Power Rankings: Chiquita ClassicSeptember 03, 2013
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
DAVIDSON, N.C. – After something of a nomadic existence since joining the Web.com Tour schedule three years ago, the Chiquita Classic appears set to settle down as it welcomes the second event of the Web.com Tour Finals.
The Classic began as a July event in Cincinnati, before moving to Charlotte for the 2012 edition as part of Chiquita Brands’ corporate relocation to the Queen City. After a transition year at The Club at Longview, the event selected River Run Country Club to put down roots.
It’s the second new venue in as many weeks for the Finals, after red numbers dominated at Sycamore Hills for the Hotel Fitness Championship. Trevor Immelman won the Finals’ debut event at 20-under, in a week that included three 63s and seven 64s.
Immelman’s victory guaranteed he’ll retain PGA TOUR membership for next year, though his spot on the priority list remains subject to his place on the Finals money list at the end of the series.
The field stands at 131 players, with the addition of three eligible players who sat out the first week. That includes PGA TOUR vets Jonathan Byrd, who shared runner-up honors in Reno, and Spencer Levin.
Power Rankings: Chiquita Classic Rank Player Comment John PETERSON The former NCAA champ is heating up at the right time of year, tying for fifth in Fort Wayne after a Sunday 64. That followed a third-place finish in the Regular-Season finale, seeing Bronson La’Cassie’s win knock him out of the first batch of PGA TOUR cards. Kevin KISNER An up-and-down year has trended upward in recent weeks, earning a spot in the final Sunday pairing in two of his past three starts. But Kisner still needs to come up with a little more final-round magic, going no lower than 69 in Knoxville and 70 last Sunday. Bud CAULEY After breaking 70 just once since June, the former Alabama standout did it all four days at Sycamore Hills. Though he was only middle of the pack in greens in regulation, an improved short game brought results. He needed no more than 29 putts in any round. Trevor IMMELMAN Even while basking in Sunday’s win, Immelman casually mentioned he saw no reason he couldn’t win another. The 2008 Masters champ finally got the four consistent rounds he’d been seeking, hitting fairways at a 78 percent clip and greens at 76 percent. Jonathan BYRD The five-time PGA TOUR winner broke 70 in seven of his last 10 rounds in the regular season, including a 27-point weekend in Reno after making the cut on the number. Kind of makes one forget he missed nine of his first 12 cuts in his return from wrist surgery. Russell KNOX A winner when the Chiquita Classic was in Cincinnati, he found Charlotte to his liking as well with a tie for seventh last year. The Scotsman tied for 18th in Fort Wayne, giving him six consecutive top-20 finishes on either circuit since the middle of June. Seung-Yul NOH Last week’s tie for seventh continued a strong recent run for the 22-year-old Korean, who also shared seventh in Reno. Six of Noh’s past eight rounds have been in the 60s, highlighted by a third-round 64 at Sycamore Hills. Ranked fifth in GIR at Sycamore Hills. Scott GARDINER The Aussie steadily climbed the leaderboard at Sycamore Hills, finishing just two shots behind Immelman on the strength of a 66-68 weekend. He turned in the best ballstriking week in the field – second in fairways hit, 17th in distance and third in GIR. Chesson HADLEY A victory in his native Raleigh ignited a strong midseason run for Hadley, who finished third in the Web.com Tour’s graduating class. Though his results have tailed off of late, perhaps a return to his home state can spark another strong run through the Finals. Arron OBERHOLSER For a guy with just eight competitive rounds in the past four years, Oberholser’s tie for 18th reminded folks of how good he was before the hand woes. The effect of back-to-back weeks remains to be seen, but that added glove pad seems to be the remedy.