Madigan Clears First Stage of Tour Q School 0 126

Tim Madigan Pro Golfer

23-year-old advances to Stage 2 qualifying in November

Rio Rancho’s Tim Madigan advanced to the second stage of Tour qualifying with a 3-under final round Friday in Florence, S.C.

Madigan finished T3 among 34 players plus ties who  advanced to the second stage of qualifying in November. He posted 68-69-64-67 for a four-round total of 12-under on the par 70 Florence Country Club course.

Madigan shot a blistering 6-under with no bogies on Day 3 to stay close to the red-hot leader, Vince Hatfield of Greenwood, S.C., who shot a 9-under 61 Thursday and finished the four-round competition at 18-under.

The Tour is the developmental tour for and gateway to the PGA Tour. Top 25 finishers after the third stage of this fall’s qualifying will gain status on the 2014 Tour. Madigan spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons on the eGolf Tour.


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Sierra Del Rio to Shutter for Two Months 0 135

Sierra del Rio Golf Course

Sierra Del Rio Golf Course, which restricted play in December to Thursday through Sunday only, will close for two months after the New Year.

The temporary closure of the 18-hole Elephant Butte golf course was announced in an email Sunday. The golf course’s food and beverage operation, also will close. Plans are to reopen on March 1, the course said.

“The course is in reasonably good condition but we want it to be in the best shape possible when we reopen,” a golf shop employee said Sunday. Maintenance crews will devote the downtime to earth and drainage work to repair damage to native areas off the playing surfaces caused by heavy rains in September, the employee said.

Sierra Del Rio, a Richard Phelps design, is the centerpiece of a retirement- and second-home community near the Rio Grande in Southern New Mexico. Its director of golf is Guy Wimberly, who retired to Elephant Butte after decades running Arroyo Del Oso Golf Course in Albuquerque. Wimberly had no comment on the closure on Sunday.

Sierra Del Rio reduced playing days earlier this month. Winter is typically playable in Southern New Mexico, where daily highs reach into the 50s and 60s.

Sierra Del Rio is part of the Turtleback Mountain Resort. It opened in 2007 on the footprint of the old Oasis Golf Resort and is the nearest golf course to Spaceport America, where Virgin Galactic plans to fly tourists to the edge of space.

The renovated course and new homes built near it provided a boost to the local economy, but homebuilding and rounds played suffered following the 2008 housing collapse.

Dan Vukelich is editor of Reach him at