Seventeen (17) eGolf Tour Players Advance to Deutsche Bank Championship as PGA TOUR’s Playoffs for the FedExCup Move to Boston
The par-4 17th at TPC Boston
By Stewart Moore
Norton, MA – The PGA TOUR’s Playoffs for the FedExCup continue tomorrow in Norton, Massachusetts with the start of the Deutsche Bank Championship – the second of four tournaments to decide the winner and $10 million dollar champion in the season-long points race. Following the conclusion of The Barclays, 17 eGolf Tour players advanced through to TPC Boston to compete in this week’s event for their share of the $8 million dollar purse and the opportunity to advance to next week’s BMW Championship.
Leading the way at No. 13 on the points list is recent WGC-Bridgestone Invitational winner and former eGolf Tour player Keegan Bradley. A PGA TOUR rookie in 2011, Bradley burst onto the golf scene with a win at the HP Byron Nelson Championship and an unlikely playoff victory at the PGA Championship that allowed the former St. John’s golfer to run away with “Rookie of the Year” honors. The 26-year-old has three top-3 finishes thus far in 2012, including the win, a playoff loss at the Northern Trust Open, and a T3 in his title defense at the PGA Championship. Bradley will be returning to his native New England for this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, where he missed the cut in 2011.
eGolf Tour veterans Brian Harman (No. 41) and William McGirt (No. 46) round out the tour’s representation inside the top 50 of the current FedExCup standings.
At The Barclays – the PGA TOUR’s first of four events kicking off the annual Playoffs – Harman parlayed rounds of 65-75-68-71—279 into a career-best T5 finish. The finish, which marked the first top-10 of Harman’s rookie year on TOUR, came at an ideal time, as the former University of Georgia star moved up to No. 41 (56 spots) in the FedExCup standings.
Harman, a full member of the eGolf Tour in 2010 and 2011, entered the professional ranks in the fall of 2009 with a list of accolades following a stellar campaign as one of the world’s top amateurs. As a two-time member of the U.S. Walker Cup team in both 2005 and 2009, much was expected of the four-year Bulldog “All American” when he joined the eGolf Tour in 2010, and Harman more than held up his end of the deal.
Over his two-year stretch on the eGolf Tour, Harman notched seven top-3 finishes, including his first professional win at The Manor Classic in September of 2010. With over $144,000 in earnings between the two seasons, he ventured off to PGA TOUR Q-School in the fall of 2011, and successfully earned his spot on golf’s biggest stage.
In 2012, Harman exploded onto the national scene with a course-record-shattering 61 in the second round of the Honda Classic, which in turn gave way to a T12 finish. The Savannah, GA native missed four consecutive cuts in May and June, but righted the ship with five consecutive made cuts between the Travelers Championship and the RBC Canadian Open – a streak which included four top-25 finishes.
Harman’s T5 at The Barclays was worth $280,000, which pushed him over the $1,000,000 mark in earnings this year, in turn solidifying his PGA TOUR card for the 2013 season. He is currently No. 72 on the TOUR’s 2012 money list.
McGirt, who won on the eGolf Tour in 2007 and competed full-time from 2004 through 2009, collected his third top-10 in five starts with a T10 at The Barclays, posting rounds of 68-74-67-72—281. The T10 took McGirt from 74th to 46th in the FedExCup points race, putting the Wofford College grad that much closer to eclipsing his 2011 Playoff performance, when he advanced through to the Deutsche Bank Championship.
In the Playoffs’ 2011 edition, McGirt served as the poster child for the play-your-way-up mentality that the four-event season finale offers. A T52 at the Wyndham Championship last August move McGirt up to No. 125 and into the following week’s The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club in New Jersey. A T24 at Plainfield barely pushed the Boiling Springs, SC native inside the top 100 at No. 96, which in turn put him into the Deutsche Bank Championship, where he finished T42 in his second and final Playoff start.
McGirt’s late-season run made him somewhat of a media darling, playing the proverbial role of Cinderella.
“Well, if it's a Cinderella story, that's for you guys to decide. I'm just trying to play my best golf and finish as well as I can every week,” he said at the time. “I mean, I can't worry about that. All I'm trying to do is survive and advance. I mean, I'm sure it's a great story, but for me I really don't get caught up in that. I just want to play my best golf every week.”
Two-time eGolf Tour winner Tom Gillis sits at No. 57 on the points list entering the week at TPC Boston, while two-time PGA TOUR winner Scott Stallings comes in at No. 61.
Stallings, who joined the eGolf Tour in mid-2009 when the developmental tour he was playing on defaulted on a Q-School bonus, broke through last year with a playoff win over Bob Estes and Bill Haas at the Greenbrier Classic, and more than validated that title with a follow-up win at the True South Classic this past July. His best career eGolf Tour finish was a T3 at the rain-shortened Savannah Quarters Championship in 2009, where he fell eight shots shy of Gillis.
Five-time eGolf Tour winner Roberto Castro and 2011 Viking Classic champion Chris Kirk sit at Nos. 80 and 81, respectively, on the FedExCup points list.
A former Georgia Tech star, Castro entered last week’s event at No. 100 on the points list, and transformed rounds of 76-67-69-71—283 into a T24 finish that moved him up 20 spots in the rankings. The finish was Castro’s fifth top-25 of the 2012 season – his first on the PGA TOUR.
Castro played the eGolf Tour full time from 2007 through 2010, notching five wins and over $227,000 in official earnings. He won one event per year in 2007, 2008 and 2010, but collected two wins in 2009 en route to a third-place finish on the season-ending money list with $111,090 in earnings.
In the summer of 2010, Castro used a runner-up finish at the Web.com Tour’s Wichita Open to earn conditional status for the remainder of the year, which in turn led to full status for the 2011 season.
Four top-10s and a stout 13 top-25 finishes on the 2011 Web.com Tour gave Castro $186,563 in earnings, good for a 23rd-place finish on the tour’s season-ending money list. That finish gave the Alpharetta, GA native his PGA TOUR card for 2012.
Kirk, whose best eGolf Tour finish was a playoff loss at the 2009 Pine Needles Classic, won the PGA TOUR’s Viking Classic in July of 2011 to solidify his TOUR membership through the 2013 season. The 2007 Ben Hogan Award winner as the nation’s top college player, Kirk’s 2012 campaign has featured four top-10 finishes – including two top-5s. The former UGA star has made each of his last six cuts on TOUR, as stretch featuring five top-30 finishes.
Blake Adams and Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey are both in the field at the Deutsche Bank Championship, with Adams sitting at No. 87 and Gainey at No. 91 on the points list.
Adams, who was a member of the eGolf Tour in 2008 and 2009 before playing his way onto the Web.com Tour, won the eGolf Tour’s Columbia Open in the fall of 2008 and has since been a star on the rise. In 2009, Adams opened his eGolf Tour season with a T2 finish at the FairwayStyles.com Open, but soon followed that up with a slew of top finishes on the Nationwide Tour. Three top-3 finishes in his first nine starts on the year vaulted Adams well inside the top 25 on the Nationwide Tour money list, and by season’s end, the former Georgia Southern golfer had played his way onto the PGA TOUR via a third-place finish on the Nationwide Tour money list.
Through two seasons on the PGA TOUR, Adams has amassed over $3 million in earnings and has racked up five top-10 finishes – including a runner-up at the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Gainey, a four-time eGolf Tour winner and longtime member, is in his third full season on the PGA TOUR, and has resurrected a somewhat slow start to his 2012 campaign with six made cuts in his last seven starts. “Two Gloves” opened the year with just two cuts made in his first nine starts, but rode a third-place finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in May straight into the FedExCup Playoffs, where he is now 31 spots outside the cutoff mark to advance past the Deutsche Bank Championship.
The 17 eGolf Tour veterans, and their current standings for the Playoffs for the FedExCup, are listed below:
No. 13 – Keegan Bradley
No. 41 – Brian Harman
No. 46 – William McGirt
No. 56 – Brendon de Jonge
No. 57 – Tom Gillis
No. 61 – Scott Stallings
No. 64 – Josh Teater
No. 75 – Matt Every
No. 79 – Cameron Tringale
No. 80 – Roberto Castro
No. 81 – Chris Kirk
No. 82 – Michael Thompson
No. 84 – Ted Potter Jr.
No. 87 – Blake Adams
No. 91 – Tommy Gainey
No. 99 – Daniel Summerhays
No. 100 – Martin Flores
For complete results from the Deutsche Bank Championship on pgatour.com, please click here.