The Savannah Golf Championship, originally set for early April, is one of a handful of Korn Ferry Tour tournaments to be re-scheduled, and will played this week at the Landings.
The tournament is the next-to-last on the tour’s 2020 schedule, which is being combined with the 2021 schedule to determine the 25 players who will earn PGA Tour cards for the following season. The KF Finals series that also rewards the top 25 players with PGA Tour membership, is also on hold until the conclusion of what will now be a combined 2020-21 season.
The field for this week’s tournament includes 16 tour members with ties to Georgia along with two sponsor invitations with Savannah connections. This is the third year for the tournament, which is being played on the Deer Creek course, one of six at the private club on Skidaway Island.
Among the golfers with Georgia ties are six former Georgia Tech golfers and three ex-Bulldogs. There are also nine former PGA Tour players among that group.
Here’s a look at the Georgians in the field for the tournament, which will be played from Thursday to Sunday. Current standing on the points list in parentheses:
Greyson Sigg (6), Augusta native/UGA/St. Simons Island resident: Has scored all five of his top 10s in his last nine starts including a tie for second recently in the KF Championship in Indiana. The KF rookie also competed in the U.S. Open two weeks ago, and made the cut in his first PGA Tour start in 2017 in the RSM Classic.
Seth Reeves (17), Duluth/Ga. Tech/Suwanee: Picked up his first KF win in three seasons this summer in Wichita, shooting a final round 64 to erase an 8-shot deficit. Placed T3 in the recent KF Championship, but those are his only two finishes better than 18th. Played on the PGA Tour last year, but struggled after a T7 in Mississippi in his second start.
Ollie Schniederjans (32), grew up in Powder Springs/Ga. Tech: Was sixth on the tour in 2016 with a win in Wichita, and almost won in ’17 in Greensboro as a PGA Tour rookie, but lost his card after a poor season in ’19. Has been hot of late with five top 10s and two top 20s in his last seven starts, and joins Sigg as one of the favorites this week.
Paul Haley (38), Ga. Tech: Had an outstanding rookie season in 2012 with a victory and two seconds, but was outside the top 200 as a PGA Tour rookie in ’13 and did not do much in last two KF seasons, returning last year after a 4-year absence. Has a pair of top-3 finishes this season in Utah and San Antonio.
Joey Garber (60), UGA/St. Simons: Won in Raleigh as a rookie in 2018, but is back on the KF Tour after finishing 170 on the PGA Tour last year. Has a pair of recent top 10s, including a T8 last week in Wichita.
Anders Albertson (63),grew up in Woodstock/Ga. Tech: Has excelled in tour stops this season in Springfield, tying for fifth in both Missouri and Illinois, and has top-15 finishes in four of his last eight starts. Won the Illinois event in ’18 when he placed third on the money list for the season, but like teammates Schniederjans and Reeves, is back on the KF Tour for a fourth season after a tough rookie year on the PGA Tour.
J.T. Griffin (69), Ga. Tech/Marietta: Got off to a hot start pre-Covid with top 10s in three of his first four starts, but a T17 in Colorado is his only top-35 since. Played limited KF schedules in both 2018 and ’19.
Billy Kennerly (71), grew up in Alpharetta: Finished 45, 58 and 50 in his first three seasons and again is inside top 75. Former Clemson golfer tied for third in the Bahamas early this season, but has just one top-15 since.
Shad Tuten (74), Elberton native/Armstrong State: In first tournament back after season was halted, was the only non-PGA Tour player in the top five, tying for second at TPC Sawgrass behind Augusta’s Luke List. A tie for 35this the next best finish of his rookie season. 2016 Georgia Open champion played the last three years on the Latino America Tour, winning in Brazil in 2019.
David Skinns (81), Suwanee resident: Veteran tour player is in his sixth season after enjoying earlier success on the defunct Hooters Tour. British native and former Tennessee Vol tied for second in Portland in 2017 and won the next year in Omaha, but his best this season is a T5 in San Antonio.
Jamie Arnold (88), Atlanta resident: Has four top 25s in his fourth season, following a strong 2019 when he posted four top 10s and had a top-40 finish on the points list. Tour veteran is a native of Australia.
Drew Weaver (110), Atlanta resident: Also coming off a successful showing last year, finishing among the top 40 with a runner-up effort in Bogota. Had an early top 10 this season in Florida, but has struggled since the tour resumed play. Won on the Canadian Tour in 2016 and also was a British Amateur champion during his college years at Virginia Tech.
Erik Compton (131), UGA: Has made 186 starts on the tour beginning in 2002 along with five years as a PGA Tour member from 2012-16, which included a T2 in the 2014 U.S. Open. Won in Mexico in 2011 and was 13thin earnings that season to earn his PGA Tour card, but fell short the last two years despite a third place finish in Portland in ’18 and a T2 last year in Wichita. Best finish this season is a T17. At the age of 40, the double heart transplant recipient may be approaching the end of his playing days.
Will Wilcox (135), Clayton State: Was T16 and T13 in first two events of the season in the Bahamas, but has done little since. Has made 118 career starts on the tour, highlighted by a win in Valdosta in 2013, when he placed seventh in earnings. Played on the PGA Tour from 2014-17 with a T2 finish in a second-tier Alabama event that has since moved to Kentucky.
Wade Binfield (143), Clayton State/Fayetteville resident: A college teammate of Wilcox, Binfield placed among the top 75 in his first full season last year, and began 2020 by making the cut in seven of his first eight starts, but has missed eight of his last nine. A tie for ninth in Savannah last year matched his season-best finish.
Nicholas Thompson (147), Ga. Tech: Veteran was sixth on the tour in 2007 with his only win, and has runner-up finishes in 2012 and ’17. Has also played seven seasons on the PGA Tour, the last in 2015. Had a top 10 in Panama early in 2020, but that’s been it for this season.
Also in the field are two players in their last 40s with extensive tour experience, who received sponsor invites.
Kris Blanks, a Warner Robins native, worked as an assistant for years at the Landings before heading out on tour. He has two career wins on the tour in 2008 and ’14, was 13thon the money list in ’08 to earn his PGA Tour card. He played on the PGA Tour from 2009 to ’12 with a pair of runner-up finishes during that span, and has made occasional starts since, including a total of nine in 2018 and ’19. Injuries sidelined him for much of the second half of the last decade.
Tim O’Neal, a Savannah native and resident, has played five full seasons on the tour, beginning in 2001. He enjoyed most of his success between 2005 and ’07, finishing 36thin earnings in ’06 and recording top-3 tournament showings in both ’05 and ’06. Scored two of his three career wins on the Latino America Tour in 2013 to earn a return to the then Web.com Tour the next year, and has played primarily on the Advocates Tour since, capturing Player of the Year honors on multiple occasions. He has been a fixture on the state’s golf scene since the 1990s, winning the Georgia Amateur in 1997 and the Georgia Open in 2016 at the Ford Plantation just outside Savannah. Made the cut in the first Savannah Golf Championship in 2018, opening with a 66 and closing with a 68.
A 19thGeorgia golfer played his way into the tournament Tuesday, as Alpharetta’s Zach Caldwell shot a 66 in a qualifier at the Landings’ Marshwood course. Caldwell tied for second and survived a 4-for-3 playoff to get one of the final spots in the field.