Storylines: Eason's record 22-shot turnaround
January 27, 2017
By Web.com Tour staff
- Englishman Greg Eason rebounded from an opening 90 with a second-round 68 at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LANDRY CLAIMS SECOND CAREER WEB.COM TOUR TITLE ON GREAT ABACO
After opening his 2017 season with rounds of 87-77 and a missed cut at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay, Andrew Landry rallied in triumphant form at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club this week, posting rounds of 71-68-66-67—272 (16-under) for his second career Web.com Tour title and the event’s $108,000 first-place prize. The win was Landry’s second on Tour, dating back to a breakthrough victory at the 2015 Servientrega Championship, which helped to deliver a 2015-16 PGA TOUR card for the former Arkansas Razorback. Landry is tied with Kyle Thompson atop the 2017 Web.com Tour money list.
LANDRY’S 2016 U.S. OPEN FAME SET STAGE FOR 2017 COMEBACK
Landry’s rookie season on the PGA TOUR was a struggle, with just nine made cuts in 18 starts – including a career-best T8 at the John Deere Classic. One of those nine made cuts, however, came at the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, where the little-known Texas native was the 18-hole leader after a 4-under 66. With the eyes of the golf world expecting him to fail greatly over the final 54 holes, Landry did anything but, posting rounds of 71-70 to sit in second place after the second and third rounds, respectively. A final-round 78 doomed his chances at pulling out one of the most surprising wins in major championship history, but the T15 finish nevertheless established the notion that he was good enough to compete on golf’s biggest stage.
GUNN NOTCHES CAREER-BEST RUNNER-UP EFFORT
Jimmy Gunn, who was the 36-hole leader at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic, struggled to a third-round 73, but rallied late with a 4-under 68 – including birdies on two of his final six holes – to finish at 13-under 275, good for solo second-place honors. The Dornoch, Scotland native entered the week with just two top-10s in 44 prior starts on the Web.com Tour, and left with a $64,800 payday and the No. 3 spot on the money list. Gunn played the Web.com Tour full-time in 2014 and 2016, with his lone PGA TOUR start coming at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, where he finished T27.
EASON REBOUNDS FROM DUBIOUS RECORD TO POST ALL-TIME MARK
Greg Eason’s 2017 Web.com Tour season began in less-than-ideal fashion, with rounds of 91-95 and a missed cut at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic. In Sunday’s opening round of The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic, the Englishman finished off a round of 90 with a 15 on the par-5 18th, marking the single-largest score recorded on one hole in Web.com Tour history. To his credit, Eason – who finished 74th on the Tour’s 2016 money list – rebounded in dramatic fashion on Monday, recording a bogey-free 68 to set the all-time turnaround mark in back-to-back rounds in PGA TOUR history (since the TOUR began recording such statistics in 1983). The 22-shot differential was one better than Ray Franz, Jr. (91-70) at the 2000 Buy.com Dayton Open and Jonathan Kaye (83-62) at the 1999 CareerBuilder Challenge.
THOMPSON AND LANDRY PACE EARLY WEB.COM TOUR MONEY LIST
Through two events in the 2017 season, winners Kyle Thompson and Andrew Landry sit tied atop the Web.com Tour money list with $108,000 in earnings. Jimmy Gunn is in third with $67,320, while the top five is rounded out by Andrew Yun ($54,276) and Nicholas Thompson ($54,258). Talor Gooch ($14,400) and 2014 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Chesson Hadley ($14,400) are tied for 24th, occupying the last two spots. The top 25 players on the money list following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz will earn their 2017-18 TOUR cards. Over the past four years, the average earnings secured by the 25th and final player following the last Regular Season event was $148,686.
WEB.COM TOUR SETS ALL-TIME MARK WITH FOUR EVENTS BEFORE FEBRUARY 19
The Web.com Tour will be idle next week before returning to action with back-to-back events. The Club Colombia Championship by Servientrega will be contested in Bogota, Colombia the week of February 6-12, while the Panama Claro Championship will be held in Panama City, Panama the week of February 13-19. The events will mark the first time in the Tour’s 28-year history that four events have been completed before February 19.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
2 – The number of times Greg Eason was named a first-team “All America” selection while at the University of Central Florida (2013, 2014). Eason was also named “American Athletic Conference Men’s Golf Player of the Year” each of those two seasons.
207 – The number of scores of triple-bogey or worse recorded over the first two events of the 2017 Web.com Tour season.
5 – The number of career Web.com Tour victories for Kyle Thompson, who notched No. 5 at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay. Only four players in Tour history have more wins: Jason Gore (7), Sean Murphy (6), Matt Gogel (6) and Kevin Johnson (6).
2017 WEB.COM TOUR MEMBER TO WATCH
Kurt Kitayama – 24 – Chico, Calif.
Kitayama is currently in his second season on the Web.com Tour, and has recorded T28 and T11 finishes through two starts to sit at No. 19 on the money list with $17,430 in earnings. At The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic, he overcame a first-round 76 with rounds of 65-69-71 to post the career-best T11 effort.
Kitayama made nine starts on the Web.com Tour last year, making just two cuts on his way back to Q-School in December. The former UNLV star finished T42 at the Qualifying Tournament to earn exempt status through the second reshuffle. Kitayama made three starts on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada in 2016, where he recorded two top-25 finishes.
During his four years in Las Vegas, Kitayama put together one of the best careers in the Rebels’ history, posting four victories, a career 72.82 scoring average (16th lowest) and 130 total rounds played, which ranks 13th on the school’s all-time list. Prior to attending UNLV, the 24-year-old was an “All-Section” point guard for the Chico High School basketball team, where he led the team to the California state playoffs in both his junior and senior years.