Notebook: PGA TOUR eligibility for Tour Finals to be settled Sunday

August 13, 2013

JASON DUFNER, A MAJOR TITLE HOLDER – A machine-like performance on Sunday propelled Jason Dufner to a two-shot victory over Jim Furyk at the 95th PGA Championship. Dufner, who graduated from the Tour to the PGA TOUR in both 2003 and 2006, became the fourth Tour alumnus to win the Wanamaker Trophy, joining John Daly (1991), David Toms (2001), Shaun Micheel (2003) and Keegan Bradley (2011). It was the 18th major championship win by an alum. The Cleveland, Ohio native advanced 48 spots to 14th in the FedExCup and eighth in the Official World Golf Ranking. Tour alumni have now won 364 times on the PGA TOUR.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A WEEK MAKES – There was nothing indicating it was coming, but Andrew Svoboda captured his first Tour win by three shots on Sunday at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper. The Westchester County, N.Y. native has had a tough rookie year on the PGA TOUR this year, making just four cuts in 17 starts.  But as so often happens in golf, the tide turned quickly for Svoboda in Springfield, Mo.  The 31-year-old hit all 18 greens the final day en route to a 64.  “I’ve played in four U.S. Opens and won a lot as an amateur but this is the greatest feeling for me,” Svoboda said.  He will return to the PGA TOUR this week to compete in the Wyndham Championship, which will finalize the field of 125 participants for next week’s first FedExCup Playoff event of 2013.

PGA TOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR WEB.COM TOUR FINALS TO BE SETTLED ON SUNDAY – This week’s Wyndham Championship on the PGA TOUR will finalize the top 125 for the FedExCup Playoffs, which means it will also set the field of eligible players in positions Nos. 126-200 for the upcoming Tour Finals.  Among the familiar TOUR players in the 126-200 window are Bud Cauley, Chad Campbell, Ricky Barnes, Trevor Immelman, Sean O’Hair, Robert Karlsson and Ryo Ishikawa.  PGA TOUR player participation in the Finals from the 126-200 category is subject to players’ committing and other eligibility considerations.

THINGS COMING TO A HEAD ON THE WEB.COM TOUR, TOO – While the list of eligible PGA TOUR players for the Tour Finals will be known on Sunday, there are two Regular Season events remaining on the Tour to determine who secures the first set of 25 PGA TOUR cards for 2013-14 and who the top 75 money winners will be for the four-event Finals. 

PETER MALNATI SECURES SPECIAL TEMPORARY MEMBERSHIP – After starting the year with no status, University of Missouri grad Peter Malnati has finished between T9 and T25 in five of his six starts.  His T14 finish on Sunday was good enough to earn Special Temporary Membership (he earned the equivalent of last year’s No. 100 on the money list - Michael O’Connell, $54,799). Malnati has $56,917, which currently puts him at No. 80, five spots out of the Finals’ cutoff.

BROTHER ACT – Michael and Andrew Putnam are vying to become only the second set of brothers to secure PGA TOUR cards in the same Tour season. Michael, 30, is leading the money list.  Andrew, 24, is battling to earn his card for the first time.  He is 49th in earnings. Deane and Brenden Pappas are the only brothers to do so, finishing fifth and 10th, respectively, in 2001.

DID YOU KNOW? – The first Tour Finals event, the Hotel Fitness Championship, will be the 700th Tour event.  Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Ft. Wayne, Ind. will host the event, Aug. 29 – Sept. 1.

NEXT WEEK – The 2013 Regular Season comes to a head next week at the Cox Classic at Champions Run in Omaha, Neb. (Aug. 22-25).  The first 25 PGA TOUR Cards for 2013-14 will be determined as will the Tour’s top-75 money winners for the first Tour Finals, which will begin the following week in Ft. Wayne, Ind.