A few days removed from the PGA Tour handing over a $10-million bonus cheque, players hoping to ply their trade on the premier tour in the world will be grinding it out this weekend for one of 25 coveted cards as the Web.com Tour Finals comes to a close.
Both Adam Hadwin and Brad Fritsch are in the field for the Tour Championship which will not only conclude the 2013 Web.com Tour season but also determine which players will move up to the PGA Tour next year, which is set to start in a couple of weeks time.
With a $180,000 first place prize cheque, both Hadwin and Fritsch will need a top-10 result this weekend in order to secure their PGA privileges. After missing the cut in the first two Finals events, Hadwin finished tied for 37th two weeks ago which put him 88th on the money list. With 25 PGA cards already spoken for by those players who finished in the top 25 of the Web.com regular season money list, Hadwin needs to find his way into the top 37 of the Finals money list to even entertain thoughts of a PGA schedule in 2014. Given that the cut off is just shy of $24,000, that would mean a top 10 result for the Abbotsford, B.C. golfer.
Fritsch has missed the cut in each of the first three Finals events and goes into the finale without any cash on his side of the ledger. A win or top five at worst is likely the result he needs to get comfortably into the top 37 this weekend. However, the Ottawa-area golfer will have some sort of PGA status after finishing 129th in the FedEx Cup standings in his rookie campaign.
Seung-Yul Noh's standing atop the money list is in jeopardy as the young South Korean has decided to skip the season ending tournament. That means Andrew Svoboda, Trevor Immelman and John Peterson could overtake him with a strong showing this weekend. The player who finished first on the Finals money list is not only guaranteed full status in 2014 but also an invitation to the PLAYERS Championship.
While Hadwin and Fritsch fight for their spot on the PGA Tour, an equally important battle for a spot on the LPGA Tour will be waged at the Symetra Tour's Tour Championship this weekend.
Sue Kim of Langley, B.C. is currently fourth on the developmental Tour's money list thanks to one win and three top-10 results this season. That cushion should be enough to secure her LPGA card for next year which will go to players who finish in the top 10 of the Symetra Tour money list.
Alena Sharp, who had provisional status on the LPGA Tour this year, is in line to also secure her full card for next year after a runner-up finish last weekend. It was the third time in seven events this year that she has finished second and, more importantly, it moved her into ninth place on the money list. With just under a $1,500 lead on the 11th place player, the Hamilton, Ont., golfer has opted to skip her annual charity event in Phoenix to chase her Tour card.
Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., is almost $11,000 outside the top 10 and will likely need a top-two result this weekend if she's to secure her LPGA Tour card.
THIS WEEK IN GOLF
WEB.COM TOUR - TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
COURSE: TPC Sawgrass, Dye's Valley Course (6,864 yards, par 70).
PURSE: $1 million. Winner's share: $180,000.
TELEVISION: Golf Channel (Thursday-Saturday, 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3-6 p.m., 9 p.m.-midnight).
CANADIANS IN THE FIELD: Adam Hadwin (88th in standings), Brad Fritsch (113th)
NOTES: This tournament ends the four-event Web.com Tour Finals which will determine the 50 players who will earn their PGA Tour cards. The top 25 on the Web.com money list are already assured PGA Tour cards for next season and are playing for priority ranking while the other players are fighting for 25 additional cards through money earned during the four event finals. The series money leader will be fully exempt and earn a spot in The Players Championship as well. ...South Korean Seung-Yul Noh, who won two weeks ago, currently sits atop the money list but is skipping the event. ...Entering the event, both Hadwin and Fritsch needed to earn at least $23,925 to earn their PGA card. That total will increase depending on how players above them do over the course of the tournament. ...Spencer Levin currently sits 34th on the Finals list which would be enough to earn his PGA card for next year. Levin is already guaranteed a full PGA season next year via a medical exemption following thumb surgery, which would give him a higher priority ranking.
CHAMPIONS TOUR - FIRST TEE OPEN
COURSES: Pebble Beach Golf Links (6,837 yards, par 72) and Del Monte Golf Course (6,357 yards, par 72).
PURSE: $1.8 million. Winner's share: $270,000.
TELEVISION: Golf Channel (Friday, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 12:30-2:30 a.m., 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Sunday, midnight-2 a.m., 7-9 p.m.; Monday, 1-3 a.m.).
CANADIANS IN THE FIELD: Jim Rutledge, Rod Spittle
NOTES: Mark O'Meara won the PGA Tour's Pebble Beach event five times, the last in 1997. He also won the 1979 California State Amateur at Pebble Beach. ... Tom Kite won the 1983 Crosby and 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. ... Jeff Sluman won the event in 2008, 2009 and 2011. ... The final round will be played at Pebble Beach. ... Junior players will play alongside the professionals.
EUROPEAN TOUR - ALFRED DUNHILL LINKS
COURSES: St. Andrews, Old Course (7,305 yards, par 72), Carnoustie, Championship Course (7,412 yards, par 72) and Kingsbarns Golf Links (7,181 yards, par 72).
PURSE: $5 million. Winner's share: $800,000.
TELEVISION: Golf Channel (Thursday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.).
NOTES: Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open winner at St. Andrews, is in the field along with Branden Grace, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel and Vijay Singh, who made his debut on the Champions Tour last weekend in Hawaii. ... The tournament is played over three courses - the Old Course at St Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns Golf Links - as professional golfers are teamed with amateurs to compete in both individual and team events.
SYMETRA TOUR - TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
COURSE: LPGA International, Champions Course (6,389 yards, par 72)
PURSE: $125,000. Winner's share: $18,750.
CANADIANS IN THE FIELD: Angela Buzminski (53rd on money list), Sue Kim (4th), Samantha Richdale (25th), Alena Sharp (9th), Nicole Vandermade (56th), Jessica Wallace (107th), Jessica Shepley (alternate), Danielle Mills (alternate), Ashley Sholer (alternate), Melissa Mabanta (alternate)
NOTES: The top 10 on the Tour's money list at the conclusion of the event will all earn their 2014 LPGA Tour cards. ...Sue Kim of Langley, B.C. sits fourth going into the tournament while Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ont., was ninth. ...Only the top-two players on the current money list are guaranteed an LPGA Tour card. Players as far down as No. 33 on the current standings can move inside the top-10 with a win this week. ...There have been 13 different winners in 14 events so far this season. Christine Song is the only two-time winner. ...
EUROPEAN TOUR Q-SCHOOL - FIRST STAGE
COURSES: Ribagolfe (Portugal), Circolo Golf Bogogno (Italy)
CANADIANS IN THE FIELD: Andrew Parr (Portugal), Jordan Krantz (Portugal), Stephen Thomas (Italy), Mark Hoffman (Italy)
eGOLF PROFESSIONAL TOUR - COLUMBIA CLASSIC
COURSE: Columbia Country Club (7,124 yards. Par 71)
CANADIANS IN THE FIELD: Cam Burke, Ryan Terdik
THE LEGENDS TOUR - LEGENDS CHAMPIONSHIP
COURSE: French Lick Resort
CANADIANS IN THE FIELD: Gail Graham, Lorie Kane