Power Rankings: Hotel Fitness Championshiptext sizeAugust 27, 2013
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The curtain at last rises on the inaugural Web.com Tour Finals, bringing together the top 75 from this year’s money list with top PGA TOUR players who didn’t qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs or retain a card for next season.
A rather eclectic field of 129 players will tee it up at the Hotel Fitness Championship, including a major championship winner (Trevor Immelman) and several former Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup players. At the other end is Malnati, who didn’t get his first Web.com Tour start until Monday qualifying for the Air Capital Classic in June. Eight starts later, he won in Knoxville.
They’ll play four events to determine the last 25 PGA TOUR cards available for next season. Combined with the 25 Web.com Tour players who earned promotion through the regular season, they’re also competing for entry priority next season.
The only one who doesn’t have to worry about positioning: Michael Putnam, who by finishing atop the Web.com Tour money list earned a higher category next year as well as a guaranteed spot in THE PLAYERS Championship. The same privileges await whoever tops the Finals money list.
The Hotel Fitness Championship is a new event on the schedule, with Sycamore Hills Golf Club serving as host. The Jack Nicklaus design held the U.S. Girls’ Junior earlier this summer, and before that was the site of three Junior PGA Championships.
Power Rankings: Hotel Fitness Championship Rank Player Comment Matt BETTENCOURT Sunday’s playoff loss in Omaha gave Bettencourt runner-up finishes in consecutive weeks, so he’s in form to start the Finals. The South Carolina pro has broken 70 in each of his past 13 Web.com Tour rounds. Brendon TODD The Stadion Classic winner turned his attention to the PGA TOUR after that victory, posting five top-20 finishes in seven starts. Might have had another except for a third-round 75 at Greensboro, but he bounced back nicely with a closing 64. Alex PRUGH The Spokane native has broken 70 in seven of his past eight rounds, resulting in a fifth-place finish in Springfield and T7 in Omaha. That gives him five top-7s this year, plus two more in the top 12. Leads the Web.com in greens in regulation. Marcel SIEM The top-ranked player in the field at No. 66, Siem earned his spot in the Finals via the PGA TOUR’s non-member FedExCup category. The 33-year-old German won the Tropheé Hassan II on the European Tour in April. Russell KNOX A sixth-place finish last week was Knox’s best of the year, giving him seven top-15s in nine Web.com starts since late March. He also has three top-20s in his past four PGA TOUR starts, with 11 of his past 14 rounds there in the 60s. Jim HERMAN A strong closing push has given Herman three top-11 finishes in his past five PGA TOUR starts, topped by a tie for ninth at Sanderson Farms. The Cincinnati native ranks fourth on the PGA TOUR in total driving and 16th in GIR. Tim WILKINSON One of the Tour’s most consistent players, the New Zealand native posted top-15 finishes in 10 of 15 starts. About the only knock is that Wilkinson finished without a win, finishing a shot behind Todd at the Stadion Classic. Ben MARTIN Struggled to find the groove again in Omaha after taking two weeks off, leaving him well short in chasing down Michael Putnam for No. 1. Martin still leads the Web.com Tour in scoring average (68.83) and ranks 2nd in greens in regulation. Trevor IMMELMAN The former Masters champion capped his PGA TOUR regular season with three straight paydays, topped by a share of 21st at the RBC Canadian Open. Five of his past 12 rounds have been in the 60s, including an opening 65 in Greensboro. Miguel Angel CARBALLO The Argentine pro comes to Sycamore Hills riding a stretch of three top 15s, including a T2 in Knoxville. Nine of those 12 rounds have been in the 60s – however, the three that didn’t break 70 all took place on the weekend.