A year ago, when Rickie Fowler birdied the first hole of a playoff to win the Wells Fargo Championship, Derek Ernst was winding down out the final days of his senior year at UNLV.
Ernst got his degree in hotel management but he didn't exactly plan to put that sheepskin to use. The Californian wanted to make his living playing golf, and he took the long road to the PGA TOUR, pre-qualifying and then surviving all three stages of the final qualifying school that would provide direct access to the PGA TOUR to get his card.
On Sunday, cold and completely drenched but equally determined, Ernst won in his eighth start as a PGA TOUR member -- making birdie on the final hole at Quail Hollow and beating David Lynn with a par on the first hole of sudden death. The win opened up a world of opportunity for the 22-year-old who now has job security for the next 31 months.
"The money is money, it will come and go," said Ernst, who moved from 196th to 32nd in the FedExCup. "But winning and having a job and playing out here for the next two years, that's what I want to do. I want to play out here, so that is the best part." READ MORE