Web.com Tour priority ranking entering season finale

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 18, 2014, 12:38 pm

Fifty players will leave the Web.com Tour Championship with PGA Tour cards for the upcoming season. How those players are determined, though, requires a little math and a lot of explanation.

This week’s event on Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass is the fourth and final event of the Web.com Tour Finals. Players eligible for the Finals include Nos. 1-75 from the regular-season Web.com Tour money list, along with those who finished Nos. 126-200 in the FedEx Cup standings.

While 50 cards are up for grabs, 25 of them are already spoken for. The top 25 regular-season money earners from the Web.com Tour are all heading to the main circuit next season, though their priority ranking will be determined this week in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The remaining 25 cards will go to the top earners from the month-long Finals series, where Bud Cauley, Adam Hadwin and Justin Thomas won the first three events.

Although earning a card is the primary goal, a player's priority ranking will be a critical factor in forecasting his chances to succeed next season. The 50 graduates will be 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. The players with the highest rankings will likely get more starts, and the results from last season bear out that trend: 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.

In a change from last year, the top 25 regular-season Web.com earners were able to carry their earnings into the Finals rather than starting from scratch, lending greater emphasis on regular-season performance. Hence, the dollar figures for those 25 players represent their entire 2014 haul, while the others in the standings count simply the money they have won in the Finals.

The top two spots in the rankings go to the top overall earner (regular season plus Finals, currently Carlos Ortiz) and the top Finals earner (currently Hadwin). Each of the top two finishers will be fully exempt for next season and will receive a spot in the field at the 2015 Players Championship.

From there, the rankings alternate between players who began the Finals without a PGA Tour card (Cauley, Colt Knost, John Peterson) and those who had already earned a card by virtue of their Web.com Tour regular season earnings (Thomas, Andrew Putnam, Zack Sucher). The alternating format between the two categories is why Cauley, who has less Finals money than Thomas, is ranked No. 3, while Thomas is currently No. 4.

The race at the bottom is a tight one, as Patrick Rodgers leads Tag Ridings by only $703 for the 50th and final PGA Tour card entering this week's event. Other notable players currently on the outside looking in include Chad Campbell ($11,670 behind), Kyle Stanley ($17,640), Johnson Wagner ($19,430), Y.E. Yang ($23,860) and Trevor Immelman ($27,500). Despite the deficit, each is still in the running with $180,000 going to this week's winner and a top-five finish netting enough money to guarantee a card for next season.

Here is a look at the full priority ranking of the 50 players projected to earn PGA Tour cards heading into the Web.com Tour Championship:

Ranking Player Money Category
1  Carlos Ortiz  $515,403  Season Leader
1  Adam Hadwin  $499,667  2-25 Finisher
3  Bud Cauley  $180,000  PGA Tour 126-150
4  Justin Thomas  $470,469  2-25 Finisher
5  Colt Knost  $138,000  26-75 Finisher
6  Andrew Putnam  $340,037  2-25 Finisher
7  John Peterson  $127,600  PGA Tour 151-200
8  Zack Sucher  $313,466  2-25 Finisher
9  Richard Sterne  $111,800  Non-member 126-200
10  Blayne Barber  $306,601  2-25 Finisher
11  Tom Hoge  $81,100  26-75 Finisher
12  Tony Finau  $303,756  2-25 Finisher
13  Sam Saunders  $76,466  26-75 Finisher
14  Derek Fathauer  $288,185  2-25 Finisher
15  Greg Owen  $71,800  26-75 Finisher
16  Alex Cejka  $284,546  2-25 Finisher
17  David Lingmerth  $63,368  PGA Tour 126-150
18  Jason Gore  $272,346  2-25 Finisher
19  Whee Kim  $63,100  26-75 Finisher
20  Steven Alker  $261,900  2-25 Finisher
21  Tom Gillis  $61,449  26-75 Finisher
22  Andres Gonzles  $245,917  2-25 Finisher
23  Sean O'Hair  $58,000  PGA Tour 151-200
24  Jon Curran  $231,853  2-25 Finisher
25  Jim Herman  $57,725  PGA Tour 151-200
26  Daniel Berger  $220,985  2-25 Finisher
27  Scott Pinckney  $46,672  26-75 Finisher
28  Cameron Percy  $220,396  2-25 Finisher
29  J.J. Henry  $42,500  PGA Tour 151-200
30  Jonathan Randolph  $210,210  2-25 Finisher
31  Oscar Fraustro  $39,375  26-75 Finisher
32  Max Homa  $203,804  2-25 Finisher
33  Tyrone van Aswegen  $38,760  PGA Tour 126-150
34  Steve Wheatcroft  $193,219  2-25 Finisher
35  Hudson Swafford  $36,400  26-75 Finisher
36  Mark Hubbard  $192,787  2-25 Finisher
37  Nick Taylor  $33,535  26-75 Finisher
38  Kyle Reifers  $186,211  2-25 Finisher
39  Greg Chalmers  $32,620  PGA Tour 126-150
40  Ryan Armour  $183,216  2-25 Finisher
41  Roberto Castro  $32,380  PGA Tour 126-150
42  Byron Smith  $180,163  2-25 Finisher
43  Dicky Pride  $32,250  PGA Tour 151-200
44  Bill Lunde  $178,784  2-25 Finisher
T45  Carlos Sainz, Jr.  $31,950  26-75 Finisher
T45  Will Wilcox  $31,950  PGA Tour 126-150
47  Roger Sloan  $168,057  2-25 Finisher
48  Fabian Gomez  $162,321  2-25 Finisher
49  Vaughn Taylor  $31,107  26-75 Finisher
50  Patrick Rodgers  $30,000  Non-member 126-200
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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.

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DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

• Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

• This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

• Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

• At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

• Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

• My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.

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Woods fires shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

“I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.