WEB.COM TOUR FINALS
Storylines: All set for season finale
September 29, 2015
By Jeff Adams, PGATOUR.COM
- September 29, 2015
- View of the 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass Dye's Valley course. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
24 DOWN, 1 TO GO!!! – The 2015 Web.com Tour season all comes down to this week’s Web.com Tour Championship. Twenty-five players know they are going to the PGA TOUR in two weeks based on their Regular Season performance. Best guestimates are that at least another 15 or so have locked up cards based on their play thus far in the three Finals’ events. This leaves a lot more to be settled in the way of available TOUR cards…not to mention everyone is seeking the highest spot possible in the priority ranking scramble. It should be another fantastic finale at TPC Sawgrass!
THIS TIGER TAMES OSU “SCARLET” – Former LSU Tiger Andrew Loupe tamed a very difficult Ohio State University Golf Club "Scarlet" course, capturing a two-shot win at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship on Sunday. Loupe, who finished 198th in the FedExCup this season, earned $180,000 to lock up his return to the PGA TOUR. It was the 26-year-old's first win on either tour. Finishing second were Tom Hoge, Bronson Burgoon and Roberto Castro. The win came on Loupe’s father’s 82nd birthday.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE? – Last year six players who were outside the Finals’ 25 at the beginning of Web.com Tour Championship week found themselves going to the PGA TOUR when the last putt dropped on Sunday. The potential clearly exists for lots of season-finale fireworks at TPC Sawgrass again this year. Currently, Jhonattan Vegas is No. 25 on the Finals’ money list, with earnings of $28,871 through the first three tournaments. The Venezuelan holds a slim $253 advantage over No. 26 Billy Hurley III. Hurley is another $388 ahead of No. 27 Scott Langley. The average Finals’ earnings of the last man to get a card in 2013 and 2014 was just a shade under $35,000. Through the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship there are 14 players with Finals’ earnings between $35,125 (Luke List) and $25,610 (Brad Fristch). Twenty-third place this week will pay $10,400.
NAILING DOWN NO. 1 – Auburn grad Patton Kizzire holds a very healthy advantage as he looks to nail down the No. 1 spot on the combined Regular Season/Finals’ money list. There’s a huge carrot dangling in front of him – No. 1 will be fully exempt on the PGA TOUR next season, meaning that player can pick and choose when and where he plays. Also, No. 1 receives an invite to THE PLAYERS. The same two incentives apply to No. 1 on the Finals’-only money list. Kizzire has now held the top spot since finishing runner-up at the Rex Hospital Open in late May – a run of 15 tournaments in a row. With a lead of $167,131 and a first prize this week of $180,000, only No. 2 Dawie van der Walt can catch him.
HARD LUCK STORY – The hard luck story of the week in Columbus belonged to Robert Garrigus. The 37-year-old missed out on the FedExCup Playoffs for the first time since 2008, finishing 2015 174th in points. After missing the cut in the first two Web.com Tour Finals’ events, he held a three-shot lead standing on the 10th tee. Four bogeys and a double bogey led to an incoming 41, dropping Garrigus to T9 and into 33rd place on the Finals’ money list, with $23,142.
PROJECTED STANDINGS THROUGH 3 OF 4 – The links below provide separate lists showing where players stand through the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship for both the Regular Season 25 card earners and those who are seeking to earn the second set of 25 cards via the Finals’ route. The links are live and will also provide real-time projections during play Thursday through Sunday.
http://www.pgatour.com/webcom/live-projected-standings/the-25.html (Regular Season 25)
Regular Season card recipients are competing to secure the highest possible position in the priority rankings based on their combined Regular Season and Finals’ earnings. In addition to pursuing a card for 2015-16 via a separate Finals’ money list, those in the Finals’ 25 are also vying for their priority ranking. When the Championship concludes on Sunday evening, the two lists will be “zippered”, giving each player a number between one and 50 in the category. The higher the position, the more starts a player will get on TOUR in 2015-16.
TOURNAMENT EXTENSIONS – Last week three-year extensions were announced for two Web.com Tour events, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and the Lafayette, La.-based Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by NACHER. At the Chitimacha announcement, $180,000 was distributed to various area charities. In Columbus, officials also indicated they would once again surpass the $1 million mark in charity proceeds, with specifics to be announced in the near future.
CARD CEREMONY TO BE STREAMED – After play on Sunday, the Web.com Tour will host the “PGA TOUR Card Ceremony” on the back lawn of TPC Sawgrass to recognize all 50 graduates who will be moving on to the PGA TOUR. The ceremony will be streamed live on PGATOUR.COM., beginning approximately 15 minutes after the conclusion of play. Play is scheduled to finish at 6 p.m. ET. The event will be open to all spectators.
TIGERS LIKE TOUGH COURSES – Former LSU Tigers Andrew Loupe and Smylie Kaufman won on the two toughest golf courses to date on the Web.com Tour in 2015. Loupe’s 5-under 279 winning score at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course was the highest on Tour this year. Kaufman’s 10-under performance at Victoria National Golf Club in Indiana during the United Leasing Championship presented by PTI was the second highest.
LOTS OF PGA TOUR WINS – 28 of the 47 PGA TOUR events in 2014-15 were won by Web.com Tour alumni. This ties for second most wins in a single season (2010). The most was 32 in 2011.
FINALS’ SCHEDULE / CHAMPIONS – Here is the schedule and champions list thus far in the 2015 Web.com Tour Finals:
Date Tournament Site Location 2014 champion Sept. 10-13 Hotel Fitness Championship
Sycamore Hills Golf Club
Fort Wayne, Ind.
Sept. 17-20 Small Business Connection Championship at River Run River Run CC
Davidson, N.C. (Charlotte) Adam Hadwin
Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship Ohio State University GC (Scarlet)
Oct. 1-4 Web.com Tour Championship
TPC Sawgrass (Dye's Valley) Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
SOCIAL MEDIA – The social media tags for this week’s Web.com Tour Championship are:
@WebTourChamp and #webtourchamp. Golf Channel will continue airing fan tweets, using the hashtag #webtour.
NEXT WEEK – The Web.com Tour’s 26th season concludes on Sunday at the Web.com Tour Championship. Many of the 50 who are awarded PGA TOUR cards on Sunday evening will look forward to competing in the opening event of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR season, the Frys.com Open, which gets underway Oct. 15th.