Web.com Graduates 2018

Web.com Graduates 2018

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1 SUNGJAE IM – Won the 1st and last events of the regular season and also notched three other 2nd place finishes. As a result he lead the money list all season. An accurate player who also putts well however he lacks distance of the tee, which will hinder him on certain tracks. Hails from Jeju Island in Korea which is home to the CJ Cup. Only 20yrs old and certainly someone to keep an eye on.


2 – SAM BURNS – Followers of the PGA Tour will already be familiar with Burns as he made 11 starts on the tour this season with a best placed 8th & 12th back to back at the Honda Classic & Valspar Championship in the spring. Followed this up with a win not long after on the Web.com tour and also notched four other top 10s on the season. The 22yr old attended Louisiana State and hails from the same town as David Toms. Hits it a mile, putts great and of all the rookies on tour is one of those most likely to do some damage. Look out for him particularly in Southern and South Eastern state events.


3 - SCOTT LANGLEY – The 29yr old Illinois man returns to the tour after a 2yr hiatus courtesy of a win and four other top 10s this year. First time around he managed two top 3 finishes in four full years on tour. His lack of length of the tee will hold him back and if he is to keep his card he will need to produce the goods in events such as The Sony Open, Valspar, Travellers & Wyndham Championship, which offer shorter tests and where he has played well in the past.


4 – MARTIN TRAINER – Along with IM Trainer was the only two time winner on the Web.com tour this season. The California native started the season with no status but notched his first win in his first start in March in Mexico. He then basically did nothing until he finished 9th in Utah in July before winning again two weeks later. Since then he has missed three cuts in his next five starts with a best finish of 27th before then being DQ’d after four solid rounds at the Tour Championship. It would be fare to say the 27yr old is not the most consistent of players however he clearly knows how to win and could pop up at a big price on a track which suits his big hitting.


5 – KYOUNG-HOON LEE – The second South Korean native to finish in the top 5 of the money list Lee, in contrast to Trainer, earnt his card through a series of steady high finishes without notching a win. The 27yr old does however have three international wins to his name and he has steadily improved in each of his 3yrs on the Web.com tour before gaining his card. Similarly to his fellow countryman Im he is not the longest of the tee, with his strengths being in his accuracy and short game. If he can produce the consistent level of golf he has shown this year he could do enough on the shorter tracks to keep his card.


6 – CAMERON CHAMP – The 23yr old California native went on a six week tear from the end of May through to mid-July, which saw him notch six consecutive top 11 finishes, which culminated in a win in Utah. Hits it an absolute mile and will basically be the longest hitter on the PGA Tour once he officially joins the ranks. He has a game built for the modern day Tour and although he has struggled in the handful of starts he has had on the PGA Tour to date it is only a matter of time before he makes an impact. Now bases himself in San Antonio Texas and worth noting the only cut he has made to date in a regular PGA Tour event was at this year’s Valero Texas Open, which is played there.


7 – SEBASTIAN MUNOZ – The Colombian native was on the tour for the 2016-17 when, despite notching a 3rd place finish at the Greenbrier he failed to keep his card. This season he has notched six top 10s and four other top 20 finishes to earn his return to the big league. The flat stick is the strength of the 25yr olds game. He has three wins to his name including one on the Web.com tour all of which came in his native Colombia. He is an improving player and I expect him to do better this time around and keep his card.


8 – ANDERS ALBERTSON – The 25yr Old Georgia Tech Grad has had an incredibly consistent season missing only 3 cuts all year with the highlight being a win at the Lincoln Land Championship in July. As befits a player who has had such a strong year his stats show no real week parts to his game and he was 4th in the seasons scoring average. The 2018 season was his third season on the web.com Tour and he improved in each year. A player to watch out for who I think could spring a surprise.


9 – CHASE WRIGHT – The 29yr old Indiana native earnt his card after 4yrs on the Web.com tour and a year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. The highlight of his season, which helped secure this was a win at the Rust Oleum Championship in June. In addition he notched three further top 10 finishes in the regular season before finishing 3rd in his most recent start on the Tour Championship. Looking at his stats his strength appears to be accuracy of the tee so if he is to make an impact you would expect it to be on tracks, which reward this.


10 – JOHN CHINN – The 31yr old left hander secured his card largely based on two 2nd place finishes, one back in March in Mexico and one when it really mattered in the last regular season event in Portland. He has been plying his trade largely on the web.com tour since he turned pro in 2010 so it is a testament to his perseverance that he has finally earnt his card. Attended college in California and continues to be based there so would be most likely to perform well on the West Coast. In all honesty though it is hard to see him making a significant impact.


11 – KYLE JONES – Similarly to Chinn the 25yr old’s season was constructed around two 2nd place finishes. Attended college in Texas and is still based there although he grew up in the fabulously named town of Snowflake in Arizona. Looking at his numbers fairways & greens and a steady putter are his strengths, however he lacks distance of the tee having finished the season 128th in DD. He has earnt his card after two seasons on the Web.com tour so you would think there is room for further improvement. Based on his stats his best performances will surely come at shorter tracks which reward accuracy.


12 – JOSE DE JESUS RODRIGUEZ – After 10yrs+ of graft on the Web.com Tour, Mackenzie Tour and the PGA Tour of Latino America the 37yr old Mexican has earnt his PGA Tour card largely down to his maiden web.com win which came at the United Leasing Championship in April. Since then he has struggled with his best subsequent finish being 11th. I would be delighted to see him prove me wrong but I suspect it will be a real struggle for him to make any kind of impact and to keep his card.


13 – ADAM LONG – The 30yr old Duke University Alum earnt his card after 4yrs on the Web.com tour as a result of a consistent season which saw him notch twelve top 25 finishes, the highlight of which was a 2nd place at the Lincoln Land Championship in July. Now bases himself in the golfing mecca of Jupiter, Florida. Hard to see him making an impact in all honesty.


14 – ADAM SVENSSON – The 24yr old Canadian started the year in fine style with three consecutive top 20s including a win in his second outing in the Bahamas. Since then though it had largely been a struggle for him with only two further top 10s to his name amongst a bunch of missed cuts, however last time out he finished 8th in Jacksonville at the Tour Championship. Attended college in Miami where he had a strong amateur career. Now lives in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida so look out for him in windy Florida events particularly as he won in the Bahamas. Whilst it is a worry that he has basically struggled for the bulk of the year he has the potential to make the grade and he is definitely one to keep any eye on.


15 – JOSH TEATER – It’s a full return to the tour for the 39yr old Kentucky man for the first time since the 2013-14 season. In his last full 5yr stretch on tour Josh’s best performance was a 2nd place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. The Barbasol Championship an opposite field event, which is now played in Kentucky is basically a home town event for him, so worth keeping any eye on him here.


16 – WYNDHAM CLARK – The 24yr old University of Oregon grad earned his card courtesy of four top 10 finishes. The last of these came back in July at the Lincoln land Championship. A standout college player Clark is considered a ‘hot prospect’ and as such he has received several sponsors exemptions to play on the PGA Tour over the past couple of years, with his best performance being a 17th place finish at the Sandersons Farms Championship. Originally hailing from Denver, Colorado Wyndham now basis himself in Las Vegas.


17 - JULIAN ETULAIN – Three Top 10s including a win at Chitimacha Louisiana Open in March earnt the 30yr old Argentinian his PGA Tour card back after his unsuccessful first foray in the 16-17 season. Four wins on the PGA Latino tour to go with his Web.com win this year show that Julian knows how to get the job done so a shock win should not be completely ruled out. Worth noting that his win this year came in Louisiana, which was the state he also notched his lone top 5 in the previous year on the PGA Tour at the Zurich Classic pairs event. In other words keep an eye out for who he pairs up with for the event next year!


18 – ALEX PRUGH – After a 3yr absence it’s a welcome return to the tour for the 34yr old Las Vegas native. In his previous stints on the tour Alex earnt himself a reputation as a West Coast Specialist with all five of his top 10 finishes coming in the state of California. Alex has earnt his card back through four top 10 finishes and he has continued to play well through July, August & September. If he is going to make the frame it will more than likely be in California again and allowing for his recent solid form don’t rule out a fast start back on tour for him at the Safeway Open.


19 – JOEY GARBER - The 27yr old Michigan native and University of Georgia grad notched a win at the Rex Hospital Open along with two other top 10 finishes to earn his PGA Tour card in his first full year on the Web.com tour. After becoming the number 1 ranked collegiate golfer in the country in his senior year at Georgia Garber lost his way and spent four years without full status on any tour before getting his web.com card. Now that things seem to have clicked for Joey don’t rule out further major progress this season. Bases himself now in the golfing mecca of St Simons Island in Georgia.


20 – CHRIS THOMPSON – Five top 10 finishes including three in consecutive events in July and August lead to the fairytale story of the 42yr old Kansas man earning his PGA card for the first time. Thompson has spent the past 15-20yrs grinding it out on mini tours and the web.com tour chasing the dream of one day making the PGA Tour and it is a fantastic testament to his character that he never gave up on achieving his goal. If he is now to capitalise on the opportunity and stick around for the next season he will need his strongest club his putter to perform for him and I for one will be rooting for him.


21 – CARLOS ORTIZ - The 27yr old Mexican first graced the PGA Tour in 2015 on the back of a three win season on the Web.com tour in 2014. On that occasion he kept his card in his first year but struggled in his sophomore year before heading back to the Web.com. This time around he has earnt his return to the big time courtesy of a steady if unspectacular year, which saw him miss only four cuts in twenty one starts in the regular season. First time around he only notched one top 10 in his two seasons on the tour, which came in his home country event at the Mayakoba. Showed in 2014 that he certainly knows how to win so with four more years of experience under his belt a successful year should not be ruled out.


22 – BRADY SCHNELL – After nearly ten years competing on mini tours and the Web.com tour the 33yr old University of Nebraska grad earned a PGA Tour card for the first time largely as a result of his win at the Wichita Open in June. Short of the tee Brady’s stats over the past few years show that his big strength is with the putter. As well as winning in Wichita this year he also played in the Open Championship in Carnoustie courtesy of his win in the 2017 Argentina Open. As someone who has won three times in just over twelve months he is certainly a player to keep an eye on particularly when teeing it up in events held on shorter, easier tracks, which have the potential to turn in to putting contests.


23 – KRAMER HICKOKThe 26yr old Dallas native and University of Texas Alum earnt his PGA Card on the back of four top tens in the regular season in his first full year on the Web.com tour. Since then he has gone on to post his first win on the tour in the DAP Championship in the Web.com finals. In 2017 Kramer played on the Mackenzie Tour of Canada and bagged himself two wins to earn player of the year honours. This accolade also gained him entry in to this year’s Canadian Open on the PGA Tour in which he finished a very credible 19th. Having only turned pro in 2015 the Texan has made great strides over the past three years. He looks to be a player going places and definitely worth keeping an eye, particularly in his home state of Texas or in Canada where he is clearly very comfortable.


24 - ROBERTO CASTRO – The 33yr old Texas native was a regular on the PGA Tour for six seasons from 2012 through to 2016 – 17. Twice in this period he made it all the way through to the Tour Championship and he also came close to notching his first win at the Wells Fargo Championship in 2016 before losing out in a Play Off. In 2016-17 things went horribly wrong for him though hence he found himself back on the Web.com tour this year. A really solid season, which included four consecutive top 10 finishes in April has seen him return to the big league at the first time of asking. With the experience of having fought his way back from a difficult period in his career the Georgia Tech man should return to the tour with a new found perspective and a maiden tour win this season is quite possible.


25 – HANK LEBIODA – The final spot on the 25 went to Orlando native and Florida State grad Hank Lebioda. The 24yr old earnt his spot on tour courtesy of four top 10s including two back to back in the windy Bahamas to open the season. Although he is yet to win on the Web.com tour he has won his tour card at the first time of asking. In addition he did post a win in his first and only season on the Mackenzie Tour of Canada in 2017. A player to keep an eye particularly especially in East Coast/Florida events.



1 – DENNY McCARTHY – The 25yr old University of Virginia grad and Maryland native finished 149th in the Fedex Cup rankings in his first season on the PGA Tour hence his need to return to the Web.com finals. In the four finals events things really clicked for Denny as he finished 5th, 9th & 13th in the first three events before bagging first place in the Web.com Tour Championship. Recognised as a really strong putter Denny should make a better fist of things second time around in the big league. His best performance in 2018 on the PGA Tour was a tied 4th in the Corales Puntacana event.


2 – SANGMOON BAE – The two time former PGA tour winner really struggled through 2018 upon his return to the tour after completing is military service duty in Korea notching only one top 20, a 15th place at Pebble Beach, in 17 starts. Everything changed however over a two week spell in the Web.com finals when he finished 6th at the DAP Championship before winning the Albertsons Boise Open. There is no doubting the Koreans talent and one would now expect him to push on and recement his place back in the higher echelons of the game. A former winner of the Safeway Open at Silverado so don’t rule out a flying start from him there next week.


3 – ROBERT STREB – The 31yr old native of Oklahoma had a hugely disappointing 2018 PGA Tour campaign, which saw him finish 178th in the Fedex Cup race. As a result the 2014 McGladrey Classic Champion found himself having to produce the goods in the Web.com finals to retain his card and he did exactly that when he won the first finals event, The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. If he can now build on this win and show a return to the form on tour, which saw him make it all the way to the Tour Championship in 2015 another victory on is certainly a possibility.


4 – PETER MALNATI – Another 31yr old who had to dig deep in this year’s Web.com finals was Tennessee resident Peter Malnati and similarly to Streb he took care of business with two strong finishes of 2nd & 6th in the first two finals events. Lacking distance of the tee Malnati makes up for this by being one of the best putters on tour and even this season when he finished 161st in the Fedex Cup standings he still finished 8th in SGP on tour. Peter’s best chance of another win will come on shorter tracks where his putter can shine. Buoyed by the form he has shown of late don’t rule out a big result on one of the shorter tracks in the Fall events, which will suit his game, particularly at the Sandersons he has won before.


5 – CAMERON DAVIS – The 23yr old highly rated Aussie notched a win and a 4th place finish on the regular Web.com season, however as he only made 11 starts he was unable to notch the couple of further big finishes he required to make it in to the end season top 25. This glitch proved no problem to Cam though as he produced two 3rd place finishes in the finals, including one in the last event to wrap up his card. Cameron won the Australian Open coming from six shots back on Sunday to top a field which included Jason Day & Jordan Spieth. Of all the players who have obtained their card for the first time either through the money list 25 or through the Finals Cameron if I had to pick one to make the biggest impact it would be Davis and a win this season is highly possible if not likely.


6 – ADAM SCHENK – The 26yr old Indiana native finished 157th in the Fedex Cup rankings in his first season on the PGA Tour, leading to his return to the Web.com finals. In the finals he stepped up to the plate with three consecutive top 10 finishes thus guaranteeing he would return straight to the big time. In his first time around Adam struggled to make any impact on the tour with his best solo result being a 20th place finish at the Shriners last fall. A one time winner on the Web.com tour he will be hoping to make more of an impact second time around.


7 – LUCAS GLOVER – The former US Open champion had arthroscopic knee surgery in June for an issue, which had been troubling him for a while. As a result despite a fairly solid, all be it unspectacular season up to that point, he found himself outside the 125 come the end of the season. Lucas would have a had a Medical Extension available to him if the Web.com finals had not worked out so the four events were not the ‘be all and end all’ for him, however he put any issues to bed regarding his card with a second place finish in the Web.com Tour Championship. Hopefully now healthy and with personal issues resolved he can get back to the higher reaches of the game. As we know Lucas is one of the best ball strikers on tour year in year out and he can be a threat on any course where ball striking is of key significance if his nemesis, the putter, even half behaves.


8 - MATT JONES – The Arizona based Aussie had to rely on the Web.com finals for the second year running to retain his card after another disappointing season on the PGA Tour. Two top 10 finishes in two starts duly took care of business for him. Matt and his wife welcomed a third daughter to their family in July of this year and it is worth noting that after the birth of his second daughter he won his two big titles over the following 18 months. As a former Houston Open champion and Australian Open Champion he has shown he knows how to win and another PGA Tour victory is certainly a possibility.


9 – HUNTER MAHAN – Another former star of the game who found himself back at the Web.com finals Hunter took care of business in the first three events. At the beginning of 2018 I picked Hunter to be ‘comeback player of the year’ on the PGA Tour, however despite the occasional glimpse of form over the year he never really threatened on this front. There’s no doubt though Hunter has made progress this year from where he was twelve months ago and his 7th place finish at the Barbasol was his first top 10 on the PGA Tour in nearly three years. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hunter finally got back in the winners enclosure this season. A native of California Hunter has always played well on the West Coast and I would expect these events to again offer up the best chances for him.


10 – ROGER SLOAN – The 31yr old Canadian earnt his return to the tour largely as a result of a 2nd place finish at the Albertsons Boise Open in the finals. First time around Roger managed a best place finish of 18th place at the John Deere Classic and it’s hard to see him making a significant impact on his return.


11 - SHAWN STEFANI – Three top 25s in the first three play off events were enough to make it a successful trip for the second year running to the Web.com finals for the 36yr old Texan. In six consecutive seasons on the Tour Shawn’s best results are two 2nd place finishes and he has fared no better than two 10th place finishes in the past two years. Both of these 10th place results came in Fall series events, one last year and one the year before, so allowing for his solid play in the Finals don’t rule out a similar performance over the coming weeks.


12 - SETH REEVES – The 27yr old Georgia man earned a PGA Tour card for the first time based on back to back top 5 finishes in the first two Finals events. This came on the back of two top 20s in his final two starts on the regular season. The 2018 season was Seth’s second full year on the Web.com tour after one season on the Mackenzie Tour of Canada. The two time All American from Georgia Tech notched his highest Web.com finish, a 3rd place, at the Corales Puntacana Championship in 2017 before the event became a PGA Tour event. This opposite field event is one therefore to look out for him in next year.


13 - MAX HOMA - The 27yr old Californian was touted as a player destined for big things when he first turned pro a few years back having become one of the University of California’s standout performers in their history. However after cruising through the Web.com tour in 2014 to gain his PGA card things didn’t go to plan and he lost his card after one year before regaining it the following year. He then had a torrid time in the 2016/17 season making only two cuts all year with a best placed finish of 71st. Back on the Web.com tour, 2018 was nothing spectacular either until he finished 21, 6, 7 in the first three events of the finals two earn his card back. Now at the third time of asking you would I suspect that this undoubtedly talented player will finally find his feet on the PGA Tour. Certainly one to watch particularly in West Coast events.


14 – ROBERTO DIAZ – The 31yr old Mexican had an unsuccessful first go on the PGA Tour this year, however four top 25 finishes in the Web.com finals have earnt him another crack at the big league. His best finish last season was a 25th place in his home country event, The Mayakoba and if he is to notch a high finish on tour this year this event would, for obvious reasons, seem to offer the best opportunity.


15 – STEPHAN JAEGER – Regular readers of my weekly previews will be aware that I had high hopes for the 29yr old German for his debut season on the PGA tour, which he has just completed. Unfortunately things didn’t go quite to plan however courtesy of two top 10s in the Web.com finals he gets another crack straightaway. Anyone who shoots 58, as Stephan did 3yrs ago on route to his maiden web.com win needs to be taken seriously. He now has 4 wins on the Web.com in the past three years and I genuinely believe it is only a matter of time before things click for him in the big league. Capable of very low scoring so should be considered in birdie fest events.


16 – CURTIS LUCK – Like Jaeger the 22yr old Aussie Curtis Luck secured his card with two top 10s in the web.com finals. The former world No 1 amateur turned professional in April 2017 and he received several sponsors exemptions on the PGA Tour during the remainder of that year. His best result in these starts was a very creditable 5th place at the Quicken Loans National. After successfully gaining his Web.com card through Q School he has now made it on to the PGA Tour at the first time of asking. Based on his amateur pedigree you would expect Curtis to make the transition on to the PGA Tour fairly smoothly and he could well challenge for a win in his first season.


17 – NICHOLAS LINDHEIM – For the second year running the 33yr old California native has managed to retain his PGA Tour card through the Web.com finals. His results this past season showed a steady improvement from the previous year, his first on tour, so it is just possible that the two time Web.com winner is becoming more comfortable in the big league. In both of his first two years on tour his seasons best finish came in the Sanderson Farms Championship so this is certainly an event to look out for him in.


18 -DYLAN FRITTELLI – The 28yr old South African is by far the highest world ranked player to secure a PGA Tour card through this years Web.com finals. Currently 68th in the OWGR Frittelli’s is already a familiar name to followers of World and European golf and he is a two time winner on the European Tour. In addition to a couple of majors and WGC’s Dylan played in 5 regular PGA Tour events on sponsors exemptions in 2018 and his best result was an 11th place finish at the Honda Classic. There is no doubt that the South African is a hugely talented player and now that he has worked out how to win I would expect him to progress in his career further. I would expect him to keep his card fairly comfortably and on the assumption that he will quite likely base himself in Florida around other international players, coupled with his 11th place at the Honda last year, I would anticipate the East Coast events will offer him the best opportunity of success.


19 – WES ROACH – Three top 25 finishes in the Web.com finals were enough for the 29yr old Tennessee native to gain a return to the PGA Tour after a two season absence. Roach has played on tour for two seasons previously and in this time his best result was a 4th place finish in Puerto Rico. His one victory on the Web.com tour came in Mexico in 2015, which when coupled with the fact that his best PGA Tour result came in Puerto Rico, would lead you to believe that his best chances of success will come in the events where he again travels across the US border.


20 – SEPP STRAKA – The 25yr old Austrian and University of Georgia grad earnt his card at the 11th hour with a 3rd place finish in the Web.com Tour Championship. As well as this big result he also punctuated an otherwise average at best season on the tour with an out of the blue win at The KC Classic in Kansas in August. As an adopted Georgia native still based in the state you would think that he is most likely to produce his best golf on the East Coast. Capable of going low and with length of the tee on his side don’t rule out a shock result somewhere along the way.


21 – CAMERON TRINGALE – The 31yr old Californian has been a regular on the tour since 2011, however after many years of solid play he has struggled over the past two seasons and for the second year running he has had to rely on the Web.com finals to retain his card. Furthermore like last year he has delivered at the ‘last chance saloon’ with a top 5 in the Web.com Tour Championship. With three 2nd place finishes to his name and numerous other top 10s a few years back it seemed only a matter of time until Cam got his first win on tour, however this has not materialized. Always known as a solid ball striker if this is to come you would think it most likely on a course that rewards this strength. At only 31 Tringale still has his best years ahead of him in theory and you would back him to rediscover his consistency of old and eventually notch that win.


22 – BEN SILVERMAN – The 30yr old Canadian notched five top 15 finishes in his first PGA Tour season however he was just unable to finish in the top 125. Similarly to Tringale though a 3rd place finish in the Web.com Tour Championship was enough to earn him an immediate return. Short of the tee his putter is his best club in the bag and it therefore makes sense that he showed his best stuff on shorter tracks first time around. He played well in the Fall last year at both the Sanderson’s & RSM and allowing for his great play at the Web.Com Tour Championship he could well pop in these events again. In addition as Ben attended college in Florida and is a resident of West Palm Beach he is certainly a player to keep an eye on in the Florida Swing.


23 – MICHAEL THOMPSON – The 2013 Honda Classic Champion has struggled over recent seasons hence his reliance on the Web.com finals this year. Based in Sea Island Georgia the 33yr old has always tended to play his best golf on tougher, wind affected courses. An inconsistent player who is hard to catch right he could easily pop up with a big finish on a track that suits him over the year.


24 – FABIEN GOMEZ - The two time PGA Tour winner struggled during the first half of the season before finding some consistency in the second half but it was not enough to keep his card hence the trip to web.com finals. Two top 20 finishes were just about good enough to get the job done. At 39yrs old there is still plenty of time for the Argentinian to add another win and now that he has rescued his card he may well push on again.


25 – JIM KNOUS – The 28yr old Colorado man earnt the final card on offer through the Web.Com finals courtesy of three top 25 finishes in the first three events and a knee knocking 57th in the Tour Championship to scrape home. For a player who didn’t do enough on the regular season to earn a card his stats last year were surprisingly good. A reasonably long hitter who putts well he has earnt his card at the second attempt and he should not be dismissed just because he only just scraped in. As a Colorado man through and through you would expect him to have had plenty of experience at Desert Golf & playing at altitude so could be a man to watch in Vegas or Reno.


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