Where Are They Now?

When I began posting on the Fall Series, these last five tournaments that determined the fate of players close to the top 125 cutoff to keep their PGA Tour cards, I highlighted certain players as illustrations. 

Here’s what eventually happened to them: where they were on the money list when I previewed them, where they finished and how they did in the last five tournaments of the year, the latter being a sort of clinical explanation of the end result. 

The bold results all finished at 125th or lower and kept their cards. The others are all exempt directly into the Final Stage of Q-School and presumably, will be entered. The exception is Henrick Stenson who has a five-year exemption by virtue of his 2009 win in The Players Championship. 

At first, when you look at all the tournament results, it looks like a lot of bland statistics. Snore. Who cares? But to put more of a human face on it, these are some of the best players in the world and it is a testament to the difficulty of the game that these results are such a hodgepodge. The more I reviewed them, the more interesting they became. Of the nineteen net players (there are four duplicates on the lists), only eight retained their cards.

And perhaps there’s a lesson in their experience that will help you be a little more patient with your game. Here are some of the best players in the game who play and practice incessantly, who work out routinely, who work with teachers with reputations for working with Tour players. Even the young players in this list have been playing competitive golf for years: amateur, college, mini-tours, the Nationwide Tour and, of course, the PGA Tour. And, with their backs against the wall, with everything riding on the results, this is the best they could muster. Now, there could have been injuries, the down-cycle in the inevitable cycles, family issues, hubris, disinterest, golf fatigue and who knows what else. But still.

So the next time you get angry with yourself over a bad shot or a bad round, stop a minute and think of these guys. And be a little gentle with yourself. It’ll help you stay in the game in a way that’s a lot more powerful and enjoyable.

On the other hand, congratulations to both Jonathan Byrd and Robert Garrigus who overcame all the long odds and won tournaments to keep their cards. And in Garrigus’ case, in the very last tournament after a dismal Fall Series. Hang around long enough and good things will happen. Or, in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “It’s never over until it’s over.” 

The Viking Classic – Madison, Mississippi 

     120 – Woody Austin – 129 – Cut, T25, T38, T63, Cut

     125 – Chris Stroud – 102 – T5, T66, WD, T22, T7

     130 – Jonathan Byrd – 55 – T5, T66, T30, P1, DNP 

The McGladrey Classic – Sea Island, Georgia 

     120      Briny Baird – 127 – T29, Cut, Cut, 69, T23

     125      Webb Simpson – 94 – Cut, T12, T44, T4, T40

     130      Scott McCarron – 141 – T29, T45, Cut, T45, Cut 

Frys.com Open – San Martin, California 

     120      Michael Allen – 130 – 2, DNP, T63, WD, Cut

     125      Aron Price – 131 – Cut, T9, T63, Cut, T65

     130      Joe Ogilvie – 143 – Cut, Cut, Cut, Cut, T54

Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children – Las Vegas, Nevada 

     120      Aaron Baddeley – 110 – Cut, T64, T30, T8, T65

     125      Woody Austin – 129 – Cut, T25, T38, T63, Cut

     130      John Mallinger – 133 – Cut, Cut, T18, Cut, T30 

Children’s Miracle Network Classic – Orlando, Florida 

     120      Joe Durant – 124 – T20, T6, T27, DNP, T40

     121      Troy Merritt – 125 – Cut, T33, T18, T50, T30

     122      Robert Garrigus – 51 – Cut, Cut, T66, T58, 1

     123      Woody Austin – 129 – Cut, T25, T38, T63, Cut

     124      Michael Allen – 130 – 2, DNP, T63, WD, Cut

     125      Troy Matteson – 128 – T36, Cut, Cut, Cut, T45

     126      Briny Baird – 127 – T29, Cut, Cut, 69, T23

     127      Aron Price – 131 – Cut, T9, T63, Cut, T65

     128      Bob Estes – 132 – Cut, Cut, Cut, T41, Cut

     129      Michael Connell – 115 – T11, T15, Cut, T14, T7

     130      Henrik Stenson – 134 – Cut, Cut, T38, DNP, DNP

To the survivors, congratulations once again. Nice work.

And to those moving on to Q-School, good luck, play well. You’re PGA Tour players; you’ve done it before and you can do it again.

This entry was posted in Mastery and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.