Twenty-five players earn 2021-22 PGA TOUR membership at Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna
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David Skinns claims second title at The Club at Indian Creek
Written by Preston Smith @WebDotComTour
David Skinns wins to earn first PGA TOUR card at Pinnacle Bank Championship
OMAHA, Neb. – Annually one of the most pressure-packed days in golf, the final round of the regular-season ending Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna didn’t disappoint. Englishman David Skinns earned a one-stroke victory, leaping from 46th in the Korn Ferry Tour points standings to 22nd to reach the PGA TOUR. Skinns, who won the same tournament in 2018, joins 24 other graduates on Sunday evening in securing 2021-22 PGA TOUR membership.
Skinns was one of two players to move into The 25 this week, joining Austin Smotherman, who moved from 26th to 25th to receive the last PGA TOUR card.
“It's taken a lot of years, it's taken a lot of effort and I knew I had to win, and I knew I could win,” said an emotional Skinns after the round. “The fact that it's happened, it's a little surreal right now. I'm just really proud of the way I stayed with it, one shot by one shot, didn't get ahead of myself. Every time I went into the future, I just pulled myself right back again, and that's the thing I'm most proud of.”
Skinns, a 39-year-old University of Tennessee alum, bogeyed the par-5 15th to fall back into a three-way tie for first. Then, he immediately rebounded with a birdie at the 16th to take a one-stroke lead. At the 18th, Skinns pulled his drive into the rough on the wrong side of the cart path but was able to advance the ball near the green before getting up and down for the win.
“I knew it wasn't going to be great, but I was okay with wherever it ended up,” Skinns said reflecting on his drive on the 72nd hole of the tournament. “Even if I had to chip out, I figured I could get it up and down from the fairway if I needed to. I wasn't too concerned. I didn't drive it particularly well on the back nine, except for the one drive I really needed, which was 11, and I had a really good one and could kind of make it work from there to just do enough, I guess.”
For Skinns, who has played primarily on the Korn Ferry Tour since 2017, the journey to the PGA TOUR has been especially sweet. The journeyman turned professional in 2005 and has made just five starts at the highest level (and none since 2017). Competing out of the third-to-last group, he watched the finish on television before celebrating with his caddie.
“Yeah, it hit me pretty hard inside when I saw that Stephan hadn't holed out the second shot,” said Skinns. “I've got to give my caddie, Hogan, [a shoutout], it's been a lot of years coming. That's all I can say and I'm so happy it's finally here.”
Smotherman, a 27-year-old from Dallas, began the week with a 1-over 72 to sit well outside the cutline at T87. A second-round 64 saw him rise to T10 before an eventual T26 finish.
“I needed so much confirmation, because I knew it was not going to be by a wide margin,” said Smotherman, a former teammate of Bryson DeChambeau and Harry Higgs at SMU. “We were taking everything into account with what was going on behind us. I asked Tommie in scoring probably eight times to go through it with me, and we locked it up. And I could finally walk out of there with a little bit of acceptance that it happened.”
Skinns and Smotherman displaced Taylor Montgomery (began 24th, finished 26th) and Peter Uihlein (began 25th, finished 28th) in The 25. Both Montgomery and Uihlein missed the cut in Omaha.
Stephan Jaeger, a German national based out of Chattanooga, extended his lead atop The 25 with a T4 finish. He is one of six players who will be returning to the PGA TOUR.
The top 25 who secured their 2021-22 PGA TOUR membership are:
Nineteen of Sunday’s 25 card-earners will be rookies on the PGA TOUR in 2021-22. More details on The 25.
Jared Wolfe – who will debut on the PGA TOUR this fall – and Marty Dou finished runner-up one stroke back of Skinns.