02/18/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/18/2020 14:48
Here is a look at the four players who Monday qualified for the Puerto Rico Open. The qualifier was held at International Links of Miami in Miami, Florida.
Andrew Loupe (64)
Turned pro: 2011
PGA TOUR starts: 92
PGA TOUR earnings: $2.1 Million
Notes: Has made 33 PGA TOUR cuts in 92 career starts … Has three career top-10s on PGA TOUR … After finishing 198th in FedExCup points in 2015, he went on to win the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals … Finished 113th in FedExCup points in 2016 … Has struggled over the last few years and hasn't made a cut on the Korn Ferry Tour or PGA TOUR since the DAP Championship in 2017 … Monday Qualified for his first PGA TOUR event, the Zurich Classic in 2012 … Was a two time All-American at LSU … Named to All-State basketball team twice in high school … Was named high school athlete of the year in state of Louisiana when he was a junior.
You have struggled for a while but are playing better of late. You missed by one last week at the Korn Ferry Tour Monday qualifier. Do you try your best to take the positives out of that despite the disappointment of missing?
I have been doing this awhile now (chasing Monday qualifiers) and when that happens, and I miss by one I kind of look at it differently now. I'm less disappointed now because I played well, I made good decisions, and I'm moving in the right direction. I am trying my best to look big picture. It's not like I was devasted last week. I was disappointed sure, but they are all one-week opportunities. That is all I have this week too, a one-week opportunity. I was definitely confident coming into this week and I have been trending in the right direction. It's just a tough deal out there at Mondays. As you know its 110 to 140 guys playing for four spots and there is just a ton of talent out there, so it's really tough. There are just a lot of really good golfers that don't have status right now. The game of golf is really deep right now, so it's a tough deal. But you have to continue to put yourself in position and believe your product is good enough that it will create opportunities. If you give yourself enough opportunities, you hope you would be able to break through with one of those opportunities.
Can you point to a specific time that things started to get away and is there something specific that got things trending back in the right direction? Or are they both gradual?
I know that my mechanics got off there and that starts to produce shots you don't expect to hit. That is when you can creep into the mental side of it. I mean, I think everyone has been a victim of that and I'm no different. And that's what happened. And you just keep working and you have no choice to dig yourself out of it.
When you have some tough times on the course does it make you appreciate times like this more? Looking back did you take things for granted before you lost status?
I don't think I took it for granted but playing four years on TOUR and having success, I think your gratitude and awareness increase when that is all taken away. I think I have a different perspective on it now, I'm 31 years old, I've been out here a while. I am grateful and appreciative of every opportunity I can get now. Just to be healthy enough to play golf day in and day out is great. I think it's near impossible to not increase your gratitude when everything is taken away from you.
Do you pull some confidence from guys who have made it back, like Brendon Todd? He was as lost as a player can be. Does his success help you keep fighting?
I think I would call it a bit reassuring. First of all its great to see because Brendon is a great dude, but second of all, he has felt the same things that I have felt, or others guys that are struggling have felt and he found the courage or confidence or moxie or whatever it was, and won back-to-back weeks on the PGA TOUR.
Will Gordon (64)
Turned pro: 2019
PGA TOUR starts: 6
PGA TOUR earnings: $287,086
Notes: Has played in five PGA TOUR events this season, with a best finish of 10th at the RSM Classic … Finished T21 at Farmers Insurance Open two weeks ago … Will qualify for this year's Korn Ferry Tour Finals based off of those finishes … Made eight of nine cuts on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada in 2019 including one third and five top-25's … Finished 21st on the Mackenzie Tour's Order of Merit. … Shot a 60 and 61 in 34 rounds on PGA TOUR Canada … Was ranked as high as ninth in World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) before turning pro … Member of the 2019 Palmer Cup team … 2019 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year … 70.99 career scoring average at Vanderbilt is the second-best in school history … Made quarterfinals of U.S. Amateur in 2018.
College: University of Minnesota
Turned pro: 2017
PGA TOUR starts: 0
PGA TOUR earnings: 0
Notes: This will be his first start on either the PGA TOUR or Korn Ferry Tour … Has made 23 starts on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada, with 11 made cuts … In 2018 made five of 11 cuts, had two top-25s, and finished 66th on Order of Merit … Last year made six of 12 cuts, including a third-place finish at the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open and finished 36th on the Order of Merit … I asked him what qualifying for first PGA TOUR event feels like and he said 'speechless.' He said he called his family and they were 'probably happier than me.' … Played both hockey and golf in high school, so wasn't highly recruited … started his college career at NAIA school, Cardinal Stritch University … After two years and winning six of the 18 events he played in, he transferred to University of Minnesota … finished third in Minnesota State Open in first pro start … said he felt a lot of pressure at Mackenzie Q school in 2018, said if he didn't get through there he was probably going to quit the game. He got through and he continues to see his game improve so this is a big step in that process.
Yechun 'Carl' Yuan
College: University of Washington
Turned Pro: 2018
PGA TOUR starts: 2
PGA TOUR earnings: $182,000
Notes: Has played in the WGC-HSBC Champions two consecutive years. Finished T35 in 2019 and T17 this year … In 2018 became only the second amateur ever to win on PGA TOUR China … Has made 4 of 5 cuts so far this year on Korn Ferry Tour with a T26 on Sunday at LECOM Suncoast Classic being his best finish … traveled from Korn Ferry event last night and was not able to play practice round … Made birdie on first playoff hole to claim last spot … In 2019 made 11 of 23 cuts on Korn Ferry Tour with a third-place finish among four top-25's and finished 59th on points list … Finished third at Australian PGA last December, which was won by Adam Scott. He was leading after second day … Originally from China but went to high school in Florida … While in high school made cut and finished 55th at Shenzhen International Open on European Tour
NOTABLE MISSES:Rico Hoey 67, Gavin Hall 67, Brandon Wu 67, Akshay Bhatia 68, Eric Axley 68, Jon Curran 69, Eric Cole 69, Andy Zhang 70, Ben Silverman 72.
STRENGTH OF PUERTO RICO MONDAY Q FIELD
Combined number of PGA TOUR starts: Over 3,022
Number of players with at least 1 PGA TOUR wins: 2 (Frank Lickliter II, Chris Smith)
Combined number of PGA TOUR wins: 3
Combined PGA TOUR earnings: Over $55 Million
Combined Korn Ferry Tour wins: 21
Player with most PGA TOUR wins in the field: Frank Lickliter II 2. 7-time European Tour winner Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano also in field
Name of course: International Links of Miami. Par: 71 Yardage: 7077 Rating: 74.4 Slope: 128
2019-2020 SEASON MONDAY QUALIFIER STATS
Average Medalist score: 64.8
Average last qualifying spot score: 66.4
Total number of cuts made: 8 of 39 (22.2%)
Most recent results (Waste Management Open): Zach Sucher MC, Alex Smalley MC, Patrick Flavin MC.
Money earned: $279,421
Best Finish: Garrett Osborn, T18, Sanderson Farms
NEXT MONDAY QUALIFIER
The Honda Classic Monday Qualifier Feb. 24th