Top 25 get cards, off to Finals


The path to the PGA Tour may be different this year, but the final regular-season event of the year still produces great drama on the Tour.

In a starring role this year was 2011 NCAA champion John Peterson.

Beginning the week at No. 60 on the money list, Peterson needed a two-way tie for second or better at the Cox Classic to secure his PGA Tour card for next season. Sure enough, he was in a tie for second as he stood on the 18th tee Sunday, but his fellow playing competitor, Bronson La’Cassie, birdied the last hole to drop Peterson from projected 21st to 30th on the money list. Peterson finished solo third in Nebraska, and about $16,000 shy of the coveted 25th spot.

The finish was even more heartbreaking for Steven Alker. After beginning the week at No. 22 on the money list, he missed the cut here and wound up at No. 26 – about $1,200 shy of earning his card.

At least there were a few clutch performances Sunday. 

Wes Roach made a 6-foot par putt on the 18th to finish 22nd on the money list. 

After back-to-back bogeys on 15 and 16, Miguel Angel Carballo, projected at No. 24, birdied the 17th to give himself a comfortable cushion playing the difficult 18th. He finished 23rd on the money list.

Kevin Foley eagled the 17th hole to finish No. 24 and secure his card. 

Patrick Cantlay began the week at No. 25 on the list, less than $3,000 ahead of Roach, but the former UCLA star missed the cut (71-68) and slipped to 29th

Andrew Svoboda was this year’s bubble boy, finishing at No. 25 even with a missed cut at the Cox Classic.

Despite a brief bout with the flu this week, Michael Putnam wrapped up the regular-season money title. That made him fully exempt for the 2013-14 PGA Tour season and earned him a spot in The Players.

The race for the top 25 was a little different this year.

The top 25 on the money list after this week are still guaranteed PGA Tour cards for the upcoming 2013-14 season, but those players will enter the four-tournament Tour Finals that determine priority seeding.

Beginning at next week’s Hotel Fitness Championship in Fort Wayne, Ind., the top 75 money winners on the Tour and Nos. 126-200 on the FedEx Cup points list will compete in a four-week shootout in which each player essentially starts from scratch ($0). The player who earns the most money during the Tour Finals will be fully exempt for new season, and 24 more cards will be doled out to the top finishers in the four-event series.

Among the PGA Tour players who will tee it up there: Ricky Barnes, Jonathan Byrd, Chad Campbell, Bud Cauley, Chris DiMarco, Trevor Immelman, Ryo Ishikawa, Kevin Na and Sean O’Hair.