Brandon Wu earns first Korn Ferry Tour title at Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance
August 30, 2020
By Sean Wildhack, PGATOUR.COM
- August 30, 2020
Brandon Wu makes birdie on No. 15 in Round 4 at Korn Ferry Tour Champ
NEWBURGH, Indiana – Beginning the day five strokes off the lead, Brandon Wu carded a bogey-free, final-round 7-under 65 on Sunday to come back and win the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance. Greyson Sigg, who held the 54-hole lead, finished alone in second while Vince India, Seth Reeves and Dan McCarthy finished the week T3.
“It's almost surreal. I mean, I think just over a month and a half ago I was still playing Monday qualifiers and just hoping to get kind of a schedule going,” Wu said after the win. “Yeah, standing here I think six, seven weeks later, winner of the Tour Championship, it's just an awesome feeling and quite surreal.”
Playing in the fourth-to-last group on Sunday, Wu got off to a fast start with birdies on two of his first four holes. After pars on Nos. 5 and 6, the Stanford alum converted back-to-back birdies on Nos. 7 and 8 to climb the leaderboard. After making the turn, Wu carded his fifth birdie of the day on the par-5 10th to reach 16-under for the week.
Following pars on Nos. 11-13, Wu tallied back-to-back birdies once again on Nos. 14 and 15 to reach 18-under for the week. As Wu made his way down the par-4 17th, Sigg, who held the lead with eight holes to play, carded a double bogey on No. 14 giving Wu the solo-lead.
On the difficult par-4 18th, Wu’s approach landed short of the green leaving him a difficult up-and-down. The 23-year-old delivered the shot of the championship as his chip rolled to within two feet. He tapped in for his par and posted the clubhouse lead at 18-under as Sigg entered his final stretch of holes one stroke behind.
Sigg failed to make birdie on Nos. 15, 16 and 17 and faced a one-stroke deficit heading to No. 18. After splitting the fairway on the 72nd hole, Sigg hit his second shot inside 10-feet leaving him a chance to match Wu at 18-under. While Wu warmed up for a playoff on the driving range, Sigg’s birdie attempt slid past the hole securing the victory for Wu.
“I didn't ask about scores until after hitting my second shot on 18,” Wu said. “I asked my caddie if I had to chip it in from just short of the green. He's like, ‘Nope, you actually have a one‑shot lead and a four would go a long way here.’”
“I knew I was playing well today, but I had no idea what other people were doing. I just tried to stick to my game plan and play well, finish hard and then hopefully come out on top.”
This week marked Wu’s sixth Korn Ferry Tour start of the season and eighth of his career. In his five previous starts this season, he made four cuts and added two top-10s, highlighted by a T2 at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco two weeks ago.
Last December, Wu missed earning guaranteed starts for the 2020-21 season after finishing T61 at the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament’s Final Stage. He found himself attempting to Monday qualify to earn starts this season and finally earned a spot in the field at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper through his conditional status. In his season debut, Wu finished T9 and has yet to take a week off since.
“Yeah, it was definitely disappointing because I had been playing so well all fall and to get to Orlando (Q-School) and come up I think three shots short was definitely a bummer,” Wu recalled. “But this was definitely a learning experience playing the Monday qualifiers and learning how to travel. This was my sixth tournament in a row, so getting through all that, that was I guess a blessing.”
With the victory, Wu secured his spot in the 2020 U.S. Open as well as PGA TOUR additional events for the 2020-21 season. Last year competing as an amateur, Wu finished T35 at the U.S. Open contested at Pebble Beach. Now in a few weeks, Wu will compete at Winged Foot minutes down the road from the house he grew up in.
“It just hasn't even set in yet. I've run through this scenario so many times the past few days, what would it feel like going home and getting to play and getting to tell my friends I can play this year, so it's hard to believe at this point,” he said. “I'm just really happy how it unfolded.”
Sigg and McCarthy will join Wu at the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot after securing their spots on Sunday. Stephan Jaeger and Curtis Luck will round out the five players who earned a spot in the field through the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series.
Next week, the Korn Ferry Tour travels to Springfield, Illinois, for the Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS.