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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Hammer in position (again) to co-medal at U.S. Am

By Ryan LavnerAugust 14, 2018, 10:37 pm

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer is in position to go for a rare sweep in this summer’s biggest events.

Two weeks ago, Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas, was the co-medalist at the Western Amateur and went on to take the match-play portion, as well.

Here at the U.S. Amateur, Hammer shot rounds of 69-68 and was once again in position to earn co-medalist honors. At 6-under 137, he was tied with 19-year-old Daniel Hillier of New Zealand.

“It would mean a lot, especially after being medalist at the Western Am,” Hammer said afterward. “It’s pretty special.”

No stroke-play medalist has prevailed in the 64-man match-play bracket since Ryan Moore in 2004. Before that, Tiger Woods (1996) was the most recent medalist champion.  

Match scoring from U.S. Amateur

U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos

On the strength of his Western Am title, Hammer, 18, has soared to No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He credited his work with swing coach Cameron McCormick and mental coach Bob Rotella.

“Just really started controlling my iron shots really well,” said Hammer, who has worked with McCormick since 2015, when he qualified for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay as a 15-year-old.

“Distance control with my wedges and all my iron shots, playing different shots, has become really a strength in my game. I’ve really turned the putter on this year, and I’m seeing the lines and matching the line with the speed really well. I think that’s been the key to my summer.”

A two-time New Zealand Amateur champion, Hillier is ranked 27th in the world. He said that, entering the tournament, he would have been pleased just to make it to match play.

“But to come out on top, it’s amazing,” Hillier said. “Cole is a really good golfer and has been playing well lately. So, yeah, I’m in good company.”

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Tee times, TV schedule, stats for Wyndham Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2018, 9:55 pm

It's the last tournament of the PGA Tour's regular season as the top 125 in the FedExCup points list advance to next week's playoff event. Here's the key info for the Wyndham Championship. (Click here for tee times)

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream:

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream:

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Purse: $6 million

Course: Sedgefield Country Club (par 70, 7,127 yards)

Defending champion: Henrik Stenson. Last year he defeated Ollie Schniederjans by one stroke to earn his sixth career PGA Tour win.

Notables in the field

Henrik Stenson at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Henrik Stenson

• Missed the cut last week at the PGA Championship

• Six top-10 finishes this year, including T-5 at the Masters and T-6 at the U.S. Open

Sergio Garcia

• Eight missed cuts in last 10 PGA Tour starts

• Currently 131 in FedExCup standings (33 points back of 125th)

Webb Simpson

• Five top-10 finishes in this event since 2010 (won in 2011)

• 56 under par in last five years in this event (best of any player in that span)

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Faldo: Woods told fellow Masters champ 'I'm done' in '17

By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 7:42 pm

Fresh off his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, it's easy to get caught up in the recent success and ebullient optimism surrounding Tiger Woods. But it was not that long ago that Woods even hitting another competitive shot was very much in doubt.

Six-time major champ Sir Nick Faldo shed light on those darker times during a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show when he relayed a story from the 2017 Masters champions' dinner. The annual meal is one of golf's most exclusive fraternities, as only the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club is allowed to dine with the men who have each donned a green jacket.

Last spring Woods had not yet undergone spinal fusion surgery, and Faldo explained that Woods at one point turned to an unnamed Masters champ and grimly assessed his future playing chances.

Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos

"I know he whispered to another Masters champion, two Masters dinners ago, 'I'm done. I won't play golf again,'" Faldo said. "He said, 'I'm done. I'm done, my back is done.' He was in agony. He was in pain. His leg, the pain down his legs, there was nothing enjoyable. He couldn't move. If you watched footage of him, he couldn't even get in and out of the golf cart at the (2016) Ryder Cup when he was a vice captain."

But Woods opted for fusion surgery a few weeks later, and after a lengthy rehab process he returned to competition in December. His 2018 campaign has been nothing short of remarkable, with a pair of runner-up finishes to go along with a T-6 result at The Open when he held the outright lead on the back nine on Sunday.

After apparently even counting himself out, Woods is back up to 26th in the latest world rankings and appears in line to be added as a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup next month.

"What he's been able to do is unbelievable," Faldo said. "To turn this aruond, to get this spine fusion, it's completely taken away the pain. To have this mobility is absolutely amazing. Great on him, and great for golf."

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McDowell needs Wyndham result to maintain status

By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 5:56 pm

For the first time in nearly three years, Graeme McDowell heads into an event with his PGA Tour status hanging in the balance.

The Ulsterman joined the Tour in 2006, and he has had nearly uninterrupted status since winning the 2010 U.S. Open. But McDowell's two-season exemption for winning the 2015 OHL Classic at Mayakoba only extends through this week, where he will start the Wyndham Championship at No. 143 in the season-long points race.

McDowell tied for fifth at Sedgefield Country Club in 2016, and he will likely need a similar result to crack the top 125 in the standings and retain his fully exempt status for the 2019 season. While he finished T-10 in Las Vegas in November, that remains his lone top-10 finish of the Tour season. The veteran's best results this year have come in Europe, where he tied for fifth at the Italian Open and finished T-12 at the BMW PGA Championship.

Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos

"I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself. I feel like it's not a do-or-die scenario for me," McDowell told reporters earlier this month at the Barracuda Championship. "I feel if I was 25 years old without a European Tour card to fall back on, it would be a do-or-die scenario. Certainly trying to put the pressure off, if I don't get myself into the top 125 it's not the end of the world for me. I still feel like I can play a great schedule next season."

By finishing Nos. 126-150 in points after this week, McDowell would retain conditional status that would likely ensure him at least 12-15 starts next season. He would also still have privileges as a past tournament champion.

But he's not the only winner from the 2015-16 season whose two-year exemption is on the verge of running out. Fabian Gomez (160th), Peter Malnati (164th) and Billy Hurley III (202nd) all need big results in Greensboro to keep their cards, while Shane Lowry, David Lingmerth and Matt Every all earned three-year exemptions for victories in 2015 but currently sit Nos. 139, 140 and 184 in points, respectively.

Last year four players moved into the top 125 thanks to strong play at Wyndham, with the biggest jump coming from Rory Sabbatini, who went from No. 148 to No. 122 after tying for fourth place.