Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship: Final-Round Notes – Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship; Svensson comes back to win

Adam Svensson ( photo)
Adam Svensson 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship winner Korn Ferry Tour 8 29 2021.mp3

Final-Round Notes – Sunday, August 29, 2021

Course Setup: The Ohio State University Golf Club (Scarlet Course) – Par 71 / 7,444 yards

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Adam Svensson blitzes front nine to win Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

COLUMBUS, Ohio  Adam Svensson crept up the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship leaderboard all week and finally pounced Sunday, posting a 4-under par 67 to turn a two-stroke 54-hole deficit into a two-stroke victory. Svensson’s winning total, a 17-under 267, lowered the tournament scoring record (270 by Harris English in 2011 and Peter Uihilein in 2017) by three strokes.

Svensson played the front nine of The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course at 5-under par in the final round, birdieing Nos. 2, 3, 4, 7, and 9. The Surrey, British Columbia native did not make a single birdie on the back nine, but he avoided disaster with par saves at Nos. 11 and 14, made his only bogey at the par-3 13th, and closed the round with four consecutive two-putt pars.

“I was only two back, but I knew I had to play well today,” Svensson said. “If you’re 5-under on the front, you’re playing pretty well. I said to myself, ‘Just par in, or at least one more (birdie) coming in and see what happens. Just don’t make bogeys because you don’t want to give the tournament away.’”

The victory was Svensson’s second of the 2020-21 season and third of his Korn Ferry Tour career. In Svensson’s previous victory this year, which came in a playoff at the 2021 Club Car Championship at The Landings Club, he played the final 10 holes of regulation at 5-under par. This time around, he played the last 10 holes of regulation at even par.

“I’m just very excited I did win this week, especially playing out here,” Svensson said. “You’ve got to hit the ball well, you’ve got to put it in spots, and just knowing that I played the golf course correctly is pretty cool.”

Svensson starred at Barry University and won the 2013-14 NCAA Division II Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award as a sophomore; he turned professional in February 2015, the spring of his junior season, and won the 2015 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament’s Final Stage by seven strokes in December. It would be two Korn Ferry Tour seasons before Svensson’s first victory, though. A win at the 2018 The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club propelled Svensson to a 14th-place finish on the regular season money list and a PGA TOUR promotion.

The Canadian finished 167th in the 2019 FedExCup standings, sending him back to the Korn Ferry Tour for what became the 2020-21 season. Svensson secured a return trip to the PGA TOUR two weeks ago, as he finished 11th in the regular season points standings.

“I’m definitely excited to see where my game’s at on the PGA TOUR,” Svensson said. “My goal is to win on the PGA TOUR. Everyone wants to win on the PGA TOUR, but I think a bigger goal for me is consistent golf, so just always playing well, always in the hunt. You do that, you’ll eventually end up winning.”

( photo)

Five other players secured PGA TOUR cards by crossing the 210-point threshold the Korn Ferry Tour is currently using as its fail-safe number for players to finish inside The Finals 25.

Bronson Burgoon rose to the top spot in The Finals 25 with a T2, securing a return to the PGA TOUR via the Korn Ferry Tour for the fourth time. The 34-year-old Texas A&M University alum previously earned a TOUR card via the 2015 regular season standings and the 2017 and 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Finals.

Alex Smalley, a 24-year-old Duke University alum, secured his first PGA TOUR card with a T4. The Greensboro, North Carolina resident made four TOUR starts during the 2021 season, logging a pair of top-25s, a T29, and a T47.

Callum Tarren, a 30-year-old native of Darlington, England, jumped to fifth in The Finals 25 with a T4. It will be the first trip to the PGA TOUR for Tarren, who turned professional in 2014, won the 2018 PGA TOUR China Order of Merit to earn Korn Ferry Tour status for the first time, and needed to earn starts for the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour season via Q School.

Vincent Whaley, a 26-year-old Georgia Tech alum, will play his third consecutive PGA TOUR season following a T4 Sunday. Whaley previously earned a PGA TOUR card via a 25th-place finish in the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour regular season points standings.

Scott Gutschewski is headed back to the PGA TOUR for the first time since 2011. The 44-year-old logged a T10 at last week’s Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron, and rose to a T18 Sunday with a final-round 4-under 67. The Omaha, Nebraska native previously earned PGA TOUR cards via the Korn Ferry Tour in 2005, 2008, and 2010.

“Everybody keeps getting younger and it’s just, it’s hard,” Gutschewski said. “It’s about all I can say. It’s not all I want to say, but that’s about all I can say.  It’s just really hard. I can’t really compose myself, but, I mean, this is why we do it.

“I talked (my wife) into flying out and driving down to Evansville with me, so that will be fun. We’ll have a little celebration and it will be a fun drive.”

The three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals conclude with next week’s Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance at Victoria National Golf Club in Evansville, Indiana.

Final-Round Notes

  • Adam Svensson is the seventh player with multiple wins on the Korn Ferry Tour this season; the 1995 and 1999 seasons are the only others in Tour history with seven multi-time winners
  • Svensson’s win moves him from eighth to third in The 25 points standings, and he assumes the overall lead in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals points standings; the winners of The 25 points standings and the Korn Ferry Tour Finals points standings earn fully exempt status for the 2021-22 PGA TOUR season and an exemption into THE PLAYERS Championship
  • Svensson played the front nine at 11-under par (compared to 2-under par on the back nine) across the final three rounds
  • Bronson Burgoon (T2 / -15 / 269) and Stephan Jaeger (T2 / -15 / 269) also broke the previous Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship 72-hole scoring record of 270, and the six players who finished T4 tied the previous record
  • Jaeger withdrew from next week’s Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, but holds a 362-point lead over Greyson Sigg in The 25 points standings
    • The only scenarios in which Jaeger does not finish No. 1 in The 25 points standings are:
      • Greyson Sigg solo third, four-way T2 or better, or a win
      • Chad Ramey or Adam Svensson win
  • Sahith Theegala (T4 / -14) played the first six holes of the back nine at 4-under par, but three-putted for bogey on the 72nd hole and finished 10 points shy of the 210-point threshold the Korn Ferry Tour is currently using as its fail-safe number for players to finish inside The Finals 25
    • Following his final collegiate season (2020) at Pepperdine University, Theegala swept the three major awards given to the most outstanding men’s collegiate golfer – the Fred Haskins Award, Ben Hogan Award, and Jack Nicklaus Award; he rose to as high as No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings prior to turning professional
    • Theegala made eight Korn Ferry Tour starts in the 2020-21 regular season, finishing as high as T9 at the 2021 MGM Resorts Championship at Paiute; he also made seven PGA TOUR starts during the 2021 season, finishing as high as T14 at the 2020 Safeway Open
  • Play was suspended due to lightning from 9:41 a.m. through 11:25 a.m. (1 hour, 44 minutes)
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, high of 88 degrees, wind SW at 4-12 mph
  • The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is the second event of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, a three-event series which determines the second set of 25 PGA TOUR cards given out for the upcoming 2021-22 season; the first set of 25 PGA TOUR cards was awarded two weeks ago to the top 25 points earners through the 43-event 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour regular season
  • This week’s purse was $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion, Adam Svensson; he will also received 1,000 Korn Ferry Tour points

Final-Round Course Statistics

  • Toughest Hole – No. 2, Par 4, 472 yards (4.292 – five birdies, 22 bogeys, one double bogey)
  • Easiest Hole – No. 12, Par 5, 562 yards (4.477 – 35 birdies, one bogey)
  • Scoring Average (Front 9 – Par 36) – 35.031
  • Scoring Average (Back 9 – Par 35) – 34.723
  • Scoring Average (Total) – 69.754

Cumulative Course Statistics

  • Toughest Hole – No. 2, Par 4, 472 yards (4.151 – 38 birdies, 92 bogeys, three double bogeys or worse)
  • Easiest Hole – No. 12, Par 5, 562 yards (4.469 – seven eagles, 218 birdies, 16 bogeys or worse)
  • Scoring Average (Front 9 – Par 36) – 35.176
  • Scoring Average (Back 9 – Par 35) – 34.519
  • Scoring Average (Total) – 69.695


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