KORN FERRY TOUR INSIDER
Insider: What’s being played for this week
August 25, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Lee Hodges lines up a putt at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
This week at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance there is usually a buzz. Both the Regular Season and Korn Ferry Tour Finals would be wrapping up. Lives made. Dreams achieved. And a little heartbreak, too.
But this year is unlike any other, and that means what golfers are playing for this week at Victoria National GC is a little different than in years’ past.
Although no PGA TOUR cards will be awarded at the end of the week, there is still a lot to play for.
The top-10 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List after Sunday will earn starts in 2020-21 on TOUR in alternate field events. The top-five in the three-tournament Points List (Albertstons Boise Open, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Korn Ferry Tour Championship) will earn exemptions into the U.S. Open in September.
This week’s Korn Ferry Tour Championship will also offer a bonus carrot, points-wise: the winner will receive 750 points (versus the usual 500). That means there could be some serious shuffling amongst key positions on the various points list.
Through 2020 the key word has been adaptation.
Every golfer on Tour needed to come to grips with a new normal. However, as we stare down the Korn Ferry Tour Championship one thing is very much for certain: good play will be rewarded.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s being played for this week, along with key names and positions for what’s to come.
TOP-10 BUBBLE – PGA TOUR STARTS FOR 2020-21
1) Will Zalatoris (1566 points): Tops on the Points List after finishing in the top-10 in nine of the 14 events this season. Won the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes.
2) Davis Riley (1445 points): Won both the Panama Championship and the TPC San Antonio Championship at the Oaks. Three other top-10 results. Funny enough, he’s Zalatoris’ roommate.
3) Lee Hodges (1232 points): Like Riley, Hodges is an University of Alabama alum. He’s come on very strong at the tail end of the season with a victory at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz. Five top-10 results on the season.
4) Taylor Pendrith (1121 points): A two-time winner on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada in 2019, Pendrith has done everything but win on the Korn Ferry Tour this season. Notched three straight runner-up finishes during the Return to Golf and has missed only two cuts this season.
5) Paul Barjon (968 points): The 2019 Mackenzie Tour Player of the Year has three second-place results on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, including in Portland.
6) Mito Pereira (948 points): Went T3-1 to start his 2020 Korn Ferry Tour season, with a victory at the Country Club de Bogota Championship. Has two top-20 results in his last three tournaments.
7) Stephen Jaeger (909 points): “Mr. 58” won the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco for his fifth career Korn Ferry Tour title. Followed that up with a T5 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.
8) Dylan Wu (905 points): Has notched five top-10 finishes this season. His best result came at the first event of the year – a T2 at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.
9) Chad Ramey (889 points): Four top-10 results, including a T2 in Portland and a solo third at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.
10) David Lipsky (875 points): Won the TPC San Antonio Challenge at the Canyons. Also a two-time winner on the European Tour. Sits in the 10th spot by just 27 points.
Notables outside the top-10
11) Jared Wolfe (Trails No. 10 by 27 points): Won The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at Baha Mar. Has four top-25 results during the Return to Golf, including two top-10’s
12) Max McGreevy (Trails No. 10 by 60 points): Won the Price Cutter Charity Championship. Made only four cuts out of 12 tournaments prior to his victory but when he found the weekend he went T3-T14-T9-1.
18) Curtis Luck (Trails No. 10 by 177 points): Won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship to rocket up the Points List from 135th to 18th.
TOP-5 BUBBLE – KORN FERRY TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (EXEMPTION INTO U.S. OPEN)
1) Stephan Jaeger (702 points; 1-T5): Position in the top-five is guaranteed. Played the U.S. Open in 2015 (MC) and 2017 (T60)
2) Curtis Luck (600 points; MC-1): Position in the top-five is basically guaranteed. Has never played the U.S. Open.
3) Cameron Young (328 points; T6-T2): Position in the top-five is not guaranteed. Played the U.S. Open in 2019 (MC).
4) Brandon Wu (275.1 points; T2-T58): Position in the top-five is not guaranteed. Played in the U.S. Open in 2019 (T35) and missed his Stanford graduation – but still received his diploma on the 18th green when he completed his final round.
5) Dan McCarthy (273.28 points; T2-71). Position in the top-five is not guaranteed. Played the U.S. Open in 2010 (MC).
McCarthy leads both Theo Humphrey and Taylor Montgomery by just 43.28 points. Jimmy Stanger is the only other golfer who has eclipsed the 200-point mark through two events in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series.