Joy and sadness stood side- by-side at TPC Craig Ranch

James Hahn (left) and Adam Hadwin (right) finished 2-3 at the Tour Championship, but only Hahn earned a card.
October 28, 2012
Bill Nichols, PGATOUR.COM Contributor

MCKINNEY, Texas -- After making birdie on No. 18 at the TPC Craig Ranch, Adam Hadwin walked toward the scoring trailer, saying to no one in particular, "It's going to be close.''


But the golf gods weren't listening. In the end, it was not enough.

Hadwin made a valiant charge. Starting the week at No. 48 on the money list, he knew he'd need a big finish in the Tour Championship. The top 25 earned PGA TOUR cards.

Despite the pressure, he shot 6-under 65 on Sunday. When he birdied the last hole, Hadwin was tied for second. The computer showed a projected finish of No. 24 on the money list.

But James Hahn birdied 18 to finish alone in second. He bumped Hadwin into a tie for third.

That difference in prize money dropped Hadwin all the way to No. 30 on the season-ending money list.

He finished three strokes behind champion Justin Bolli.

"I figured if I finished T2, I'd in,'' Hadwin said after signing his card. "I did everything I could.''

Such is the rub of the green.

The entire season came down to Sunday. Players had battled all season hoping to take the next big move of their careers.

Bolli made the biggest move on Sunday. His victory, worth $180,000 moved him from No. 44 to ninth.

Casey Wittenberg, who tied for ninth, maintained his No. 1 earnings rank, finishing with $433,453. He claimed fully exempt status on the PGA TOUR for 2013.

Hadwin's dejection was Jim Herman's celebration. Herman tied for 42nd in the tournament but at No. 22, he just needed to hold on.

Joy and disappointment stood side by side around the 18th green.

Camilo Benedetti, who started on the bubble at No. 25, birdied the final hole for a 67. He lifted his daughter, looked in her eyes and smiled as he did after each round.

But his look showed anguish. He declined comment, saying he needed to decompress after the high-pressure experience.

Instead of claiming the final card, his tie for 19th dropped him to No. 26 in earnings.

Doug LaBelle, who started at No. 26, shot 68 to finish tied for 19th. Was he in?

"I don't know, I'm going to find out in about an hour,'' he said. "Hopefully it's enough but if it's not I did everything I could.''

LaBelle got in at No. 24.

"I felt like I needed to play better than the two guys ahead of me on the money list, but the guys behind me could play well and pass me,'' LaBelle said. ``I couldn't worry about the other guys. I could only worry about me.''

Morgan Hoffmann made the largest leap, considering he started the season with no status. Fresh out of Oklahoma State, he got into events on sponsor's exemptions and Monday qualifiers.

Each top-25 finish earned him a spot in the next event.

On Sunday, he earned his PGA TOUR card.

He fired a 64 to finish tied for third with Hadwin and No. 19 on the money list.

"It was a huge move, from missing Mondays left and right,'' Hoffman said, referring to the qualifiers. "It's been a great ride. Just getting on a roll and getting into events and finishing in the top 25, it's a great feeling.''