Brehm wins Web.com Tour finale, earns PGA TOUR card
August 29, 2016
By Nick Parker
- August 29, 2016
- Ryan Brehm earned $144,000 and jumped from 30th to fourth on the money list, earning a PGA TOUR card as a top-25 finisher. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
North Plains, Ore. – Ryan Brehm said he didn’t want to earn a promotion to the PGA TOUR until he had proven to himself that he could thrive in contention on a Sunday. Brehm checked that box in a big way in the final round Sunday at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz, breaking away from a crowded leaderboard with three back nine birdies to secure both his first Web.com Tour victory and also his PGA TOUR card for the upcoming 2016-17 season.
“It’s been a wave of emotions all day,” Brehm said. “Everything from thinking 20 years in the future to trying to zone in to exactly what you’re doing on the course. I’m just thrilled. I’m thrilled to be in this position. What a week! Wow!”
Brehm’s final round 3-under 68 helped him to a 15-under 269 for the week, edging out Mark Anderson by one shot. The $144,000 winner’s check bumped him up from No. 30 on the money list to No. 4 when the Regular Season came to a close in Portland, placing him firmly inside the top-25 that earned their PGA TOUR card.
“I really wanted to focus on giving myself a chance with three or four holes to go. I knew someone was going to play well, they always do. But I guess over the year I’ve just realized that if you’re in that last group you better be ready to play some good golf on the last day because those guys are coming for you. I just really wanted to give myself looks early and get some momentum going and hopefully I’d have a chance with three holes to go. I looked up on the tee box on 18 and I had a two-shot lead. I couldn’t believe it. Obviously there’s a lot of work to do after that, but it makes that tee shot easier.”
It nearly didn’t come to fruition though despite holding a two-shot lead entering the last. After not looking at a leaderboard for the majority of his round Sunday, Brehm caught a peak of the scoreboard on the 18th tee, which showed him holding a two-shot lead.
As a result, the long-hitting 30-year-old went conservative, pulling a 3-iron off of the tee and wedging it up short of the hazard with his second shot. After dumping it in the greenside bunker, Brehm hit it to 40-feet and had to two putt for a bogey to keep from falling into a playoff.
“Between the drive and the second shot, there was a lot of things going through my head,” Brehm said. “Even if I get into a playoff, I was still going to secure my PGA TOUR card, and that would be the worst case scenario. So I wanted that to be the worst case scenario and best case scenario I make a par or a bogey and win the tournament. I don’t know if that’s real textbook but that’s the way I did it.”
Ryan Brehm shoots 68 to win WinCo Foods Portland Open
Brehm entered the day with a share of the lead with C.T. Pan, but quickly found himself one shot back of the lead after his second bogey of the day at the fifth. But the former Michigan State Spartan poured in his first of three consecutive birdies at the sixth to join five others in a share of the lead. After turning in 1-under, Brehm took sole possession of the lead with birdies on No. 10, 14 and 15 to build a lead he’d never relinquish.
“Well, I was nervous early. Then, surprisingly, I felt a calm midway through the round,” Brehm said. “I started hitting a few good shots and was getting some looks. I managed to make a few here and there that kept the momentum rolling. After I made a few putts, it started to really hit me. I felt calm. I can’t explain it.”
Anderson, despite a double bogey at the par-4 ninth, made quite the Sunday charge with a 3-under 68 of his own. Although he fell a shot short of Brehm and the victory, he got a huge victory of his own, earning his third promotion on the Web.com Tour to the PGA TOUR with a birdie at the last to take solo second at 14-under 270.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. It feels like I’m back at Q School again the first year I was there trying to get my PGA TOUR card,” Anderson said. “That was the hardest 1-2 footer I’ve ever made. It’s just fantastic. What a great week. I really didn’t pay attention this week to what I needed to do to get my card. I was just coming in trying to win, and I put myself in great position. I played really well, solid golf all four days, and that’s all I could ask for.”
Zack Fischer finished a career-best solo third at 13-under to secure a spot in the top-75 and a place in the field at each of the four Web.com Tour Finals events, where 25 more PGA TOUR cards will be handed out.