Korn Ferry TourLeaderboardWatchNewsPoints ListSchedulePlayersStatsMorePGA TOURPGA TOUR ChampionsKorn Ferry TourPGA TOUR CanadaPGA TOUR LatinoaméricaLPGA TOURDP World TourPGA TOUR University

What's at stake at WinCo Foods Portland Open

5 Min Read

Tour Insider

What's at stake at WinCo Foods Portland Open

    Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley

    Top-3 shots from Round 4 at Pinnacle Bank

    After seven months of competition across various countries and time zones, the 24th and final event of the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season is set for this week in the Pacific Northwest, with no shortage of implications.

    The WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz will once again be contested at Pumpkin Ridge GC (Witch Hollow), and by day’s end on Sunday, The 25 PGA TOUR cards will be handed out.

    The golf course has long been regarded as a favorite on the Korn Ferry Tour, and it’s a TOUR-level test. A classic Pacific Northwest layout featuring mature trees and pristine conditioning, a solid four-round performance is what’s needed to get the job done.

    While many of the top-25 spots are already secured, there is, per usual, much drama still to unfold around that magical (and sometimes heartbreaking) 25th spot. Take Kevin Dougherty for example, who saw his birdie chip in 2018 on the 72nd hole finish just one inch from the cup. If it had dropped, he would have earned a TOUR card.

    Not only is there drama surrounding the 25th spot, but also No. 75.

    Finishing inside that number not only gives a player full status on the Korn Ferry Tour for 2020, but also a chance to earn a TOUR card via the three-tournament Korn Ferry Tour Finals, which begins next week at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.

    But that’s next week.

    This week marks the return of one of the more heart-pounding weeks in professional golf. Jobs and futures are on the line. Promotions are out there for the taking. There will be jubilation and maybe some sadness.

    It’s time for the Regular Season finale.


    With 600 Korn Ferry Tour Points to the winner this week – the season finale is considered an elevated event, hence the increase of points from 500 to 600 – there’s still a chance someone could overtake Xinjun Zhang for the No. 1 spot on the Regular Season Points List. (Final positioning on The 25 is not set, though, until the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship on Labor Day.)

    Zhang, a two-time winner this year on the Korn Ferry Tour (Dormie Network Classic at Briggs Ranch, Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS) has seven top-10 finishes this year – and five of those are in the top-3. He leads the season-long Points race with 1,950 points.

    Another two-time winner, Robby Shelton (Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation, Knoxville Open) sits in second place going into Portland with 1,718 points, while Scottie Scheffler (eight top-10s; winner of Evans Scholars Invitational) stands third with 1,667 points.

    Harry Higgs, who won the 2018 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Order of Merit as well as our Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper in late July, is in fourth with just over 1,300 points.

    If Zhang were to miss the cut and either Scheffler, Shelton or Higgs were to win this week in Portland, that player would jump to the top spot entering the three-event Finals.


    Nearly all of The 25 TOUR cards are already secured for 2019-20 via the season-long Points race, but there is much still to unfold around that 25th spot.

    Last week, Maverick McNealy made a big leap from No. 28 to No. 20 and has all but secured his first trip to the PGA TOUR. Last week’s winner, Zac Blair, jumped from No. 31 to No. 10 and locked up a return to the TOUR.

    But for the good-news stories, there are some on the opposite end of that spectrum.

    Marty Dou, who won the first event of the year, was bumped from No. 24 to No. 26, and will need a solid week to slide back inside The 25. Brian Campbell moved from the bubble spot of 25 to No. 28.

    Brett Coletta currently holds down the 25th spot with 712 points, and while he is only four points behind No. 24 Chris Baker, he is also only 23 points ahead of Dou (No. 26).

    Kevin Dougherty is once again on the bubble this year (32), along with Dan McCarthy (29), a winner in 2019.

    For the majority of the field entering Portland, a win could translate into a TOUR card. But for the guys hovering around the 25th spot, they’ll need to take it one shot and one round at a time, aiming for a solid result to secure their spot.

    DRAMA AT 75

    While TOUR cards are on the line at 25, job security is up for grabs at 75 – and what a battle it’s set to be.

    Currently Greg Yates sits at No. 75 with 333.567 points. We include the decimal points here because Grant Hirschman – who catapulted up the standings from No. 95 to No. 76 thanks to his T8 finish last week in California – is at 333.326 points.

    Yes, we’re talking about fractions here.

    Other notables who are currently outside the top-75 – players who finish Nos. 76-100 on the Points List receive conditional 2020 Korn Ferry Tour status and can improve their standing via Q-School – include:

    • Callum Tarren (No. 77, PGA Tour China Order of Merit winner in 2018)
    • Ethan Tracy (No. 85, former member of The 25)
    • Rick Lamb (No. 90, former member of The 25)
    • Braden Thornberry (No. 94, former world No. 1-ranked amateur)


    While eyes will be on a handful of spots on the season-long Points race through the weekend in Portland, for three players who have already secured their TOUR cards, their eyes will be firmly set on the top of the leaderboard.

    Shelton, Zhang and Kristoffer Ventura (Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank, Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Chevrolet) are all two-time winners on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019, and one more victory would move them to an even higher level of promotion to the 2019-20 PGA TOUR.

    A Three-Victory Promotion has been earned 11 times in Korn Ferry Tour history – it happened with three players in 2001 – most recently in 2016, when Wesley Bryan pulled off the feat.

    A win by either Shelton, Zhang or Ventura – who has only played seven tournaments this year – would bring the 12th such promotion in Korn Ferry Tour history.

    At this point in the year, a Three-Victory Promotion would not bring additional TOUR starts in the current season, but would provide fully exempt TOUR status in 2019-20, immune from the reshuffle. (Automatic spots in THE PLAYERS Championship remain reserved for players who finish No. 1 on both The 25 and The Finals 25.)

    Korn Ferry Tour
    Privacy PolicyTerms of ServiceAccessibility StatementDo Not Sell or Share My Personal InformationCookie ChoicesSitemap

    Copyright © 2023 PGA TOUR, Inc. All rights reserved.

    PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, and the Swinging Golfer design are registered trademarks. The Korn Ferry trademark is also a registered trademark, and is used in the Korn Ferry Tour logo with permission.