T.J. Vogel earns 7th PGA TOUR start through Monday Qualifying
July 03, 2018
By Brendan Stasiewich, PGATOUR.COM
- July 03, 2018
- The former 10th place Order of Merit finisher is on the hunt for a PGA TOUR card. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
64, 64, 63, 65, 66, 66, 65. Those are the scores T.J. Vogel has fired in his seven successful Monday Qualifiers on the PGA TOUR in 2018.
With his 65 on Monday at the Cobb Course at the Resort of Glade Springs, a score that gets Vogel into the Greenbrier Classic, Vogel breaks Patrick Reed’s record of six successful Monday qualifiers in 2012.
How does he do it? Perhaps because the 10th place finisher on last year’s Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit has his eye on something more important to him than a flashy Monday resume: a PGA TOUR card.
“It’s cool, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you do something with it,” said Vogel, following his sixth successful qualifier last month. “I don’t care how many times I qualify; my goal is to get there. I want to play on the PGA TOUR.”
The most likely route for Vogel to accomplish this feat would be to earn a berth into the Web.com Tour finals in September through 2018 non-member PGA TOUR FedEx Cup points.
Should Vogel finish the season with the equivalent number of points that would put him between spots 125-200 on the PGA TOUR FedEx Cup list, he will automatically earn an exemption into the Web.com Tour Finals where he could play his way to a PGA TOUR card.
At the Web.com Tour Finals, 25 cards are awarded to the top-25 players on the money list and 25 cards are given to players who earn the most points in the four Finals events, the route Vogel is gunning for.
“I want to earn my card through Web finals and ultimately get on TOUR, I don’t care how many times it takes,” said Vogel.
Currently, 200th spot on the FedEx Cup standings belongs to Mackenzie Hughes, with 44 points. T.J. Vogel presently has 51 points, meaning that if the season ended today, he would have an opportunity to play his way to a PGA TOUR card.
But, without any status on the PGA TOUR, and others continuously gaining ground, Vogel’s path to the TOUR will continue to come via qualifiers.
“I’m going to try to do every Monday that I can,” said Vogel. “I’m just trying to give myself the best chance to get into the Web Playoffs.”
The Pembroke Pines, Fla. native has made three of six cuts on the PGA TOUR this season, with his best showing coming at the Valspar Championship where he finished in a tie for 16th.
“The Valspar was a nice sense of relief for me. I wasn’t doing very well financially and once I made the cut I knew I’d make the $15,000 minimum that would help me out a bit,” said Vogel. “That helped me settle down and I played nicely on Saturday and then I felt most comfortable Sunday and had my best tournament.”
Vogel has had quite the journey to get him to where he is today. A talented amateur who had a solid collegiate career at both the University of Southern California and the University of Florida, Vogel played the Masters in 2013, a memory he still draws inspiration from today.
“Augusta is the best course I’ve ever played, I can’t really compare it to anything, it almost feels like a dream looking back,” said Vogel. “I don’t want anything more than to get back and compete at the Masters. How surreal that environment was… it was just amazing.”
Once he turned professional, Vogel found limited success on the Web.com Tour, failing to make it to the final round of Q-School for the first time in 2016 and turning to the Mackenzie Tour in 2017.
“Canada was the year that really got me motivated again,” said Vogel. “It was the first year I didn’t have Web status and I felt like I went backwards, but I had to get it together and it motivated me to have a solid year. I had great feelings about Canada, I wanted to be up there and move my way up and I just focused on having that good year.”
The 27 year old’s best showing in Canada was a second-place finish at the Bayview Place Cardtronics Open presented by Times Colonist in Victoria.
Along with the Valspar, Vogel has also made the cut this year at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, where he fired a first round 66 (his lowest PGA TOUR number), and the Wells Fargo Championship. Vogel finished T66 and T59 at the two events, respectively.