America for the rest of the year. But India will be ready for the South America/Latin America portion. He played nine events last season as a member of PGA Tour Latinoamerica, competing in Uruguay, Colombia and Peru among other countries. He had one eight-place tie and two ties for 11th.

"I know what to expect," he said last week from his home base in Bradenton, Fla. He is originally from Deerfield, Ill.

The Web.com is the closest step to membership on the PGA Tour. If you finish in the top 25 of the Web.com money going into the four-tourney Finals that closes the season, you advance to the PGA Tour. If you're in the top 25 of the Finals, you also qualify for PGA Tur membership.

No former Hawkeye is a member of the PGA Tour. India, who was the 2011 Big Ten Player of the Year and Iowa's 2011 Male Athlete of the Year, wants to change that.

"Every day I'm working toward that goal," he said. "My game keeps getting better and better every year."

India qualified for Web.com Tour membership last December by tying for 42nd in that tour's 6-day qualifying tournament last December. The top 45 players and ties qualfied. India needed birdies on two of the final three holes to get it done. Former Iowa State golfer Chris Baker, who won last year's Greater Cedar Rapids Open pro event, matched India's score and is also on the Web.com Tour circuit.

Those who qualified out of the tourney were fully exempt for the first eight Web.com events of 2014. His tie for 62nd place got him a modest $1,905 at the Web.com's debut tourney of the year last month in Colombia, but India said making the 36-hole cut strengthened his status on the tour for the rest of the year.

"The guys out here are good," he said. "You see a lot of veterans, guys who have won on the PGA Tour. You see a lot of guys I played college golf with."

"I think my main goal out here is to win. I think that's a pretty attainable goal if I keep progressing."

 

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