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Dec. 17, 2004

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Former Virginia golfer Tom McKnight (1973-76) has qualified for the PGA’s Champions Tour. He captured second place at the 2004 Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament Finals at the King and Bear at the World Golf Hall of Fame last month. McKnight finished with a 23-under 409 and shot a course record-tying 9-under-par 63 in the final round.

After finishing fourth in the Sunnehanna Amateur, 10th in the Northeast Amateur, runner-up in the Eastern Amateur and runner-up in the United States Amateur at Oak Hill, McKnight finished 1998 as the No. 1-ranked amateur in the country. At the U.S. Amateur, McKnight’s match play victims included first team All-American J.J. Henry and reigning British Amateur champion Sergio Garcia. In his semifinal match against Garcia, McKnight finished birdie, birdie to win three and one.

In November of 1998, McKnight represented the U.S. at the World Team Championship in Santiago, Chile. In 1999, he made the cut at the Masters, finishing second low amateur to Garcia and was named to the U.S. Walker Cup Team. As memorable as 1998 was for McKnight, it was one of the few years in which he did not win a significant title.

He is a three-time winner of the Virginia State Amateur, a three-time winner of the the Eastern Amateur, winner of the Simon Bolivar Cup in Venezuela, winner of the 1985 Virginia State Open and the 1994 Cardinal Amateur. McKnight’s career also includes runner-up finishes in the North and South, the Porter Cup and medalist honors at the 1988 U.S. Amateur.

At age 50, McKnight turned pro in hopes of competing on the Champions Tour. His daughter Tara, who caddied for him at the Masters, is a sophomore on the UVa women’s basketball team.

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Additional McKnight information is available at: Virginia State Golf Association.

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