Blog: Race for the top 75 in Portland
How players fared as they chased spots in the Web.com Tour Finals
August 28, 2016
By Adam Stanley and Kevin Prise, PGATOUR.COM
- August 28, 2016
- Timothy Madigan played his way off the bubble with a final-round 64 at Pumpkin Ridge. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. -- It all came down to this.
The 21-event journey known as the Web.com Tour Regular Season came to a close at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz, and spots in the Web.com Tour Finals were awarded to players who finished in the top 75 on the money list upon the conclusion of play Sunday.
Entering Sunday's final round at Pumpkin Ridge GC (Witch Hollow), the top 75 was far from decided. The key outcomes from the day:
• Zack Fischer began the week in 73rd on the money list, squarely on the bubble. He finished solo third and moved to 46th on the final Regular Season money list.
• Timothy Madigan began the week at 75th on the money list and finished T11, highlighted by a final-round 64 that included birdies on the last four holes, to move to 65th on the final Regular Season money list.
• Erik Barnes finished T11 to move from 82nd to 72nd.
• Alexandre Rocha finished T19 to move from 76th to 73rd.
• John Mallinger finished T45 and earned the 75th and final spot in the Finals. He began the week in 71st.
• Casey Wittenberg was odd man out at No. 76, after starting the week in 72nd. He finished T50 after a final-round 73 that included a double bogey on the par-5 18th.
• Bryan Bigley missed the cut to fall from 74th to 77th.
• K.H. Lee began the week at No. 114 on the money list but played his way into contention and had a chance to crack the top 75 with an eagle putt on the 72nd hole, which came up just short, right in the jaw. He finished T4 and settled at No. 78 on the money list, just short of a spot in the Finals.
Here's how the final round played out:
6:06 p.m: Erik Barnes held steady throughout the final round, posting 2-under 69 to move into a current tie for eighth. He's projected to finish 70th on the money list and secure a spot in the Finals.
John Mallinger currently holds down the 75th spot. He shot even-par 71 in the final round and stands T45 for the week at Pumpkin Ridge.
After starting the week on the bubble at No. 73, Zack Fischer rose to the occasion in the final round with a 3-under 68. He currently stands tied for second and will comfortably advance to the Finals.
When you realize you're keeping your card ... https://t.co/v9g2lFC3zB— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) August 29, 2016
4:46 p.m: At 38, Alexandre Rocha knows he’s no rookie. But he also realizes there’s something to be said about experience, especially when it comes to pressure-packed situations like the one he found himself in Sunday afternoon.
The Brazilian started the week 76th on the money list, but thanks to a birdie on his 72nd hole, he’ll slide into The 75, and earn a spot in the Web.com Tour Finals.
"I put all my eggs in one basket and hope that I would have a week here. I’m not long but I’m precise. I thought that would work in my favor this week, and that’s been the case,” he said. "I played very well under some serious pressure. It’s been tough to deal with, but I’ve managed to stay calm."
Rocha, who has won 10 times on professional tours around the world, nearly earned a spot on the Olympic team after starting the Web.com Tour season with top-15 finishes in two of his first three starts. He admitted Sunday he knew where he stood on the money list, even though he isn’t a scoreboard-watcher by nature.
"I was very aware of that, but I was trying to play my game,” he said.
Rocha is now looking forward to playing the courses the Tour will visit during the four-event Finals, as he said they fit his style of play. He made a scouting trip to Canterbury Golf Club near Cleveland the week of the LECOM Health Challenge, and is excited to get to the Finals started in two weeks' time.
When the chips were down, Alex Rocha stepped up.— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) August 28, 2016
He shot a final-round 67 to likely play his way into the Finals. pic.twitter.com/vhUqqQnHtI
4:26 p.m: As we make our way through the final round, Erik Barnes is currently projected to secure the 75th spot. He's 1 under today through 12 holes, 10 under total, and stands T15 for the week.
Barnes earned the right to play in last year's Web.com Tour Finals, but couldn't take advantage due to injury. He'll hope to make amends this time around.
Brazil's Alex Rocha entered the week 76th on the money list but stepped up down the stretch Sunday, firing a 4-under 67 -- including a birdie on 18 -- to post 10-under total for the week.
He's currently T15 and projected to finish 72nd on the money list.
Erik Barnes missed last year's Finals due to injury.— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) August 28, 2016
Can he play his way back? He's currently projected No. 75. pic.twitter.com/7LrfB6WuZi
3:40 p.m: Jeff Gove holed on on the par-4 17th for eagle from 160 yards with a 7-iron, part of a fine 5-under-par 66 Sunday.
But more than just making a good score, Gove’s eagle could be the moment that keeps his professional golf career going.
When asked about his next steps – if Gove doesn’t get into The 75, he’ll be exempt to Second Stage of Q-School as long as he still finishes within the top 100 on the money list, and into Final Stage if he is between 76th and 85th – he admitted he’s not sure what’s going to happen.
“I don’t know. We’ll see. This could be my last event ever,” he admitted. “If I get top 75, I’ll keep playing for sure.”
Gove said Sunday he tried to play really focused golf. His whole family – wife Heather, son Jacob, and daughters Annie and Hailey – was there on 17 when he dropped in his eagle.
“I haven’t made a shot from the fairway in a while,” he explained with a smile. “But it’s bittersweet. Hopefully I’ll keep playing, but we’ll see.”
"Kind of bittersweet. We'll see what happens."— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) August 28, 2016
Jeff Gove shot 66, with a hole-out eagle on 17
He's near the top 75 pic.twitter.com/JnFzcyv2Am
3:06 p.m: After two weeks in a row as the man on the bubble of the top 75, Timothy Madigan picked quite the time to fire his low round of the year.
On Sunday, Madigan shot a 7-under-par 64, that included birdies on his final four holes and, for a brief moment, even got him within shouting distance of the lead.
"It was a dream day,” he said. "I put up my low score of the year at the absolute best time. I got very fortunate today.”
Madigan was projected to finish outside The 75 earlier in the day, but he came on strong on his back nine, and will now end up safely within the magic number to earn status back on the Web.com Tour again.
“There was no choice today,” he explained of his approach Sunday. "I was talking to my wife last night and we thought if we got to 10 under, no matter what anybody else did, I would secure it. And I made the turn at 2-under; I knew I was playing solid, I just wasn’t making anything on the greens. And I told myself to stay calm, don’t start going after flags. The putter got really hot and (I) made birdies on those four holes coming in.”
Madigan was all smiles as he signed autographs near the 18th hole, and realized afterwards his plans for the next six weeks will be changing, but in a very good way.
"Tomorrow afternoon I’m going to be booking flights and I cannot be more thrilled about it,” he said. "I love it out here. I love the guys. I feel like it’s a home away from home."
Tim Madigan entered the final round projected to fall outside the top 75 on the money list.— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) August 28, 2016
Then he shot 64. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/OJiOKykf0w
2:56 p.m: John Mallinger began the week at 71st on the money list. After a bogey-double bogey stretch on holes 13 and 14 Sunday, though, he stands T48 for the event and is projected to fall to No. 77 on the money list.
Byron Smith began the week in 77th on the money list and was projected to move inside the top 75 entering the final round. The Californian has struggled in the early part of his final round, though, playing his first seven holes in 5 over to fall outside the top 50 for the event. He's now projected to finish 82nd on the money list.
2:32 p.m: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Timothy Madigan entered the day projected outside the top 75, and he rose to the occasion with a 7-under 64 that moved him from T50 all the way into a current tie for third.
He's now projected to finish 53rd on the money list.
Feel-good moment of the day so far. Tim Madigan shoots 64 and will keep his card. 👍 https://t.co/cKCB26c6eG— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) August 28, 2016
1:55 p.m: Timothy Madigan has stepped up to the plate with three consecutive birdies on holes 15-17. He now stands 6 under for the day, 10 under total. He's currently T9 for the tournament and projected to move from No. 75 to No. 64 on the money list.
1:17 p.m: Timothy Madigan is 3 under today through 13. He's tied for 23rd this week at 7 under. He began the week at 75th on the money list and is currently projected No. 76.
12:22 pm: Vince India entered the week 164th on the money list, needing a miracle final round to play his way into the Web.com Tour Finals (as he started the final round in a tie for 35th).
He made an albatross on the par-5 fourth hole. That will help.
Albatross!— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) August 28, 2016
Vince India needs an epic final round to crack the top 75.
His 2 on the par-5 fourth will help. pic.twitter.com/Vwc76XAW2x
12:00 pm: Timothy Madigan is 2 under today through seven, currently in a tie for 30th. He's projected to fall from 75th to 77th on the money list.
11:03 a.m: Timothy Madigan, who entered the week No. 75 on the money list, is even-par today through three holes. He's T51, currently projected to fall to No. 78.
Timothy Madigan is 75th on the money list.— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) August 28, 2016
He needs a strong final round to maintain that spot. ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/ZbVN9gdWsp
Players around the top-75 bubble and where they stood entering Sunday:
Money List Position Player Position entering final round 71 John Mallinger T35 72 Casey Wittenberg T28 73 Zack Fischer T9 75 Timothy Madigan T50 76 Alex Rocha T28 77 Byron Smith T17 80 Peter Tomasulo T61 81 Brad Elder T35 82 Erik Barnes T14 84 Steve Allan T28 88 Steve LeBrun T19 114 K.H. Lee T3