Power Rankings: Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae
August 06, 2018
By Kevin Prise, PGATOUR.COM
- Cameron Champ has finished in the top 11 in his past six Tour starts. (Alex Wood/Web.com Tour)
The majority of attention at this week’s Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae will center around two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry, who will compete for the second consecutive year on a sponsor invitation.
While Curry thrills the San Francisco Bay Area patrons in his quest to play the weekend, though, critical races for PGA TOUR cards and Web.com Tour Finals berths will unfold across the sprawling TPC Stonebrae layout.
The Ellie Mae Classic marks the penultimate event of the Regular Season, as players vie for money-list positions inside The 25 (to secure PGA TOUR status for 2018-19) and the top 75 (to secure Web.com Tour status for 2019, as well as Finals entry and a second shot at a TOUR card).
This marks the ninth playing of the Ellie Mae Classic, which has been won by notables such as Kevin Chappell, Tony Finau and Si Woo Kim.
Two years ago, Germany’s Stephan Jaeger sent shock waves around the golf world with an opening-round, 12-under 58, en route to a 30-under total and seven-shot victory.
Who will follow Jaeger’s lead and take it low in the Bay Area? Here are 10 players to watch.
1. Cameron Champ. The Sacramento native should feel good vibes in his home state, and he’ll draw on last month’s victory at the Utah Championship. He has finished in the top 11 in his past six Tour starts.
2. Chris Thompson. The Kansas native thrilled his home-state fans with a T4 at last week’s KC Golf Classic, his second straight top-4. Now 34th on the money list, the 42-year-old sets his sights on his first TOUR card.
3. Martin Trainer. The season’s only two-time winner to date, the University of Southern California alum should feed off the crowd’s energy as he chases a Three-Victory Promotion to the TOUR.
4. Kyle Jones. The Baylor alum secured his first TOUR card with a runner-up at last week’s KC Golf Classic, and the pinpoint-accurate driver will be freed up to chase his first Web.com Tour title.
5. Sebastian Cappelen. The Denmark native has made seven straight cuts, including three straight top-25s, moving to No. 58 on the money list as he eyes his first TOUR card.
6. Vince Covello. The Philadelphia-area native finished third last year at TPC Stonebrae to secure his first Finals berth, and he’s making a similar late-season push with three straight top-25s.
7. Sepp Straka. All it takes is one week, and the University of Georgia alum proved that with a win at last week’s KC Golf Classic, jumping 101 spots to No. 29 on the money list.
8. Steven Ihm. After entering the season with conditional status, the University of Iowa alum has recorded two top-3 finishes in the past month. In only six starts, he has moved inside the top 40 on the money list.
9. Adam Long. The Duke alum has recorded four top-20s in his last six starts. He stands No. 23 on the money list with two Regular Season events to play, his first TOUR card very much in the realm.
10. Maverick McNealy. The Stanford alum should enjoy a sizable, welcoming home crowd in his return to the Bay Area. He has made 10 cuts in 13 Tour starts as a rookie.