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Richard Swift comes back to Victoria for tournament

July 15, 2010 at 2:15 a.m.

Richard Swift, of The Woodlands, tees off at the Victoria Texas Open.

By John Hornberg

Richard Swift said he didn't play very well last season.

He was working his way back from rotator cuff surgery that kept him sidelined him for more than a year. His biggest contribution to the NGA Hooters Tour wasn't anything he did.

Rather, it was something he said one afternoon in the summer last year.

"I used to be kind of an honorary member (of Victoria Country Club) when I played on the Nationwide tour in 2007," he said. "We played a tournament last year in Austin, and unfortunately they didn't want to have the tournament there any more."

"I talked to Breene, and I talked to Claude Jacobs, who always seems to have his hand in everything in town and some of the other members in town. Everyone was supportive, and we decided we would give the tour a call."

The result was the first Victoria Texas Open, which is Swift's 12th tournament of the season as he works his way back from his injury.

He shot an opening round 2-over 73, which puts him right in the middle of the pack for the cut after Friday's second round.

Swift, who was based for several years out of Victoria for a number of years when he played on the Nationwide tour, and is working his way back up to that level.

The reason for the Hooters Tour's decision to move the event involved the members, Swift said, a stark contrast to those at Victoria Country Club.

"The members there didn't want to give up their week, but the members here are so supportive and they've had the other event here for a number of years," he said.

An Australian by birth, Swift came to this country to play golf professionally, and ended up settling in Victoria.

He was a member for three years, but it was weather that actually caused him to get acquainted with Victoria.

"We had a tournament down here at the time in the middle of 2005," he said. "During Hurricane Rita, I was stuck here and the next tournament had been cancelled, and I was staying with some friends here.

"They said 'you're welcome to stay with us.' I met a girl down here and the rest is history."

"It's nice to be on my home course with people who are friendly and friends on the bag caddying. This used to be my home."

But he's been forced to work his way back from major injury. Swift tore his rotator cuff in 2007, and tried to rehab it, but more was required.

"Probably about half way through 2007 I tried to rehab it, and basically had the operation with Dr. (James) Andrews in Birmingham, and was out all of 2008," he said.

Burgoon catches fire to take one stroke lead

In his first tournament on the Hooters tour, Bronson Burgoon is taking the field by storm.

The former Texas A&M golfer who hit the winning shot for the Aggies in the 2009 NCAA championship posted 6-under 65 first round of The Victoria Texas Open. He leads by one stroke over five other players: Bobby Hutcherson, Mike Schachner, Tyler Leon, Tyler Brown and James Vargas.

The 23 year old began on the front nine and quickly went to work with birdies on two of his first four holes to go out in two-under par 35.

The former Aggie had six straight pars after his opening stretch of birdies before catching fire on the back nine with four birdies over his final eight holes to finish with a 32 on the back 9 and sole possession of first place after the opening round.

Burgoon tees off Friday at the 10th Hole at 8:15 a.m.

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