Web.com Tour Championship: Meet the New Neighbors

At last, The Finals of the Web.com Tour have come to an end. After three initial tournaments and the Tour Championship, we have our 50 winners of the vaunted PGA Tour cards for the 2013-2014 season.

There were 25 awarded to the top money winners of the year on the Web.com Tour and 25 awarded among the other group of 125 players in the Tour Championship, Nos. 26 to 75 on the Web.com money list and Nos. 126 to 200 on the PGA Tour FedExCup points list.

Of the six players I highlighted in yesterday’s post who were out of the Top 50 when they came into the Championship and as of Saturday’s third round had played their way in, only three were able to hold their positions: Joe Durant, Russell Knox and Lee Williams. Those who didn’t shot 75, 73 and 74 in the final round, proving that winning is about more than just having a pretty golf swing; you have to know how to “close the deal” on Sunday. Fortunately, they will all have a card on the Web.com Tour next year to hone that skill. 

Of the six players I highlighted who came into the Championship in the Top 50 but were living on the edge in the 40s Saturday night, all six of them made it through: Daniel Chopra, Alex Prugh, Mark Anderson, Jim Renner, Matt Bettencourt and Miguel Angel Carbarllo. Wow.

The two co-winners were Michael Putnam, who finished 1st on the Buy.com Regular Season money list, and John Peterson who did the same in the Web.com Tour Finals. Reflecting the increasing international flavor of the PGA Tour, the last man in was rookie, Benjamin Alvarado, from Chile. He played for Arizona State.

And speaking of rookies, for a tour that takes great pride in its role as the developmental tour for the PGA Tour, there are only 14 of the 50 players who will be going to the big tour as rookies. What that says is that playing at the highest levels of the game is a continuing developmental process. We tend to think of those guys as kings, but they’re just like the rest of us, only much better.

The average age of the 50 survivors is 30.12 years with the youngest being Patrick Cantlay, 21, and the oldest being Joe Durant, 49. Here’s a better sense of the age distribution:

  • 20 to 24 – 7
  • 25 to 29 – 19
  • 30 to 34 – 13
  • 35 to 39 – 10
  • 40 to 44 – 0
  • 45 to 49 – 1

So while the ages definitely skew young, life is not over for a PGA Tour player just because they turn 30, the popular threshold for players beginning to claim that they are “getting old.” A more enlivening claim might be “it’s never too late to get started.”

And finally, other better known PGA Tour players who earned their cards back include, Seung-Yul Noh, Trevor Immelman, Ryo Ishikawa, Brad Fritsch, Sean O’Hare, Bud Cauley, Heath Slocum, Billy Hurley III, Danny Lee, Joe Durant and Ricky Barnes.

For them, order has been restored and all is right with the world. Life begins again in two weeks with the Frys.com Open in San Martin, California (just south of San Jose), and the week after that, with the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, Nevada. Go here to see the entire 2013 – 2014 season’s schedule.

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