Twenty (20) eGolf Tour Members Earn 2012 PGA TOUR Q-School Bonus
By Stewart Moore
Charlotte, NC – The eGolf Professional Tour's 2012 "Q-School Bonus" race came to a conclusion following Thursday's final round of the regular-season-ending NorthStone Open in Huntersville, NC. The top 20 tour members on the member earnings money list will have their entries into the 2012 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament paid for by eGolf – a value of approximately $4,500 per player.
Throughout the 2012 season, the eGolf Tour has published a separate money list from the overall list, in turn highlighting only monies earned by members of the tour. The list was configured to determine the top 20 finishers in the season-long Q-School Bonus race.
"We are ecstatic that we have the ability to pay for PGA TOUR Q-School for each of these 20 players," said tour president David Siegel. "We realize that it is in our best interest to do all we can to assure our players make it to the next level, and it is our hope that this bonus will allow all of them to do just that. It was important to us to once again reimburse the entry fee, and not simply give players a credit to a future season. Our goal is for these guys to play their way off of our tour, not simply stick around for years to come."
Players who finished inside the top 20 will have their Q-School entries reimbursed in full by eGolf on Friday, October 19th via the tour’s standard direct deposit payment system. No monies will be deferred to the 2013 season, as is the promise made by other tours. In addition, players will have their entries reimbursed regardless of how far they advance at Q-School. There are no stipulations or policies that call for a mandatory advancement to final stage in order to receive the reimbursement.
In 2010, the eGolf Professional Tour became the first developmental tour in history to pay for PGA TOUR Q-School for 20 players. Of the 40 players who earned the bonus in 2010 and 2011, 16 used it to play their way to Q-School’s final stage. Brian Harman (2011) and Ben Martin (2010) each parlayed their free Q-School entries into PGA TOUR cards the following year by advancing all the way to the final stage and finishing inside the top 25.
The 20 players who will have PGA TOUR Q-School paid for by eGolf in 2011 are as follows:
1. Drew Weaver – $119,237 – Arguably the best developmental tour player in the country this year, Weaver overcame a sluggish start to his year by posting two wins (Willow Creek Open / Southern Open) and four runner-up finishes during a torrid seven-tournament stretch to eclipse the $100,000 mark in earnings by mid-July. All told, the 2007 British Amateur champion notched 10 top-5 finishes in 21 starts.
2. Chesson Hadley - $84,986 – After nearly giving up the game in the offseason, former Georgia Tech star broke through for a career year on the eGolf Tour, collecting his first career win at the River Landing Open in July as well as eight top-10 finishes.
3. Chris Epperson - $74,577 – Tour’s highest-ranked player without a win, Epperson was a veritable ATM in 2012, tallying a staggering five top-4 finishes and 11 top-10s. Produced three third-place finishes on the year, including a near-miss at the Bolle Classic, where a double-bogey at the 72nd hole left him three shots shy of winner Jhared Hack. Hilton Head Island, SC native made 17 of 17 cuts, with only one finish falling outside the top 25.
4. Kevin Foley – Former Penn State star spent the first third of the eGolf Tour season as the leading money winner, with five top-10s in his first seven starts and a maiden victory at the Pine Needles Classic in March. In April, Foley posted back-to-back T7 finishes on the Web.com Tour, eventually playing his way into temporary member status with a T5 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in July. He is currently 66th on the Web.com Tour money list with $79,636 in earnings.
5. Peter Malnati - $61,672 – After posting a then-career-best T2 finish at the Championship at St. James Plantation in April – a tournament he led through 54 holes – Malnati’s season came alive with five additional top-4 finishes, including his first win at the inaugural Championship at Wintergreen Resort in June. Former University of Missouri golfer carded seven rounds of 65 or better in 2012.
6. Seamus Power - $58,632 – Ireland native posted two wins in 2012, collecting No. 1 at the River Run Classic in March and No. 2 at the Spring Creek Classic in June. Power’s year was a bit up and down with just nine made cuts in 17 starts, but of those nine made cuts, four resulted in top-3 finishes – including the two wins.
7. Joshua Brock - $58,563 – In a bit of a homecoming win, Brock – a native of Wilmington, NC – grabbed his first eGolf Tour title at the Championship at St. James Plantation in Southport, NC, just 30 minutes away from his home. Brock’s come-from-behind win, courtesy of back-to-back 68s to close out his week, gave way to a breakthrough season in which the former UNC Wilmington standout posted three top-3 finishes and five top-10 finishes.
8. Michael Sims - $54,839 – Bermuda native garnered national attention when he set an eGolf Tour record with a 12-under 59 in the second round of the Southern Open in July. Playing at tournament co-host Country Club of Salisbury, Sims birdied the first eight holes en route to reaching golf’s magical number, which left him with the nickname of “Mr. 59” for the remainder of the year. That round led to a playoff loss to Weaver in the event – one of six top-10s for Sims on the year.
9. Cam Burke - $47,913 - #Camada, as he is affectionately known by friends on Twitter, posted five top-10s in 2012, including a career-best runner-up effort at the River Run Classic. The Ontario native and two-time Canadian Amateur champion made a name for himself with the ability to frequently post low numbers, carding rounds of 64 or better five times.
10. Clint Jensen - $47,693 – Longtime eGolf Tour member picked up career win No. 3 in April with a playoff victory over Lanto Griffin at the Forest Oaks Classic. A chip-in birdie on the 18th hole in the event’s final round gave the Washington state native a spot in the playoff, which he won with a birdie on the second extra hole. Win was one of four top-10 finishes for Jensen.
11. David May - $44,971 – Former Clemson University star and 2009 ACC Champion picked up his first eGolf Tour title in March with rounds of 72-64-66-65—267 at the Irish Creek Classic. Win was one of four top-10s on the year for Auburn, NY native.
12. Ryan Gildersleeve - $43,897 – Arguably one of the tour’s most consistent performers this year, Gildersleeve opened his season with eight consecutive made cuts – a stretch that included four top-10 and seven top-25 finishes. He twice posted career-best third-place finishes, first at the Forest Oaks Classic (where he missed the Jensen/Griffin playoff by one shot), then second at the Championship at Wintergreen Resort.
13. Ryan Nelson - $43,425 – Second-year eGolf Tour member followed up two-win rookie season with another stellar effort in 2012, posting 15 made cuts in 18 starts as well as his third career title at The Grand Harbor Open in August. Nelson posted an impressive 12 top-25 finishes, including six straight to round out his season.
14. Jack Fields - $39,888 – After spending 2010 and 2011 as the top-ranked amateur in the Carolinas, Fields turned professional prior to the start of 2012, and captured his first pro title at the tour’s Columbia Open in May – thanks in part to a second-round 62 at co-host Cobblestone Park Golf Club. The win was one of two top-5s for Fields, with the other being a T2 finish at the Cabarrus Classic in September – an event in which he held a one-shot lead entering the final round.
15. Henrik Norlander - $39,145 – Three-time “All American” and key member of Augusta State’s back-to-back NCAA Championship teams in 2010-2011, Norlander posted his first career win just weeks ago at the penultimate event of the regular season, the Olde Sycamore Open. Inaugural win was one of three top-5 finishes on the year for Sweden native.
16. Jhared Hack - $38,722 – Former Western Amateur champion won his third career title with rounds of 64-68-70-64—266 and a two-shot victory over Drew Weaver at the Bolle Classic in June. Two weeks after his win, Hack added a second top-5 finish on the year when he posted a solo-third-place effort at the Spring Creek Classic.
17. David Robinson - $38,354 – Robinson, the tour’s 2008 leading money winner and first player to exceed $100,000 in single-season earnings, recorded six top-10 finishes in 2012, including a T2 at the River Landing Open – his best eGolf Tour finish since a runner-up at the 2010 Cabarrus Classic.
18. Chris Kamin - $38,062 – Arizona native and former Web.com Tour member collected the vast majority of his earnings ($28,000) with his second career eGolf Tour title at the River Hills Classic in May.
19. Mitchell Krywulycz - $36,676 – Krywulycz, a native of Australia, was Norlander’s teammate on Augusta State’s championship squad, and also had a solid 2012 campaign on the eGolf Tour. With three top-10s in his first four events of the year, including a career-best runner-up finish at the Irish Creek Classic, Krywulycz paced his way into the top 20 early in the year. In total, he made 13 of 19 cuts, with four top-10s.
20. Brian Duncan - $36,383 – While only making 14 starts on the year, Duncan – a former “All America” selection at Clemson University – made the most of his opportunities with 12 made cuts and a workman-like nine top-20 finishes, including four in his last six starts. Duncan’s only event of the year with a total over par – made cut or missed cut – was the recent NorthStone Open, where his 36-hole total left him at 1-over 143.