Going into the final tournament of the 2017 Web.com Tour regular season schedule, only one player with Georgia ties is in line for a top 25 finish on the money list. But 12 others are in the top 75, which will give them a shot at earning a PGA Tour card for next year in the Web.com Finals.
The top 25 finishers in the regular season will be on the PGA Tour next season (which begins in early October), with those 26-75 competing in the Web.com Finals in September along with players 126-200 on the FedExCup points list from the PGA Tour. The top 25 from that group at Finals will join the top 25 from the regular season, who will compete for positioning on the 2017-18 PGA Tour.
The Finals begin Aug. 31 in Columbus (Ohio) and include tournaments in Boise and Cleveland before the Tour Championship in Ponte Vedra, Fla., late in September.
Former Georgia Tech golfer Chesson Hadley stands fifth in earnings with $264,350, about $22,350 behind the leading money winner. Hadley collected his third career Web.com victory this season along with a second in his native Raleigh, N.C., and a recent third place finish. He won twice in 2013 to earn a spot on the PGA Tour in 2014, and spent three seasons there, winning as a rookie in Puerto Rico.
Nicholas Thompson, another ex-Tech player with PGA Tour experience, is next on the money list at 31, tying for second in the Web.com season opener in the Bahamas and recording a recent T4 in Springfield, Mo. Thompson has played seven years on the PGA Tour and five on the Web.com, with his best seasons as a pro coming as a Web.com rookie in 2007 and a PGA Tour rookie the next year, when he placed 6th and 47th respectively in earnings.
Recent UGA golfer Keith Mitchell, one of the longest hitters on the tour, is 36th on the money list in his second season after placing 70th last year. Mitchell, one of many tour pros living on St. Simons Island, tied for third last week in Knoxville, his third top 10 of the season, just two shots behind the winner.
Tour veteran Casey Wittenberg was the Web.com’s leading money winner in 2012, but did not have much success after rejoining the tour in 2014 until he scored a victory this spring in Louisiana. Wittenberg, an Atlanta resident, has no other top-30 finishes this season. This is his eighth Web.com season along with two on the PGA Tour. Wittenberg credited Cartersville CC pro Scott Hamilton, who works with a number of tour pros, with having a big role in his 2017 win.
Alpharetta’s Billy Kennerly, who played his college golf at Clemson, is 42nd on the money list despite playing his first tournament in June. He tied for eighth in his initial start of 2017 in Chicago and added two more recent top 10s, tying for second last month in Kansas City. He made his first nine cuts in succession and was a combined 92-under in those nine starts. He made four Web.com starts last year and reached the finals of qualifying, but finished near the bottom.
Australia’s Jamie Arnold has been living in Atlanta and playing on a local mini-tour, and is a Web.com rookie at the age of 34. He is 52nd on the money list with a pair of top-5 finishes.
Suwanee’s Seth Reeves is also a Web.com rookie, and is 55th despite missing 12 of 20 cuts. Reeves, a recent member of Georgia Tech’s golf team and also one of the tours longest hitters, has played well when he makes it to the weekend with seven finishes of 31st or better and a pair of top 10, including a tie for third in the Dominican Republic.
Woodstock’s Anders Albertson, Reeves’ Georgia Tech teammate, is next on the money list at 56, the same spot where he finished in his rookie season of 2016. Albertson has been more consistent as a sophomore with three top 10s, finishing just one shot out of a playoff in Springfield, Ill.
Lake Oconee native Blake Adams was a solid performer on the PGA Tour for three years before being sidelined after hip surgery in 2013. Adams has struggled to regain his form since, and is 64th this year with a tie for fifth in Utah, two shots behind the winner. Adams was third on the Web.com Tour money list in 2009 without a victory and was 62nd last year after two injury-marred seasons on the PGA Tour.
Valdosta’s Sepp Straka, a recent Georgia Bulldog, is 67th in his rookie season, with his best showing a T7 in Mexico. Straka took a week off from the Web.com to play in his native country on the European Tour, and tied for seventh in the Austrian Open, just five shots in back of the winner.
Jonathan Byrd won five times during his first 14 years on the PGA Tour, but has played primarily on the Web.com the last two seasons, placing 48th last year and 70th so far in 2017. A tie for fifth in Mexico is his best Web.com finish this year, but his best tournament of 2017 came recently in the John Deere Classic, where he also tied for fifth and was in contention to win in the final round.
Two of the players on the bubble are No. 73 Scott Langley, a St. Simons resident, and No. 74 Samuel Del Val, a native of Spain who played his college golf at ABAC and Berry and has settled in Atlanta.
Langley is playing his first season on the Web.com after four years on the PGA Tour. A tie for third in Evansville is his best finish in 2017. Del Val, who won the 2010 Georgia Open at Savannah Harbor, played the LatinoAmerica Tour the last four years, winning a tournament in 2016 and finishing fifth in earnings to move up to the Web.com Tour. He also enjoyed success last year on the Canadian Tour in a brief stint there, and made a run at victory in his rookie Web.com season, tying for fifth in Kansas City.
The top 75 players are exempt for next year’s Web.com Tour if they don’t make it to the PGA Tour, with players between 76 and 100 having limited Web.com status in 2018.
At 85, Ben Kohles is almost $18,000 out of the top 75, and like the other players below 75th, will need a high finish this week in Portland to move up. Kohles, a St. Simons resident, won his first two starts on the Web.com in 2012 to earn his PGA Tour card for 2013, but has been back on the Web.com the last four years with limited success.
Augusta’s Chase Parker was fourth in the second event of the year in the Bahamas, but has fallen to 96th, missing 15 of 20 cuts his rookie season including the last 10 in a row. Atlanta resident Michael Hebert, who played his college golf at Auburn, was 84th in his first Web.com season in 2015 and 90th last year. He is 98th going to the last regular season event this year.
Erik Compton has played seven years on the Web.com and five on the PGA Tour, and the multiple heart transplant recipient may be nearing an end to his career as a tour pro. The former UGA golfer is 101 this year with as many WDs as top 20s (three each). His last previous season on the Web.com was 2011. He was 11th on the money list that year and spent the next five seasons on the PGA Tour.
Former Augusta State golfer Henrik Norlander has gone back and forth between the two tours in recent years, and almost regained his PGA Tour status when he lost a playoff in the RSM Classic at Sea Island GC last fall. He has made just eight Web.com starts in 2017, tying for eighth in Chicago and for 11th recently in California, and is 111 in earnings.
Veteran mini-tour pro David Skinns is playing his first full Web.com season, and the Suwanee resident is 115th. Skinns, a native of England, played his college golf at Tennessee and enjoyed most of his success as a pro on the defunct Hooters Tour.
Dan Woltman, who lived in Dunwoody the past few years before returning to his native Wisconsin, is 123rd in his first full year after seeing limited action in two previous seasons. Atlanta resident Drew Weaver was 97th as a rookie in 2016 and is 129 this year with a pair of top 20s. Weaver was a winner on the Canadian Tour in 2015 and is a former British Amateur champion.
Former Clayton State golfer Wade Binfield has had some success un Canada the last three years and has made four Web.com starts in 2017, tying for 14th in the BMW Pro-Am in Greenville, S.C. He is 147th and likely headed back to qualifying in an attempt to make it to the Web.com Tour in 2018.