Two Georgians earned exempt status for the 2014 Web.com Tour after tying for 26th in the finals of qualifying at PGA West in LaQuinta, Calif.
Web.com Tour veteran Josh Broadaway and two-time Georgia Open champion Jonathan Fricke both will begin the 2014 season as exempt players, with several other players having conditional status that could get them into the fields of early season tournaments.
Broadaway and Fricke will join eight other Georgians who earned their status off play on either the PGA or Web.com Tour in 2013.
Augusta’s Scott Parel, Duluth’s Scott Dunlap and former Georgia Southern golfer Aron Price all finished in the top 75 on the 2013 Web.com Tour money list, with veteran Paul Claxton near the top of the conditional group after ending up just outside the top 75.
Roswell’s Justin Bolli has exempt Web.com status after placing 150th on the FedExCup points list, which gives him very limited status on the PGA Tour. Augusta’s Vaughn Taylor, former Georgia resident Luke List and recent Augusta State golfer Henrik Norlander all finished between 155 and 165 on the FedExCup points list and will be exempt on the Web.com Tour, with Taylor having minimal PGA Tour status as a past champion.
Fricke and Broadaway will be exempt until the third re-shuffle on the 2014 Web.com Tour, which comes after the 12th event. Both players shot 15-under in the finals to tie for 26th in the 108-hole event. Fricke shot 65 the first day and 66 in the final round, both on the Jack Nicklaus-designed Tournament course. Broadaway shot back-to-back 68s in the fourth and fifth rounds to move into the top 20 and held on the final day with a 70.
Broadaway, an Albany native and resident, has been a Web.com Tour member the last eight years and nine of the last 11. He narrowly missed earning his PGA Tour card in 2011, placing 28th on the money list, but slipped to 95th last year. Fricke, a Covington resident who played his college golf at Georgia State, played on the Nationwide (now Web.com) Tour in 2008 and ’09. He has played primarily on the eGolf Tour since, winning the Georgia Open in 2012 and ’13, both times at The Legends at Chateau Elan.
Duluth’s Brent Witcher missed exempt status by one shot, tying for 50th at 11-under 421. Witcher shot 65 in the second round and 66 in the fourth round, both on the Tournament course, but was hurt by a third round 77 on Arnold Palmer’s Stadium course. Witcher who played on the Web.com Tour in 2012, was 15-under for 54 holes on the Tournament course, but 4-over on the Stadium course.
Savannah’s Tim O’Neal tied for 67th at 9-under 423, breaking par in five of six rounds and matching par in his other round. O’Neal, who already had conditional status thanks to his 3rd place finish on the LatinoAmerica series, closed with a pair of 69s, his lowest scores of the tournament. O’Neal has played five full seasons on the tour, the last time in 2008.
Tying for 73rd at 8-under 424 was Savannah’s Mark Silvers, Atlanta’s Adam Mitchell and recent Auburn golfer Michael Hebert, a Cumming resident.
Silvers, who won Golf Channel’s Big Break Greenbrier in 2012 and played his college golf at South Carolina, played six Web.com events in 2013. He was the Peach State Tour’s Player of the Year in 2011.
Mitchell, a former Georgia Bulldog, also made six Web.com starts last year. He opened the qualifying finals with a 76 on the Tournament course, but shot 65 and 67 the next two times he played the course to move into contention after being 137th after two rounds.
Hebert, a tour rookie, was 10-under on the Tournament course, but 2-over on the Stadium course, including a final round 71.
Suwanee resident David Skinns, one of the top players on the NGA Hooters Tour in recent years, tied for 95th at 4-under 428. Skinns, a native of England who played in college at Tennessee, made the cut in six of eight starts on the Web.com Tour in 2012.
Finishing well back in the finals were recent Augusta State golfer Mitch Krywulycz, Dalton’s Matt Hughes, Kennesaw State’s Matt Nagy and Georgia Southern’s David Blondell.
Hughes, who played on the Alabama golf team, bounced back from an opening 78 on the Stadium course to soot 67 the next day on the Tournament course, but never shot lower than 73 the rest of the way. Nagy, a native of Buena Vista, also shot 78 the first day on the Stadium course and never recovered.