Several players controlled their own destinies Monday at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship. Justin Harding was not one of them.
The 33-year-old South African, who had missed the cut two days earlier at Victoria National, could only watch as he slowly dropped from 13th in Finals points, which is where he began the week, to 24th, just inside the bubble, with only a few groups left on the course.
Even then, Harding was on the cusp of earning his first PGA Tour card – until, of course, he wasn’t. Lanto Griffin, already among the 25 players to lock up a card during the regular season, double-bogeyed the par-4 17th hole and Grayson Murray, also already with a card clinched, bogeyed the par-4 18th to move D.J. Trahan and Richy Werenski past Harding in the projections.
Harding still had hope, though, as Griffin hit his approach to 5 feet at the last. But Griffin’s birdie putt lipped out, and Harding ended up No. 26 on the Finals points list just behind Trahan and Werenski, who ended up tied for 24th at 186 points.
But it gets worse: Harding fell one-tenth of a point shy of his card.
The Presidents Cup hopeful, who has won five times worldwide in the past two years, still has his European Tour card (he is 14th in the current Race to Dubai standings) and will now have playing opportunities on the Korn Ferry Tour next season, as well. Oh, and at No. 52 in the world rankings, Harding is closing in on a Masters berth.
But his PGA Tour card will have to wait.