Renner medalist at Final Stage, fully exempt for 2017
December 11, 2016
By Nick Parker, PGATOUR.COM
- December 11, 2016
- Jim Renner shot a final-round 63 at Crooked Cat to win Final Stage by three shots. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Jim Renner came from three shots back with a final-round, 9-under 63 to take medalist honors at the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament at Orange County National. The 33-year-old lives just 25 minutes from the course and proved to feel right at home on Sunday, with seven birdies and an eagle to edge out Taylor Moore by three shots for fully exempt status on the Web.com Tour in 2017.
“Yeah, that was a lot of fun. I knew going into today that I had to post a pretty good number,” Renner said. “Obviously, I wasn’t really picturing 9-under, but you know being fully exempt and not having to worry about reshuffles and being able to kind of create my own schedule is so huge. Today was a great day for sure.”
Q-SCHOOL FINAL STAGE: Final results
Renner got started early Sunday, making birdie on four of his first five holes on the Crooked Cat course to take the lead. After pars at the next three, Renner went on to birdie the ninth, eagle the 14th, and added birdies at the 16th and 18th to close out his first-ever victory in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event.
Orange County National’s Crooked Cat and Panther Lake courses have been kind to Renner over the years, as this week’s host site was the place where Renner first earned his PGA TOUR card with a T22 finish at 2010 PGA TOUR Q-School. Renner went on to play the TOUR in 2011, 2014 and 2015 and is hoping for a return to the TOUR through the Web.com Tour in 2017 after finishing 84th on the Web.com Tour’s Regular Season money list in 2016 in which he made 12 cuts in 19 starts and posted two top-10 finishes.
For much of his career, the 33-year-old veteran said the putter has held him back, but if this week is any indication, that could all be changing, as Renner was second in the field in putts per green in regulation.
“Putting has been the problem for much of my career, and the one thing that I did do is I put a putting green in my house this offseason, just a little small one, and I created a couple little drills that I figured would be beneficial for me,” Renner said. “And they have been when I’ve been playing at home, so it was nice to see it show up in a tournament. Hopefully I’m on to something, and that (it) leads to a good year of putting.”
Jim Renner interview after earning medalist honors at Q-School
Like Renner, Moore entered the day well back of the lead, but he saved his best round of the tournament for last with a final-round 65 to jump into solo second. The 23-year-old, who graduated from Arkansas in May, earned his way into Final Stage of Q-School with a third-place finish on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit this summer, and is hoping to take the next step courtesy of the Web.com Tour in 2017.
“I’m excited. I’m excited to get (strong) status this week, so pretty cool event, and I played really well this week, so I’m happy with my play,” Moore said. “I think to just have the opportunity to get my PGA TOUR card is going to be pretty cool and exciting. So I’m just looking forward to getting going this upcoming season.”
Fifty-two players in total made up the top 45 and ties to earn their way into at least the first eight events of the 2017 Web.com Tour and won’t be subject to the first reshuffle of the season.
The Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament was a four-day, 72-hole competition with a total of 155 players beginning play on Thursday morning.
There were nearly 1,000 entries for the tournament, which included previous Pre-Qualifying, First and Second stages that began in August.
Players in this event competed for positions on the 2017 Web.com Tour priority ranking, which will be used to form tournament fields. Medalist Jim Renner will be guaranteed fully-exempt status next year. Players Nos. 2-10 (and ties) will be subject to the third reshuffle next year and Nos. 11-45 (and ties) will be subject to the second reshuffle.
As medalist, Jim Renner will earn $25,000. Moore (2), Vince India (3), Brock Mackenzie (T4), Puma Dominguez (T4), Ben Silverman (T6), A.J. McInerney (T6), Derek Ernst (T8), Tom Lovelady (T8), Matt Harmon (T8), Michael Johnson (T8), Ken Looper (T8), and Dan Woltman (T8) will earn $15,000 each for top-10 finishes. Nos. 11-45 (and ties) will earn $10,000 each.
The top five from the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR China Order of Merit(s) not otherwise fully exempt for the 2017 Web.com Tour season competed in the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament. Here are the results from the top five players from each Tour.
Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada
Brock Mackenzie – T4
Taylor Moore – 2
Aaron Wise – DNP
Adam Cornelson – T105
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica
Puma Dominguez – T4
Samuel Del Val – T53
Augusto Nunez – T105
Guillermo Pereira – T120
PGA TOUR China
Xinjun Zhang – T23
Charlie Saxon – T89
Alex Kang – T89
Taewoo Kim – T105
Vince India is set for his fourth season on the Web.com Tour after a third-place finish this week. India’s first season the Web.com Tour in 2014 was his best, with a 123rd-place finish on the Regular Season money list. In 39 career starts on the Web.com Tour, India has played the weekend 21 times with five top-10 finishes. The Deerfield, Illinois native recently posted his best career finish on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica with a T3 finish last week at the Shell Championship.
Dominguez, from San Luis, Argentina, played 18 events on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and made 15 cuts in 2016. He recorded 12 top-25s including a pair of runner-up performances at the Lexus Panama Classic and Flor de Cana Open. Dominguez ended the season No. 4 on the Order of Merit to earn a spot in this week’s field.
In 2004 and 2005, he was ranked the No. 1 amateur in Argentina. His decorated amateur career includes a victory at the 2004 South American Championship.
Brock Mackenzie played in 12 events on Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada, made 11 cuts and recorded nine top-25s including a win at the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops in Ottawa, Ontario. Mackenzie ended the season No. 2 on the Order of Merit.
Mackenzie played the Web.com Tour full-time in 2015 and recorded three top-25s.
Ken Looper has played the last two seasons on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. In 2016, Looper competed in 13 events, made 11 cuts and recorded two top-10s. Back in 2013, the 28-year-old from Snellville, Georgia, made some noise on the PGA TOUR at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he ended the week tied for 21st.
Looper played college golf at the University of New Orleans for three seasons and then transferred to LSU for his senior season in 2010-11. While at UNO, he captured three tournament titles and nine top-10 finishes in three seasons and led the Privateers with scoring averages of 72.66 as a sophomore in 2008-09 and 72.73 as a junior in 2009-10.