Brand records career-best finish at Rust-Oleum Championship
June 11, 2018
By Kevin Prise, PGATOUR.COM
- Christian Brand moved inside the top 75 on the Web.com Tour money list with a third-place finish at Ivanhoe Club. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Christian Brand is proud to be from West Virginia, and to represent his home state on the Web.com Tour.
The 30-year-old marks his ball with a West Virginia quarter, cheers for the West Virginia Mountaineers sports teams in addition to his alma mater Marshall Thundering Herd, and says his first-tee walk-up song would be the state’s de facto anthem, “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
As he prepped for the Tour’s off-week and a trip home, Brand concluded a stretch of five straight events with a week to remember, shooting 16-under total at the Rust-Oleum Championship to record a career-best third-place finish, just one shot shy of a playoff with Alex Prugh and eventual winner Chase Wright at Ivanhoe Club.
The native of Charleston, West Virginia, arrived at the 72nd hole needing birdie to join the playoff. His approach settled approximately 50 feet from the hole, and he left the birdie try short, but he did finish in a positive way by draining a 10-footer for par to avoid splitting third-place money with Mark Anderson and Cameron Champ.
The week marked a stark turnaround for Brand, who arrived in Illinois at No. 124 on the Regular Season money list, still searching for his first top-20 of the season.
He rewrote the story of his season at Ivanhoe Club, posting rounds of 70-67-65-70 in a week that also included a spot in Sunday’s final group with Kyle Jones and close friend Justin Lower, who he occasionally road-trips with between events.
(At the Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by NACHER earlier this season, Lower contended down the stretch at Le Triomphe G&CC, ultimately finishing third, while Brand walked the final few holes outside the ropes. The two then made the approximately 11-hour drive together from Lafayette, Louisiana, to Savannah, Georgia, for the following week’s Savannah Golf Championship.)
Lower finished T11 at Ivanhoe Club after making double bogey on the 72nd hole, but is enjoying the best season of his Web.com Tour career at No. 45 on the money list.
With his third-place showing in Illinois, Brand moves to No. 57 on the money list, as he and Lower both aim to finish inside the top 75 and earn Web.com Tour Finals berths for the first time, while chasing PGA TOUR cards along the way.
Good vibes all around for Brand, and there’s no better way to enjoy a career-best showing than a trip home.
“I have no regrets,” said Brand after signing his final-round scorecard at Ivanhoe Club. “We played hard for 72 holes, and we were one shot short. I’m proud of myself. The Web.com Tour is extremely difficult; it’s extremely competitive. You can see that from the bunched scores. People don’t realize how hard it is out here, and coming up one shot short, it stings right now, but I think when I look at it tomorrow, I’ll be in better spirits about it.
“Things have been turning in the right direction, and it’s nice to have some validation here, right before the off-week. Go home and get to see my wife, my family, and that will be great.
“(Moving inside the top 75 on) the money list is huge out here. That’s how we’re judged. No guaranteed contracts. Skyrocketing up the money list is going to be great.”