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‘PGA’ Articles

Justin Thomas wins fifth tournament of the season to pull ahead in Player of the Year race

JUSTIN THOMAS JUMPS AHEAD OF JORDAN SPIETH

IN RACE FOR PGA PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Spieth maintains lead in Vardon Trophy Standings

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Sept. 5, 2017) – Reigning PGA Champion Justin Thomas  outdueled Open Champion Jordan Spieth this past weekend in the Dell Technologies Championship, grabbing the No. 1 spot in the chase for the 2017 PGA of America Player of the Year, one of the season-ending awards presented by the PGA of America for excellence by a PGA TOUR professional.

Thomas’s fifth victory of the season vaulted him past Spieth atop the season money list and collect 106 total points. Spieth has 88 total points after his second runner-up finish in the past two weeks. Dustin Johnson is next with 68, followed by Hideki Matsuyama with 58.

Justin Thomas (courtesy PGA Tour)

Johnson and Matsuyama have each won four times this season, while Spieth owns three  victories.

Since 1948, the PGA of America has honored the game’s best players with the PGA Player of the Year Award. It is presented to the top TOUR professional based on a point system for tournament wins, official money standings, and scoring averages. Points for the 2016-17 season began with the Safeway Open on Oct. 16, and conclude Sept. 24, at the TOUR Championship.

In the Vardon Trophy race, Spieth has a 68.800 adjusted scoring average based upon 77 complete rounds. Rickie Fowler is next at 68.945, followed by Thomas (69.315), Matsuyama (69.359); and Johnson (69.427).

Since 1937, the Vardon Trophy, named by the PGA of America in honor of legendary British golfer Harry Vardon, has been presented annually to the touring professional with the lowest adjusted scoring average. It is based on a minimum of 60 rounds, with no incomplete rounds, in events co-sponsored or designated by the PGA TOUR. The adjusted score is computed from the average score of the field at each event.

The PGA TOUR also recognizes its annual Player of the Year, with the winner announced in early October, determined by a vote of the membership.

For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGAMediaCenter.com, follow @PGA on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

 

2017 PGA Player of the Year Standings

(Through 9/4/17)
Player Victory
Points
Money
Points
Scoring
Points
Bonus
Points
Total
Points
1. Justin Thomas 70 20 16 106
(CIMB Classic, SBS Tournament of Champions, SONY Open in Hawaii, PGA Championship,
Dell Technologies Championship)
2. Jordan Spieth 50 18 20 88
(AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Travelers Championship; Open Championship)
3. Dustin Johnson 40 16 12 68
(Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico Championship, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play,
The Northern Trust)
4. Hideki Matsuyama 30 14 14 58
(WGC-HSBC Champions, Waste Management Phoenix Open, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational)
T5. Brooks Koepka 30 8 38
(U.S. Open Championship)
T5. Rickie Fowler 10 10 18 38
(Honda Classic)
7. Sergio Garcia 30 6 36
(The Masters)
8. Jon Rahm 10 12 4 26
(Farmers Insurance Open)
T9. Si Woo Kim 20 20
(The Players Championship)
T9. Marc Leishman 10 2 8 20
(Arnold Palmer Invitational)
2017  Vardon Trophy Standings*
(through 9/4/17)

1. Jordan Spieth 77 68.800
2. Rickie Fowler 70 68.945
3. Justin Thomas 78 69.315
4. Hideki Matsuyama 75 69.359
5. Dustin Johnson 69 69.427
6. Paul Casey 86 69.454
7. Marc Leishman 82 69.489
8. Sergio Garcia 57 69.591
9. Jon Rahm 82 69.621
10. Francesco Molinari 71 69.782

Points are distributed based upon the following:

A) Tournament victories                                          Points

PGA Championship                                                    30

U.S. Open                                                                    30

Open Championship                                                  30

Masters                                                                       30

The Players Championship                                        20

All other PGA TOUR events, including

World Championship events                                     10

 

B) Money winnings: PGA Tour official money list

Points

1st                                                        20

2nd                                                      18

3rd                                                       16

4th                                                       14

5th                                                       12

6th                                                       10

7th                                                       8

8th                                                       6

9th                                                       4

10th                                                     2

C) Adjusted scoring average:   min. 60 rounds

 

Points

1st                                                        20

2nd                                                      18

3rd                                                       16

4th                                                       14

5th                                                       12

6th                                                       10

7th                                                       8

8th                                                       6

9th                                                       4

10th                                                     2

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Bob Denney; COURTESY PGA of AMERICA COMMUNICATIONS

Uihlein wins Nationwide Children’s Championship; Armour finishes second but gets PGA Tour card

 

PRESS CONFERENCE AUDIO FROM SUNDAY’S FINAL ROUND

62,124 Peter Uihlein Web.com Tour 2017 winner NCC His upbringing & blessings to play & travel the world 9 3 2017

62,126 Peter Uihlein Web.com Tour 2017 winner NCC Any saving shots today or key putts 9 3 2017

62,127 Peter Uihlein Web.com Tour 2017 winner NCC He won the trophy but even if he did not he won the a PGA Tour Card 9 3 2017

62,128 Peter Uihlein Web.com Tour 2017 winner NCC Playing this tournament paid off huge 9 3 2017

62,133 Peter Uihlein Web.com winner 2017 winner His emotions when he saw Ryan Armour bogey on 18 and you had won 9 3 2017

62,136 Peter Uihlein Web.com Tour 2017 winner NCC The last 4 winners in Columbus Ohio have already won on the PGA Tour What is it about this course 9 3 2017

 

62,138 Ryan Armour Web.com Tour 2017 Runnerup NCC The 18th hole was his undoing off the tee and into the trees 9 3 2017

62,139 Ryan Armour Web.com Tour 2017 Runner up NCC Being 2nd here is not what you wanted but you accomplished the mission a PGA Card 9 3 2017

 

Peter Uihlein talking to the media after Sunday's win (megasportsnews.com photo)

Columbus, Ohio – Could it be possible that Peter Uihlein’s love for baseball led to his victory at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Sunday afternoon? Earlier this year, Uihlein played in the Shell Houston Open and finished his final round early enough to catch his favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, battle their biggest rival, the New York Yankees, in primetime.

Uihlein, who has played the European Tour the past 4 years, accomplished his goal by carding a final-round 65 at The Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course to beat local favorite Ryan Armour by a stroke. The victory was worth $180,000 and places the 28-year-old from New Bedford, Mass. on top of the Web.com Tour Finals money list with three events left.

“I got the last game, Sunday night,” said Uihlein. “Never had that in five years. I’m never home on a Sunday night after playing a round of golf on a Sunday without making a cut. First time ever, and you kind of like sit back and be like that’s pretty convenient. That kind of hit home a little bit. So I was like, I really kind of want to at least get my PGA TOUR card so I can have moments like that when I can spend a little time at home with my girlfriend and two dogs.”
“This is a proper test,” said Uihlein, referring to the Scarlet Course. “You gotta drive the ball well. You gotta hit your irons well. And it’s a shame that it rained because that first day was phenomenal for how fast the greens were, how difficult it was. You know, it changed your mindset a little bit, you need to make some birdies. But it’s not a walk in the park.”

Since he turned pro in 2011, Uihlein has flown across the pond to compete in Europe and Asia. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy had the credentials to play on TOUR being a two-time All-American and 2010 United States Amateur champion, but chose to head overseas.
“All of a sudden my first event as a pro I end up on a plane to India,” said Uihlein. “You go there for the first time, really not leaving the country very rarely, and all of a sudden you go to India, totally different. It’s a different world, different cultures. Just a different environment. You get to see things I never would have seen if I didn’t leave America.”

Uihlein arrived in Columbus No. 12 in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. He’s enjoyed success outside the U.S. with a win at the Madeira Islands Open along with being named the Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 2013. On Saturday, he talked about wanting the chance to become a global player and this winter he’s going to get the opportunity.

“There’s so many good events now in Europe,” said Uihlein, who has made 114 starts on the European Tour. “It’s really tough. I got to sit down and look at both schedules. I just don’t know. I don’t know next year’s schedule in Europe. I haven’t looked at the PGA TOUR schedule. Right now, I don’t know where I’m going to be playing but I’m going to try and do both and see what happens.”

Armour hit his worst drive of the week on the 18th and was left with a near impossible second into the home hole. After leaving the approach 20 yards short, the former Ohio State Buckeye sailed his pitch 40 feet behind the hole and missed the par save to force a playoff.

Armour didn’t win the golf tournament, but he secured his return to the TOUR.

“Mission accomplished,” said Armour, about the runner-up performance. “The job was to get back to the TOUR, and that’s what happened. I already have a start in Napa, So, that is something that you can take as a positive, and old Scarlet here, I mean she’s tough, and I finally got a little piece of her. But the old girl is a really hard golf course.”

Tom Lovelady made a life-changing putt on the 72nd hole. Being in contention on Sunday is stressful enough without the added pressure of trying to earn your TOUR card and the 24-year-old from Mountain Brook, Ala. rose to the occasion. After hitting his approach on No. 18 to 10 feet, Lovelady drained the birdie bid and celebrated with a fist pump, knowing that was to get on TOUR next season.

“Unbelievable,” said Lovelady, who earned $58,000 for his T3 effort in Columbus. “I mean it’s what I dreamed of. You always hope it comes true. You just never know because golf’s a hard game and there are so many good players. There’s no other way to put it that it’s a dream come true, unbelievable.

Final Leaderboard

Pos. Name Score
1 Peter Uihlein 69-69-67-65—270 (-14)
2 Ryan Armour 68-68-65-70—271 (-13)
3 Andrew Landry 68-67-70-68—273 (-11)
Tom Lovelady 72-67-64-70—273 (-11)
5 Abraham Ancer 66-70-71-67—274 (-10)

Sunday Notes:
* Sunday weather: Partly cloudy. High of 77. Wind W/SW 7-14 mph with gusts up to 20 mph.
* This week’s purse is $1M with $180,000 awarded to Uihlein.
* Uihlein earns his first career win in his third start on Tour. It was his first start as a professional on the Web.com Tour. His previous best finish was a T9 at the 2011 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, which came as an amateur.
* Uihlein’s victory comes at age 28 years, 0 months and 5 days. Uihlein turned 28 on Tuesday of the tournament week.
* Uihlein is the second former Oklahoma State Cowboy to win in the last three weeks after Talor Gooch won the News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot three weeks ago.
* With his victory, he earns an exemption into the 2018 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
* With his victory, he is the third consecutive winner of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship winner to come from at least three shots back entering the final round. He entered the final round four shots back of Ryan Armour.
* Uihlein is the second non-member to win the Web.com Tour Finals opener after Bryson DeChambeau won the DAP Championship a year ago. DeChambeau went on to win the John Deere Classic this year after earning his TOUR card through the Finals. `

About Peter Uihlein
HEIGHT: 6-2 WEIGHT: 195
BIRTHDATE: August 29, 1989
BIRTHPLACE: New Bedford, Massachusetts
RESIDENCE: Jupiter, Florida
EDUCATION: Oklahoma State University
TURNED PROFESSIONAL: 2011
JOINED TOUR: 2017

* Ryan Armour led the field in driving accuracy at 87.50%, hitting 49 of 56 fairways.

* Tom Lovelady, who earns his PGA TOUR card with a T3 finish, posted a career-best T3 finish after birdieing the 72nd hole. He has now posted top-10s in four of his last six starts. Lovelady, who was on Alabama’s 2013 and 2014 national championship teams, was teammates on the Crimson Tide with Bobby Wyatt and Trey Mullinax, who both got their PGA TOUR cards through the Web.com Tour a year ago. Lovelady was teammates in 2013 as well with Justin Thomas, who won the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.

* Before Lanto Griffin’s win at the Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation after making the cut on the number, he had made the cut in just four of his first 11 starts of the season with a T19 as his best finish to that point. But Griffin’s season turned around in Nashville, and he’s now made his last 10 cuts with a victory, T6, T8 and three additional top-20s. Griffin’s T8 in Columbus is his third top-10 in his last 10 starts. Griffin moved up to 19th on the combined Regular Season and Finals money list after ending the Regular Season in 22nd to get his PGA TOUR card.

* Keith Mitchell posted his third consecutive top-10 with a T6 finish in Columbus. He held the 36-hole lead after opening with rounds of 65-67 but posted rounds of 70-73 on the weekend. His check of $34,750 would be enough to earn a TOUR card three of the last four years. Mitchell finished No. 26 on the Regular Season money list after finishing one shot shy of earning his TOUR card at the Regular Season finale in Portland.

* Five-time PGA TOUR winner Ben Crane, who is making his first Web.com Tour start since 2001, has played the TOUR full-time since 2002, but had to return to the Web.com Tour Finals after finishing No. 147 in the FedExCup standings. Crane is nearing regaining his TOUR card after a T6 in Columbus. With the T6 finish, Crane earned $34,750, which would be enough to get a Finals card three of the last four years. Crane led the field in scrambling (82.61%).

* Abraham Ancer arrived in Ohio at No. 3 on the Tour money list, just $73,233 behind Brice Garnett, but is now within $17,822 of Garnett after moving into second-place on the combined Regular Season and Finals money list with a solo-fifth place finish. It is Ancer’s sixth top-five of the season. Ancer led the field in putting average (1.591) and putts per round (26.25).

* Brett Stegmaier opened the Web.com Tour Finals with a T8 finish in his bid to return to the PGA TOUR. Stegmaier’s last trip to the Web.com Tour Finals saw him finish 13th on the Finals money list in 2015 to secure his PGA TOUR card. Stegmaier finished No. 101 in the FedExCup standings in 2016 to keep his TOUR card this season, but after finishing No. 181, he’s back at the Web.com Tour Finals hoping to return to the TOUR. Stegmaier led the field in greens in regulation (81.94%).

* 2016 U.S. Amateur Champion Curtis Luck finished T19 in his Web.com Tour debut.

* Three of the last four winners of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship – Seung-Yul Noh (2013), Justin Thomas (2014), and Grayson Murray (2016) – have won on the PGA TOUR within two years of their win in Columbus.

* Four of the top-10 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship a year ago went on to win on the PGA TOUR this year – Murray, Cameron Smith, Cody Gribble and Xander Schauffele.

* This is the first tournament in the Web.com Tour Finals, a series of four events that will conclude at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla., Sept. 25-Oct. 1. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* This is the fifth year of the Finals format and it’s difficult to estimate exactly how much money it will take to finish in the top-25 on the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards that will be handed out in a few weeks.

Here’s how much money the No. 25 man on the money list earned in each of the past two years excluding The 25 from the Regular Season money list:
2013 No. 25 Bobby Gates $33,650.00
2014 No. 25 Eric Axley $36,311.66
2015 No. 25 Rob Oppenheim $32,206.00
2016 No. 25 Tim Wilkinson* $27,425.00

*denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled

* Scoring averages for the week:

Front (36) Back (35) Total (71) Cumulative
R1 36.531 35.608 72.138 —
R2 36.167 35.921 72.087 72.113
R3 35.521 35.141 70.662 71.629
R4 36.099 34.732 70.831 71.430

 

Ryan Armour chatting with Columbus Dispatch reporter Rob Oller. The former OSU grad bogeyed 18 and finished 2nd (megasportsnews.com)

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY Tom Sprouse; COURTESY OF NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S CHAMPIONSHIP COMMUNICATIONS


 

 


Former Buckeyes golfer Ryan Armour leads the Nationwide Children’s Championship heading into final day

 

 

Ryan Armour talking to fans (megasportsnews.com photo)

 

PRESS CONFERENCE WITH RYAN ARMOUR:

62,117 Ryan Armour Web.com Tour Climbed up the leaderboard from 4th to 1st Saturday is moving day 9 2 2017

62,118 Ryan Armour Web.com Tour Talks about the shots that kept his confidence high 9 2 2017

62,119 Ryan Armour Web.com Tour Playing on Sunday for a title at his old college course is reallly cool 9 2 2017

62,120 Ryan Armour Web.com Tour Two weeks in a row he is trying to win Was he uncomfortable at Wyndham in the final round trying not to make mistakes 9 2 2017


Columbus, Ohio – Akron native Ryan Armour turned in his best performance of the week on Saturday in cold, wet conditions at The Ohio State Golf Club’s Scarlet Course to take the third-round lead at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. The 41-year-old Ohio State University alum recorded seven birdies and a bogey to jump in front of 36-hole leader Keith Mitchell. Armour’s 12-under-par 201 total places him one in front of Mitchell and two ahead of Tom Lovelady entering the final round.

 

The trio will try to secure their PGA TOUR cards for 2017-18 as the first event in the Web.com Tour Finals concludes on Sunday.

 

“My caddie and I talked on the range about how with the rain you had to be aggressive and you could start flying at some things that you normally couldn’t,” said Armour, who went out in 31. “On the front nine I struck the ball really well and turned at 5-under, but could have been better. And then the back nine kind of hung on at the end there. But it beats you up. I’m tired and cold.”

 

Armour, who now lives in sunny south Florida, spent five years in Columbus and has logged many hours on the Alistair Mackenzie layout. The Scarlet Course was redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in 2005, but Armour still feels nostalgic every time he returns.

 

“You see familiar faces,” he said, when asked about playing in front of friends and family. “Mark Lucas, Brian Kelly and everyone here do such a good job the way they treat us and it’s good to finally put some good rounds together.”

 

This week marks Armour’s seventh time competing in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. Before Thursday, Armour had recorded just three rounds under par and never back-to-back. After posting 65 on Saturday afternoon, he has now turned in three straight scores in the 60’s.

 

This season, Armour competed on TOUR and had his back against the wall at the Wyndham Championship. With his TOUR card on the line, Armour responded by recording his best showing on TOUR in a decade. The father-of-two needed to win or finish second in Greensboro and posted a final-round 64. The tie for fourth wasn’t enough to put him in the FedExCup Playoffs, but he’s brought that form to the Finals and has a chance to secure his return to the TOUR with a win on Sunday.

 

“I think in every sport when you play at home, you want to please the home fans,” said Armour, who is in search of his second Tour victory. “It’s learning how to accept it, and some weeks I haven’t accepted it and this week I seem to accept it. Form counts, too. I came in here playing well, so that really helps a lot.”

 

For the second straight week, Mitchell, 25, will play in the final group on Sunday of a Tour event. Mitchell is not shy about being in contention. In his last three starts, Mitchell has posted a T11 at the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae, a T3 at the News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot and a T6 at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz.

 

The former University of Georgia standout is known as an elite ball-striker but the flat stick was letting him down. After a tough stretch in the season where he missed three cuts in five weeks, Mitchell turned his attention to correcting the problem.

 

Thanks to the advice of a good friend, who has won twice this season on Tour, Mitchell’s focus on his practice routine has paid dividends the latter part of the summer.

 

“I’ve worked on my putting a lot the last couple of weeks,” said Mitchell. “I remember rooming with Stephan Jaeger in California, and he made me just do some putting drills. He says, you got to do this, do this, you need to work on it. I’m starting to make a lot more putts and still have room to make a lot more. So if we can just stick to that routine, I think it’s really showing, but it could show even more.”

 

Lovelady, like Mitchell, is trying to get on TOUR for the first time in his professional golf career. The 24-year-old from Mountain Brook, Ala. birdied five of the last seven holes to move into solo third. The 64 on Saturday matched his lowest third-round score of the season.

 

“Early on I kind of made a couple silly bogeys, but that’s just going to happen,” said Lovelady, who turned in 34. “I just kind of kept my foot on the gas and just kept giving myself putts and hitting a bunch of good shots.”

 

Lovelady, who lives in Jupiter has two roommates who have won Finals’ events in the past. Bud Cauley won the Hotel Fitness Championship in 2014, while Justin Thomas won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship that same year. Lovelady didn’t ask either for advice on how to tackle the four-event series or the Scarlet Course and believes that’s played a part in his success this week.
“He told me to call him if I had any questions about the course,” said Lovelady, when asked whether he talked to Thomas before Thursday. “I kind of forgot to do that, so I’ve just been kind of all on my own and just having a lot of fun with it.”
Saturday Notes:

* Saturday weather: Rainy. High of 66. Wind SE 5-10 mph. High of 66.

* This week’s purse is $1M with $180,000 awarded to the champion.

* This is the first tournament in the Web.com Tour Finals, a series of four events that will conclude at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla., Sept. 25-Oct. 1. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* Armour holds the lead or co-lead on the Web.com Tour for only the third time in his career and first time since 2011. The 2016 Panama Claro Championship winner finished T5 and T17 each of the two prior times he held a share of the 54-hole lead — 2011 Rex Hospital Open (T5) and 2006 Cox Classic (T17). He did hold a share of the 36-hole lead on the PGA TOUR two weeks ago at the Wyndham Championship on his way to a T4 finish with rounds of 72-64. This is the first time he’s ever held the solo lead on the Web.com Tour.

*Armour’s key to success this week has been his driving accuracy and his scrambling, where he’s successfully gotten up and down 12 of 14 times. That scrambling percentage of 85.71% is tied with Jonathan Hodge for best in the field. He’s hit a field-best 36 of 42 fairways this week. He played this season on the PGA TOUR and posted one top-10 in 20 starts (T4 – Wyndham Championship) and finished the season No. 160 in the FedExCup standings.

* Mitchell, who finished No. 26 on the Regular Season money list, entered the day with a two-shot lead but will trail by one entering the final round in solo second at 11-under 202. Mitchell posted six consecutive pars to open his round before reeling off birdies at Nos. 7, 10 and 11, but he dropped shots at No. 14 and 18 to fall one shot back of Armour.

* Mitchell is tied with Scott Harrington for the field lead in greens in regulation after hitting 45 of 54 greens so far this week.

* Before Lanto Griffin’s win at the Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation after making the cut on the number, he had made the cut in just four of his first 11 starts of the season with a T19 as his best finish to that point. But Griffin’s season turned around in Nashville, and he’s now made his last 10 cuts with a victory, a T6, and three additional top-20s. Griffin is in T4 entering the final round after rounds of 69-69-67—205 (-8).

* Tom Lovelady fired the round of the day with a 7-under 64 to get within two shots of the lead after entering the day seven shots off of the lead. Lovelady is leading the field in putting average (1.571) and putts per round (26.00). Lovelady entered the week leading the TOUR in putting average (1.696) and fourth in putts per round (28.14). Lovelady’s roommate and former teammate at Alabama, Justin Thomas, won the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.

* Brett Stegmaier’s last trip to the Web.com Tour Finals saw him finish 13th on the Finals money list in 2015 to secure his PGA TOUR card. Stegmaier finished No. 101 in the FedExCup standings in 2016 to keep his TOUR card this season, but after finishing No. 181, he’s back at the Web.com Tour Finals hoping to return to the TOUR. Stegmaier is in T4 entering the final round at the Scarlet Course after a third-round 67. In three starts at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Stegmaier’s lone made cut (T57) came in 2014.

* Five-time PGA TOUR winner Ben Crane, who is making his first Web.com Tour start since 2001, enters the final round inside the top 10 in T9 after a third-round 67. Crane is looking to earn his way back to the TOUR, where he has played since 2002 with 383 career starts.

* Abraham Ancer briefly charged into the lead early in the third round after birdies on four of his first six holes to get to 10-under and tie Mitchell, but he played his last 12 holes in 4-over and is six shots back entering the final round after posting an even-par 71. He arrived in Ohio at No. 3 on the Tour money list, just $73,233 behind Brice Garnett. A solo second or better this week would place Ancer in first since Garnett missed the cut. He has recorded three runner-up performances in 20 starts this season.

* 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship winner Grayson Murray entered the final round four shots back of the lead but posted a 3-under 68 for a one-shot victory over Cameron Smith. The last time the 54-hole leader went on to win was Justin Thomas in 2014, when he shot a final-round 1-under 70 and emerged in a playoff over Richard Sterne.

* Peter Uihlein is currently No. 12 in the European’s Tour Race to Dubai. Uihlein carded a 4-under 67 to jump into a tie for fourth entering the final round. In seven starts on the PGA TOUR this season, Uihlein has made five cuts and posted three top-25s including a T5 at the Puerto Rico Open. Uihlein has made two appearances at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship with one prior made cut. In 2011, Uihlein recorded rounds of 69-67-70-68 for a 10-under-par score that placed him in a tie for ninth.

* 2016 U.S. Amateur Champion Curtis Luck is in T21 entering the final round after a third-round 2-under 69.

* Seth Reeves, a Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada alum, played in the final group after entering the third round two shots back but posted a 2-over 73 and is six back entering the final round.

* Tee times for the third round were delayed an hour due to heavy rain.

* This is the third year of the Finals format and it’s difficult to estimate exactly how much money it will take to finish in the top-25 on the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards that will be handed out in a few weeks.

Here’s how much money the No. 25 man on the money list earned in each of the past two years:
2013    No. 25 Bobby Gates                            $33,650.00
2014    No. 25 Eric Axley                               $36,311.66
2015    No. 25 Rob Oppenheim                                   $32,206.00
2016    No. 24 Cody Gribble/Kelly Kraft*          $35,125.00

*denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled)

* Scoring averages for the week:
Front (36)        Back (35)         Total (71)         Cumulative
R1 36.531             35.608             72.138             —
R2 36.167             35.921             72.087             72.113
R3 35.521             35.141             70.662             71.629

 

Third-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Score
1 Ryan Armour 68-68-65—201 (-12)
2 Keith Mitchell 65-67-70—202 (-11)
3 Tom Lovelady 72-67-64—203 (-10)
4 Four players tied at 203 (-8)

 

MATCH RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S CHAMPIONSHIP COMMUNICATIONS

Keith Mitchell trying hard to secure PGA Tour card; leads Nationwide Children’s Championship after 2nd round

Columbus, Ohio – Just five days after coming up one shot short of securing his PGA TOUR card, Keith Mitchell is showing no signs of any lingering scar tissue this week in Columbus after taking the 36-hole lead by three shots at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the first of four Web.com Tour Finals events. Mitchell, who opened the day with a one-shot lead, posted a 4-under 67 in breezy conditions at the Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club. At 10-under 132, he leads Seth Reeves by two for the first 36-hole lead of his career.

It doesn’t hurt Mitchell’s cause that he’s continued to put on a ball-striking clinic and might be striking the ball better than anyone else in the field on one of the hardest courses the Web.com Tour sees each year. Through two rounds on the 7,455-yard layout, he’s hit 30 of 36 greens in regulation (second best in the field), ranks second in putts per green in regulation and has posted a field-leading 12 birdies.

Keith Mitchell (courtesy PGA Tour)

Mitchell’s been on a tear in recent weeks with a T11, T3, and T6 in his last three starts. He even held a share of the lead after 54 holes last week in Portland and thinks the pressure of playing for a TOUR card down the stretch on Sunday last week will have him better prepared for playing with the lead this weekend.

“I think [last week] has a lot to do with it. It’s more like a chip on my shoulder,” Mitchell said. “I’m kind of just out there, you know, just playing with 100 percent on every shot. And you know when you get that close you’re going to get just one shot away from a whole entire season of golf, you don’t really have time to just sit back and be complacent on the golf course. So we’ve been trying to really go 100 percent on every shot, no matter what the circumstances are, and it’s really paid off so far.”

Reeves’ round was anything but routine, getting within one of the course record with a 7-under 64 as 20-30 mile per hour gusts swept through the golf course to get within two of Mitchell.

Andrew Landry, who trails by three in solo third, has already locked up his TOUR card, but will nevertheless have his heart on his sleeve this weekend. Following the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, he’ll be playing for his hometown of Port Neches-Groves, Texas this weekend. The 30-year-old will be donating a percentage of his winning’s this weekend to Hurricane Harvey relief, a storm that’s had devastating implications for his brother and his family and friends that still live in in the little town outside of Beaumont, Texas.

“This is a pretty intense week with a lot of family members back home losing a lot of their stuff, and especially my brother he lost everything with the hurricane,” Landry said. “I’m playing this week, and I’m going to donate a lot of my earnings to the Harvey victims, and we’re going to try to get involved with that somehow or some way. So playing right now for Southeast Texas.”

Landry’s parent’s home was fine in the storm, but his brother wasn’t so lucky. After leaving Portland, they’re all currently staying at Landry’s residence in Austin as they await word of when they can get back into their homes.

“My brother has about six or seven feet inside his house,” Landry said. “Thankfully they didn’t lose their Suburban. It was parked at the airport. They were out in Portland with us. My parents, the same, were out in Portland with us. So their vehicles were fine. And then we’re just going to play it by ear right now. They’re not going to be able to get back into their house until maybe late next week to even see what the damage is. I know for sure they’ve got a lot of water in there.”

 

 

FRIDAY NOTES:
* Friday weather: Cloudy and breezy. Wind N 10-18 mph with gust of 20-30. High of 65.
* This week’s purse is $1M with $180,000 awarded to the champion.
* This is the first tournament in the Web.com Tour Finals, a series of four events that will conclude at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla., Sept. 25-Oct. 1. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.
* A total of 71 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 2-over 144.
* Tee times for the third round will be 8:00 am to 10:00 am off No. 1 & 10 in threesomes.
* This is seventh time in the tournament’s 10-year history that the cut has been over par.
* This is the sixth time in 23 events the 36-hole cut has been over par on Tour this year:
11-over The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic
4-over United Leasing & Finance Championship
2-over The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic
2-over Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship
1-over Club Colombia Championship
1-over Panama Claro Championship

* This is the third year of the Finals format and it’s difficult to estimate exactly how much money it will take to finish in the top-25 on the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards that will be handed out in a few weeks.

Here’s how much money the No. 25 man on the money list earned in each of the past two years:
2013 No. 25 Bobby Gates $33,650.00
2014 No. 25 Eric Axley $36,311.66
2015 No. 25 Rob Oppenheim $32,206.00
2016 No. 24 Cody Gribble/Kelly Kraft* $35,125.00
2017 No. 25 ??? ???

*denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled)

* In his 40th start, Keith Mitchell holds the 36-hole lead of a Web.com Tour event for the first time. Mitchell has recorded a T11 (Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae), T3 (News Sentinel Open presented by PILOT) and a T6 (WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz) in his last three events. In that span, Mitchell has posted only one round over par (R2 – 73 – Ellie Mae Classic).

* Seth Reeves’ 7-under 64 in the lowest second-round score at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in the 10-year history of the tournament. Reeves also tied his lowest score on Tour this season (R1 – 64 – Air Capital Classic). In 21 starts, Reeves has made nine cuts and recorded two top-10s.

* Abraham Ancer arrived in Ohio at No. 3 on the Tour money list, just $73,233 behind Brice Garnet. A solo second or better this week would place Ancer in first since Garnett missed the cut. Ancer is the only player inside the top 10 on the money list without a Tour win this season. He has recorded three runner-up performances in 20 starts this season. The first-round 5-under 66 was his lowest round at the Scarlet Course. He enters the weekend four back. In 2015, Ancer started the third round of the Nova Scotia Open in a tie for 37th place but carded weekend rounds of 64-68 to defeat Bronson Burgoon in a playoff.

* Local favorite and former Ohio State Buckeye Ryan Armour opened with 68-68, tying his lowest score on the Scarlett Course since 2009 (R4 – 68). Armour, who enters the weekend four back (T4), has missed the cut in his last six appearances in Columbus and has only broken par twice in that span. Armour played this season on the PGA TOUR and posted one top-10 in 20 starts (T4 – Wyndham Championship) and finished the season No. 160 in the FedExCup standings.

* Peter Uihlein is currently No. 12 in the European’s Tour Race to Dubai. Uihlein carded back-to-back 69s and is 4-under-par, T6, in his Web.com Tour Finals debut. In seven starts on the PGA TOUR this season, Uihlein made five cuts and posted three top-25s including a T5 at the Puerto Rico Open. Uihlein has made two appearances at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. In 2011, Uihlein recorded rounds of 69-67-70-68 for a 10-under-par score that placed him in a tie for ninth.

* Former U.S. Amateur champion Curtis Luck carded his second even-par 71 in as many rounds and is in T31 heading into the weekend.

* Leading money winner Brice Garnett posted rounds of 74-71 and missed the 36-hole cut by one stroke.

* Scoring averages for the week:
Front (36) Back (35) Total (71) Cumulative
R1 36.531 35.608 72.138 —
R2 36.167 35.921 72.087 72.113

 

ROUND RECAP WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF THE WEB.COM TOUR & NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

 

Cejka has solid first round at Nationwide Children’s; pledges money for Houston area

Alex Cejka smiling about his tied for 3rd place first day with a -4 67 (megasportsnews.com photo)

PRESS CONFERENCE AUDIO WITH ALEX CEJKA

62,112 Alex Cejka Web.com Tour He looked pretty good How did he feel today 8 31 2017

62,113 Alex Cejka Web.com Tour TV broadcasters said he is contributing money to Houston for each birdie 8 31 2017

62,114 Alex Cejka Web.com Tour Where did the idea come from to donate to Houston 8 31 2017

62,115 Alex Cejka Web.com Tour Players on this tour always want to chip in and donate to disasters or whatever 8 31 2017

62,116 Alex Cejka Web.com Tour Does he have any ties to the Houston area 8 31 2017

 

Columbus, O. — Alex Cejka was in a smiling mood as he came off the 18th green Thursday afternoon.

He had just completed a nice round, bogey-free,  4-under, 67 on the tough Ohio State Scarlet course with breezy conditions.

No, he is not leading the pack but he is one of the leaders along with Keith Mitchell, 6-under 67, Abraham Ancer, 5-under 66 and Sam Saunders, whom Cejka is tied for third with, 4-under 67.

With three days left, it is anybody’s tournament. First round leaders rarely go wire-to-wire.

Cejka, who is 46 and a member of the PGA Tour, was also smiling when members of the media asked him about if it was true he would be donating money for every birdie he gets during the Web.com Tour Finals which the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship kicks off.

”Yes, to Houston” he said. We have a deal. I have a couple of friends that are going to chip in. I have $100 for each birdie I make, and I have a couple friends that are going to chip in to match what I do. And you know, at least we could make four birdies today and contribute a little bit, you know.”

Where did the idea come from?

”You know, you want to help,” Cejka said. You want to help, and a disaster like this happens, and people are just in a bad place and unlucky. and my wife likes to help, and when we can, luckily our home is in Vegas is safe. so you want to help people. They are not so lucky. So we decided to during the playoffs, all four weeks, every birdie I make we’re going to donate a little bit, and I needed to add a couple buddies.”

Cejka says he would have helped and donated anyway no matter if it was Houston or Utah. ”It’s a disaster, he said. ” It happens here in the States like regular, like every three or four years. So you know, it’s a shame. But we’re going to fix it, even if it’s a couple bucks, we’re just trying to help.”

The 5’8, 170-pound golfer, was born in Czechoslovakia. He left there with his parents as a refugee at age 9 and eventually settling in Munich where he became a German citizen.

He turned pro in 1989 and has 12 wins spread over four different tours.

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