Denny McCarthy wins Web.com Tour Championship to take top spot in Finals 25
25 players received PGA TOUR cards on Sunday at Atlantic Beach CC
September 23, 2018
By Preston Smith, PGATOUR.COM
- September 23, 2018
Denny McCarthy interview after winning Web.com Tour Championship
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Entering the day one stroke back, Denny McCarthy enjoyed a barrage of birdies down the stretch at Atlantic Beach Country Club to win the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship by four strokes at 23-under 261. McCarthy, who earned his first Web.com Tour victory in 48 career events, also earned the top spot on the Finals 25. With the top spot, McCarthy earns fully-exempt status for the 2018-19 PGA TOUR season as well as a spot in the 2019 PLAYERS Championship.
“It's been quite a journey this year,” McCarthy said. “The PGA TOUR was tough to start out the year and stuck through it and got my game, [I] raised my level and have been playing some really good golf. Just feels incredible to finish off these Finals. So much work behind the scenes that nobody really sees. I have a great team, they've been tremendous throughout the whole process.”
McCarthy began the round quietly with a par at the first and a bogey at the second. The 25-year-old turned it around with a birdie at the par-4 fourth, birdieing Nos. 4, 6, 7 and 8 to make the turn at 3-under 32. The University of Virginia alum continued his momentum with birdies at Nos. 10, 13, 14 and 18 to finish with a 6-under 65.
It looked to be a two-horse race for most of the final round between McCarthy and Sepp Straka, but a late triple bogey by Straka at No. 16 solidified McCarthy’s win. In all, McCarthy carded 23 birdies and an eagle in 72 holes. He attributed experience at Atlantic Beach Country Club to his consistently-low rounds through the week.
“Knowing the golf courses and having the knowledge of the golf courses really helps me [in the Finals],” McCarthy said. “I feel like this next year on the PGA TOUR I'm going to be much better suited having played all these places once this past year and getting some tournament rounds on those places. It's tough, it's really tough, to go to a course that you're not familiar with and expect to play great golf. You're just not familiar with the course, you're just not as comfortable with where to miss it off the tee and into the green.”
After watching the bubble through the afternoon, no one was happier than Jim Knous to earn the 25th and final card of the Web.com Tour Finals. Despite a stressful even-par 71, highlighted by an eagle and capped by a five-foot par save at the last, Knous gained 2018-19 status on the PGA TOUR thanks in large part to making all four cuts through the Finals. His top finish during the Finals was a T10 at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship.
Knous earned $41,931 through the four Finals events, the highest amount ever earned by the 25th player to earn his card. The record was previously set last year by Seamus Power at $40,625.
“It was a brutal day emotionally,” Knous said. “I wasn't quite sure how much my performance would affect the overall outcome. It kind of just depended on what everybody else did. That's pretty terrifying. So I really just kind of did my best to stay calm and inside I was really freaking out and just super psyched that at the end of the day finished right there on No. 25.”
Cleveland native Justin Lower finished just outside the bubble at 26th on the Finals money list, less than $500 short of the 25th spot. The 29-year-old had an eight-foot birdie opportunity at the final hole slide by the hole which ended up being the difference.
Knous joined four other rookies in earning their card through the Finals 25; the other four were Seth Reeves, Curtis Luck, Sepp Straka and Cameron Davis.