Power Rankings: Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance
August 26, 2019
By Kevin Prise, PGATOUR.COM
- Scottie Scheffler recorded nine top-10s in 19 starts and he stands atop The 25 entering the season finale. (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
The 2019 Korn Ferry Tour season concludes at this week’s Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, with The Finals 25 PGA TOUR cards and The 50 TOUR Priority Ranking to be finalized this week at Victoria National GC in southern Indiana.
Our 30th season has progressed through a variety of rookie and veteran winners, several states and countries, and plenty of intense moments. More are sure to come this weekend, with a Friday-Monday competition schedule leading to a Labor Day finish, as eighth-year Korn Ferry Tour venue Victoria National hosts the season finale for the first time.
With The 25 TOUR cards awarded via the Regular Season Points List, and another 12 allotted to players to have surpassed 200 Korn Ferry Tour Points via the first two Finals events, 13 cards are up for grabs at the 7,242-yard, par-72 Tom Fazio design.
Victoria National GC is sure to provide a contrasting test to our most recent Korn Ferry Tour Championship host venue, Atlantic Beach (Fla.) CC, a generous layout that provided an abundance of birdie opportunities, with winning scores of 24-under (Jonathan Byrd) and 23-under (Denny McCarthy) in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
The past two winners at Victoria National (D.H. Lee in 2017; Jose de Jesus Rodriguez in 2018) have posted winning totals of 6-under. All winning scores over the past seven years have ranged from 6-under to 12-under, and the course has ranked inside the top-three most difficult on Tour for the past six years.
Who is slated to counter all punches that Victoria National offers, and depart the Hoosier State with a PGA TOUR card and/or improved Priority Ranking?
Here are 10 players to watch.
1. Scottie Scheffler. The Texas alum has maintained a carefree, relaxed demeanor throughout his rookie Korn Ferry Tour season, and the strong results have piled up. Nine top-10s in 19 starts, including two wins, and he stands atop The 25 (752 Points ahead of Xinjun Zhang) entering our season finale.
2. Anirban Lahiri. With back-to-back top-7 finishes to begin the Finals, the India native has secured a TOUR return, and the 18-time professional winner would have a chance to win The Finals 25 with a victory at Victoria National.
3. Jose de Jesus Rodriguez. The Mexico native won last year’s event at Victoria National and will carry plenty of good vibes to southern Indiana. He currently stands No. 20 on The Finals 25, with T32-T20 showings.
4. Justin Harding. The No. 52 player in the world contended into the weekend in Boise but meandered to a T43. Coupled with a T7 in Columbus, he’s in good shape to earn a TOUR card. A solid week would cement it.
5. Matthew NeSmith. Week in contention at Ellie Mae Classic prepared him. Victory in Boise propelled him. The South Carolina alum leads The Finals 25 and could secure a full TOUR exemption with a strong week.
6. Chris Baker. The Indiana native will be greeted with plenty of fan support this week, and after finishing the Regular Season at No. 26 on the Points List, he could be due to finish on the better side of the bubble.
7. Kevin Dougherty. The Oklahoma State alum contended through three rounds in Columbus, then finished T11 in Boise, and arrives in Indiana at No. 21 on The Finals 25. His first TOUR card is very much in the realm.
8. Kramer Hickok. The Texas alum maintained a positive attitude into the Finals despite finishing the FedExCup outside the top-150 as a rookie, and the results have corresponded. T19-T5 to begin the Finals.
9. Tom Lewis. The winner of last year’s Portugal Masters will make his first Korn Ferry Tour start in chase of a last-second PGA TOUR card. England native, 28, finished T11 at The Open to qualify for Finals.
10. Charlie Saxon. The Oklahoma alum contended into the weekend in Boise, finishing T11, and stands T23 on The Finals 25 as he looks to earn his first TOUR card with a good performance in Indiana.
11. Brendon Todd. The resurgent Georgia alum has found his game after three years of battling the full-swing yips, and he stands No. 4 on The Finals 25 with T2-T20 efforts in Columbus and Boise respectively.