PGA Tour priority rankings for 2014-15

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 21, 2014, 9:53 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – There were 50 PGA Tour cards up for grabs this season on the circuit, and as of Sunday night all 50 have been spoken for.

The top 25 regular-season money earners from the Tour were already heading to the big leagues next season. The remaining 25 cards have been awarded to the top earners from the month-long Finals series, where Bud Cauley, Adam Hadwin, Justin Thomas and Derek Fathauer found the winner’s circle. The Finals series pit Nos. 1-75 from the regular-season Tour money list against those who finished Nos. 126-200 in the FedEx Cup standings.

Though PGA Tour cards have been handed out, a player's priority ranking will be a critical factor in forecasting his chances to succeed next season. The 50 graduates are ranked from 1-50 based on earnings, and that ranking will be used to determine who gets into events during the first portion of the new season. Last year, six of the top 10 from the 2013 Finals priority ranking kept their PGA Tour cards, while none from Nos. 41-50 were able to retain full-time status.

The top two spots in the rankings go to the top overall earner (regular season plus Finals, Hadwin) and the top Finals earner (Fathauer). Each of the top two finishers are fully exempt for next season and will receive a spot in the field at the 2015 Players Championship. Carlos Ortiz is also fully exempt on the PGA Tour next season – though he does not have a spot in The Players – based on his promotion for three regular-season wins.

From there, the rankings alternate between players who began the Finals without a PGA Tour card and those who had already earned a card by virtue of their Tour regular-season earnings. The alternating format between the two categories is why Cauley sits ahead of Thomas although he has less Finals money.

Here is a look at the full priority ranking of the 50 players who earned their PGA Tour cards at the conclusion of the Tour Championship:

Ranking Player Money Category
1   Adam Hadwin  $529,792  2-25 Finisher
2   Derek Fathauer   $468,185   2-25 Finisher
3   Carlos Ortiz  $515,403   Season Winner
4   Bud Cauley   $180,000   PGA Tour 126-150
5   Justin Thomas   $481,269   2-25 Finisher
6   Colt Knost  $154,000  26-75 Finisher
7   John Peterson   $130,591  PGA Tour 151-200
8   Andrew Putnam  $342,637  2-25 Finisher
9   Richard Sterne  $111,800  Non-Member 126-200
10   Jason Gore  $340,346  2-25 Finisher
11   Zac Blair  $108,000  26-75 Finisher
12   Tony Finau  $319,756  2-25 Finisher
13   Sam Saunders  $106,591  26-75 Finisher
14   Zack Sucher  $313,466  2-25 Finisher
15   Jim Herman  $101,725  PGA Tour 151-200
16   Blayne Barber  $311,451  2-25 Finsher
17   David Lingmerth  $99,368  PGA Tour 126-150
18   Alex Cejka  $284,546  2-25 Finsher
19   Tom Hoge  $83,826  26-75 Finisher
20   Steven Alker  $261,900  2-25 Finisher
21   Greg Owen  $74,526  26-75 Finisher
22   Andres Gonzales  $248,644  2-25 Finisher
23   Tom Gillis  $72,249  26-75
24   Jon Curran  $231,853  2-25 Finisher
25   Whee Kim  $67,000  26-75 Finisher
26   Cameron Percy  $224,296  2-25 Finisher
27   Scott Pinckney  $62,672  26-75 Finisher
28   Daniel Berger  $223,485  2-25 Finisher
29   Tyrone Van Aswegen  $61,760  PGA Tour 126-150
30   Jonathan Randolph  $213,202  2-25 Finisher
31   Sean O'Hair  $58,000  PGA Tour 151-200
32   Max Homa  $211,576  2-25 Finisher
33   Heath Slocum  $57,1333  PGA Tour 126-150
34   Mark Hubbard  $198,762  2-25 Finisher
35   J.J. Henry  $45,226  PGA Tour 126-150
36   Steve Wheatcroft  $193,219  2-25 Finisher
37   Nick Taylor  $44,335  26-75 Finisher
38   Kyle Reifers  $190,111  2-25 Finisher
39   Hudson Swafford  $44,171  PGA Tour 126-150
40   Ryan Armour  $183,216  2-25 Finisher
41   Alex Prugh  $42,805  26-75 Finisher
42   Byron Smith  $180,163  2-25 Finisher
43   Oscar Fraustro  $39,375  26-75 Finisher
44   Bill Lunde  $178,784  2-25 Finisher
45   Sung Joon Park  $38,500  26-75 Finisher
46   Roger Sloan  $168,057  2-25 Finisher
47   Chad Collins  $37,995  PGA Tour 151-200
48   Fabian Gomez  $162,321  2-25 Finisher
49   Carlos Sainz Jr.  $37,925  26-75 Finisher
50   Eric Axley  $36,311  PGA Tour 151-200
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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.