The First Look: Rolling Green Championship
August 30, 2021
By Staff , PGATOUR.COM
SPRINGFIELD, Pennsylvania—The Forme Tour’s players’ race to move up to the Korn Ferry Tour is down to the final two events of the season, with the Rolling Green Championship starting Wednesday at Rolling Green Golf Club and the Forme Tour Championship at The Ridge at Back Brook next week in Ringoes, New Jersey.
Entering this critical stage of the eight-tournament season that began on June 23 in Georgia, Trevor Werbylo is atop the Points List. The University of Arizona graduate holds a 279-point advantage over Turk Pettit, with Mac Meissner only 11 points further back, in third place.
The top-three players are in prime position to secure 2022 Korn Ferry Tour cards only a few weeks into their professional careers, with Werbylo and Meissner emerging out of the PGA TOUR University inaugural class and Pettit coming in as the reigning NCAA champion.
The other two players currently in position to earn Korn Ferry Tour status are Philip Knowles and Corey Shaun, ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. Knowles enters the week 391 points behind Werbylo, while Shaun trails by 403.
Showing how big a tournament win is, Samuel Saunders makes it six tournament winners inside the top six. The season opener champion currently holds the sixth spot, only 30 points behind Shaun, but just 12 points ahead of Clay Feagler, who ranks seventh and is the highest-ranked player without a win this season.
Aside from the top performers playing the full Forme Tour schedule, this week’s field will include Dupont, Pennsylvania, native Brandon Matthews, who claimed PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Player of the Year honors last month. A three-time PGA TOUR Latinoamérica champion, Matthews won twice over the course of the 2020-21 season and has already secured full exempt status on the Korn Ferry Tour. The Rolling Green Championship will mark his Forme Tour debut.
DATES: September 1-4, 2021
OFFICIAL NAME: Rolling Green Championship
HASHTAGS: #RollingGreenChamp #FormeTour
SCHEDULE: Seventh of eight official 2021 Forme Tour tournaments
VENUE: Rolling Green Golf Club
PAR/YARDS: 70 (36-34), 6,941
POINTS LIST: Winner earns 500 points
PURSE MONEY: U.S. $120,000 (winner claims U.S. $21,000)
CUT: Top 60 professional (and ties, plus any amateurs inside the top-60)
SIZE: 156 players (including eight who qualified at the 18-hole qualifier held August 6 at Champions Pointe Golf Club in Henryville, Indiana)
Wednesday, September 1 First Round
Thursday, September 2 Second Round
Friday, September 3 Third Round
Saturday, September 4 Final Round
COMPETITORS’ NOTES FROM THIS WEEK’S FIELD
There are 156 players from 11 countries or territories playing.
The breakdown of the 156 players in the field: Australia (1), Canada (8), Colombia (1) Costa Rica (1), England (4), France (2), Germany (2), Puerto Rico (1), Thailand (1), United States (134) and Venezuela (1).
Coming off a missed cut at the last event at TPC River’s Bend in suburban Cincinnati, Points List leader Trevor Werbylo remains the only player who has been inside the top five throughout the first six tournaments of the inaugural Forme Tour season. He lost a playoff at the season-opener to start in second place and slipped to fifth before a victory at The Fuzzy Zoeller Classic, the season’s fifth event, took him to the top. The University of Arizona Wildcat had done a little bit of everything this season, being one of only five players to record a hole-in-one and one of only three to have a rare double eagle. In his win at Covered Bridge Golf Club in Southern Indiana, he set the lowest 72-hole score of the season, at 26-under 258. He is also one of four players leading the Tour with a trio of top-10 finishes and has the second-most birdies (117).
Ranked second on the Points List, Turk Pettit bounced back from a missed cut with a tie for ninth at the Forme Open at TPC River’s Bend. With Werbylo missing the cut, Pettit managed to shorten the gap between the two of them from 354 points to 279. The Clemson University graduate, who won the 2021 individual NCAA Championship on May 31, boasts a win at the Birck Boilermaker Classic.
Trailing Werbylo by 298 points, Mac Meissner enters the week in third place. The winner of the Bolingbrook Golf Club Invitational on July 23, Meissner is coming off his second top-10 of the season after tying for ninth at the Forme Open at TPC River’s Bend.
A.J. Crouch, a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica player without Forme Tour status, enters the week holding the 11th spot on the Points List after making only two starts. He turned a successful Monday qualifier into a runner-up finish three weeks ago, at The Fuzzy Zoeller Classic. That top-20 finish got him into the Forme Open at TPC River’s Bend, where he tied for 12th two weeks ago to secure another start as a top-20 finisher. His scoring average for the eight rounds he has played this season is at 66.00, which is the lowest on Tour this season.
There’s more PGA TOUR Latinoamérica coming into the picture with Dupont, Pennsylvania, native Brandon Matthews making his Forme Tour debut this week after accepting a sponsor’s exemption. As the reigning PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Player of the Year, a title he claimed five weeks ago, Matthews has already secured full exempt status on the Korn Ferry Tour. The 27-year-old Temple University alum was the only two-time winner over the course of a 2020-21 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season that took 507 days to complete because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two other Pennsylvania natives who received invites this week are Roland Massimino and Chris Crawford.
The top international player on the Points List coming into this week is Canada’s Joey Savoie, who holds the 13th spot. Savoie has made the cut in three of his four starts, with a runner-up finish in his Forme Tour debut at the Bolingbrook Golf Club Invitational won by Meissner.
The other international players playing this week inside the top 50 on the Points List are No. 16 Lucas Euler (Germany), No. 25 Jeremy Paul (Germany), No. 33 Camilo Aguado (Colombia), No. 35 Alex Fuchs (France) and No. 40 Wil Bateman (Canada).
The top-five Points List earners at the end of the eight-tournament season will move on to the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour, with the player with the most points eligible to play in every event. He will also be crowned as the Tour’s Player of the Year. Players finishing in the second-through fifth positions, will earn membership and be eligible to play based on available space in each week’s field.
GOLF COURSE: Designed by William Flynn in 1926, Rolling Green Golf Club is regarded as a masterpiece. Located just outside of Philadelphia, the course will be played as a 6,941-yard par-70 this week, with No. 18 as a 493-yard par-4. Rolling Green has welcomed several USGA events through the years, including the 1976 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
The current course record stands at 6-under 64 and belongs to Andrew Mason, who had an eagle, seven birdies and three bogeys in the opening round of the 99th Pennsylvania Amateur Championship on July 30, 2012.
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FORME TOUR: It is a series of tournaments played in the United States in the summer of 2021, where tomorrow’s stars begin the path to the PGA TOUR. The leading five point-earners at the end of each season earn Korn Ferry Tour membership, with the next five qualifying for the Korn Ferry Tour’s final stage and those finishing 11th through 25th on the Points List invited to the Korn Ferry Tour’s second stage. Top PGA TOUR University players are also eligible. The Path to the PGA TOUR Starts Here, and the Forme Tour’s mission is to provide a high-quality platform to produce alumni that move to the next level, while making a positive impact in the communities where tournaments are played.