07/12/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/13/2020 06:13
Note:There are 21 rookies and one rookie-eligible Special Temporary Member on the PGA TOUR in 2019-20. This page provides a subjective ranking updated weekly. The Arnold Palmer Award winner is determined in a vote by PGA TOUR members who make at least 10 starts. The Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup and the Olympic Games count as one of the 15.
The Workday Charity Open wasn't billed as an open qualifier for the 3M Open and/or the Wyndham Championship, but that's how it might be interpreted when Chase Seiffert reviews his season, perhaps even his career, depending on what transpires.
When the 2019-20 season was suspended, the last three reorders of the Korn Ferry Tour graduate reshuffle category hung in the balance of the timing of the restart and construction of the revised schedule. Once play resumed, two reorders were determined, the latter of which after the conclusion of the Workday.
While all cards are guaranteed for 2020-21, playing time between the Charles Schwab Challenge and the Wyndham was poised to be difficult to procure for KFT grads, especially for those in the bottom half or so. Through the Rocket Mortgage Classic, where Seiffert missed the cut in what was his first start post-hiatus (he didn't qualify for either invitational that reopened and he was first alternate at the Travelers Championship when that field went final), he sat 27th in the pecking order of the category.
Testing his patience further, when the Workday field was released, Seiffert was third alternate. He'd gain entry as the last man in the field on merit when K.J. Choi withdrew. Lo and behold, the 28-year-old from Panama City, Florida, finished alone in fourth place in the tournament.
Seiffert not only climbed 51 spots in the FedExCup standings, he also rose 14 positions to 13th within his category. The entire class of grads can count on a start at the Barracuda Championship, but it's probable that the cutoffs for entry into the 3M and Wyndham will fall inside the grouping.
Despite the timely heroics and the fact that he was one of only two rookies (of 10 in the field) who made the cut at Muirfield Village, he wasn't low rookie because red-hot Viktor Hovland finished third, one stroke lower.
Of the 30 golfers who played in each of the five events since the season restarted, Hovland is the only to make the cut in all. What's more, he's finished no worse than T23 at the Schwab. In the context of the race for the Arnold Palmer Award, he's gone 4-0-0 head-to-head with Scottie Scheffler. Overall, Hovland owns a 4-2-1 record over his fellow rookie in common events this season, and now the only winner among the rookie is ahead in the FedExCup standings.
As the PGA TOUR dropped anchor at Muirfield Village for two weeks, the Korn Ferry Tour did the same at TPC San Antonio. On the Canyons Course on Sunday, Kristoffer Ventura finished in a share of eighth place. It's his second top 10 in three starts on that circuit since sanctioned competition resumed. He's ranked 49th in points in the expanded 2020-21 season. Meanwhile, in what his fourth start of the KFT season, Nelson Ledesma placed T59. He's 125th in points.
David Lipsky prevailed on the Canyons Course. The two-time European Tour winner is a veteran of 15 PGA TOUR starts, but he hasn't exhausted rookie eligibility, so he's a very early candidate to watch for Rookie of the Year honors in 2021-22. The Los Angeles native and former All-American at Northwestern will celebrate his 32nd birthday on Tuesday, July 14. Oh, and he's a product of La Cañada High School, which also claims Workday champion Collin Morikawa as an alum.
LOW ROOKIE: Viktor Hovland, 3rd. Sixth time (previous: T31=CJ CUP; T41=ZOZO; Win=Puerto Rico; T23=Schwab; T21=Heritage).
CAREER-BEST FINISHES (AND TIES): Chase Seiffer (4th).
* - In the field at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide as of July 12.
+ - In the field at the Korn Ferry Tour's TPC San Antonio Championship at the Oaks as of July 12.
^ - Will Gordon has Special Temporary Membership but is ineligible for the FedExCup Playoffs unless he wins a tournament. He will qualify as a rookie once he totals 10 starts or finishes inside the top 125 of the FedExCup with his non-member equivalent of points. The value in parentheses in the FedExCup Rank column reflects where he would rank among members.