As proven in previous years, Web.com Tour Finals graduates have sustained momentum into the season-opening Safeway Open. In deference to it, all five Sleepers are Web.com Tour graduates who made noise during the series.
Chesson Hadley … Peaking at any time to set up one's year is always valuable, but when it occurs over the summer, it's even better. The former PGA TOUR winner and 2013-14 Rookie of the Year entered June at 57th on the money list. He then lost in a playoff in his next start to lay the foundation for a blitz and a bonanza down the stretch. Two wins, another P2, a solo third and a 10th-place finish evidenced his renewed outlook on his craft. (Interestingly, and perhaps not coincidentally, he turned 30 years of age just before lighting fire.) As a result, he swept both money lists used to rewards exemptions into the 2018 PLAYERS, so he's also exempt from the reshuffle in 2017-18. Ranked second in the all-around on the Web.com Tour this year.
Keith Mitchell … The long-hitting 25-year-old is poised and prepared for his rookie debut on the PGA TOUR. As the latest product from the University of Georgia, expectations are elevated. He went just 2-for-4 during the Web.com Tour Finals, but both paydays were T6s. It was a just outcome after settling for first man on the outside looking in as he finished 26th in regular-season earnings. Ranked seventh in the all-around, ninth in birdie-or-better percentage and T10 in par-5 scoring. Totaled six top 10s, four of which in the last seven weeks. In his only previous start on the PGA TOUR, he tied for 11th place as an open qualifier at the Valspar Championship earlier this year.
Rob Oppenheim ... It was just two years ago when he finished 26th on the Web.com Tour money list for the regular season. He eked out his first PGA TOUR card (at the age of 35) with a steady performance in the Finals that year, but found himself back on the Web.com Tour in 2017. Reprising his role as a bubble boy, he landed at 27th in earnings this time, but served notice in the Finals with a T11-T17-P2-T5 burst. It means that he opens in the eighth slot in the graduate reshuffle. His balanced attack isn't sexy, but it and his grit have soul.
Bronson Burgoon … Rest and recovery from wrist surgery sidelined him for nearly 10 months, but when he returned to action early this summer, it proved to be worth the wait. He recorded a pair of top 25s among six cuts made in eight starts in advance of the Web.com Tour Finals during which he competed on a special medical exemption. He capitalized with consecutive top-five finishes in the back half. While that bodes well for Silverado this week, he'll begin his second season with PGA TOUR playing privileges with 11 starts on a Non-exempt Medical Extension running alongside his fully exempt status as a Web.com Tour graduate. Should he meet its terms, he'll gain entry into an assortment of invitationals, including THE PLAYERS.
Denny McCarthy … What a difference a year makes. After finishing 45th on the money list in the regular season of his rookie year on the Web.com Tour in 2016, he went T63-MC-MC in the Finals. This time, he entered the series slotted 43rd in earnings, but promptly went 4-for-4 with a T9 and a pair of top 20s to coast into his rookie season on the PGA TOUR. The 24-year-old has made three TOUR starts but didn't break par in any of his eight rounds, which isn't surprising given two occurred in the U.S. Open. Ranked T2 on the 2017 Web.com Tour in putts per GIR and second in birdie-or-better conversion percentage when standing over opportunities to break par.