Veterans, rising stars clash at Tour Finals


The Tour Finals are where career trajectories intersect.

On one hand there is a batch of young prospects, each hoping to earn a PGA Tour card. They include Cody Gribble and Curtis Thompson, two former NCAA standouts who finished between Nos. 26-75 on the Tour regular-season money list. So too did the original Mr. 58, Stephan Jaeger, and frequent Monday qualifier Austin Cook.

But making up the second piece of this month-long puzzle are those players who finished Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, narrowly missing out on retaining their cards. Those who finished Nos. 126-150 still have conditional status that will ensure them at least a few starts next season, but it's a group that includes noted veterans like Camilo Villegas, Stuart Appleby, Rory Sabbatini and Scott Stallings - each of whom has won multiple times on the PGA Tour.

They'll also be joined by those players who earned enough FedEx Cup points as non-members to crack the top 200. That list includes notable international players like Andrew "Beef" Johnston and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, as well as former NCAA and U.S. Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau.

The path to PGA Tour status begins this week at the DAP Championship in Beachwood, Ohio, and the goal is simple: earn enough money to finish inside the top 25 in earnings across the four-event sprint. Nos. 1-25 from the season-long money list will also compete, but their cards for the 2016-17 season are already assured and they're simply hoping to improve their status.

That leaves more than 120 players to battle it out over the remaining 25 cards. Those who make the cut will move immediately to the PGA Tour next year, while most who fall short will return to the Tour in 2017.

After this week's event at Canterbury Golf Club, the Finals will extend to the Albertson's Boise Open and Nationwide Children's Hospital Open in Columbus, Ohio, before the season-ending Tour Championship Oct. 6-9 in Atlantic Beach, Fla.