Sunday, October 14, 2012
Updated: October 15, 2:13 PM ET
PGA Tour job hunting continues
With the PGA Tour season coming to a close in the next month, plenty of golfers are still hoping to lock up their jobs for the 2013 season.
So who has the best shot to keep their privileges for next year? And where do our scribes fall on the shorts/slacks debate?
Our experts analyze all that and more in our latest edition of Monday Four-Ball.
1. Of the players who finished in the top 10 at the Frys.com Open who are struggling to keep their PGA Tour card for 2013, who has the best shot of reaching that goal?
Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: That's only three guys who are outside the top 125 (Gary Woodland will be exempt because of his win at the Transitions Championship in 2011): Tim Petrovic, Alexandre Rocha and Russell Knox.
Rocha is in the best position at 128th on the money list, but Petrovic is the most seasoned veteran, and this time of year, experience really matters.
Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Tim Petrovic. It's been an ugly last couple of years for the 46-year-old, one-time tour winner, but a tie for second at the Frys lifted him from 200th on the money list to 132nd. Now with a good finish at McGladrey he could earn full playing privileges for next year. Petrovic, who has split time this year between the regular tour and the Web.com Tour, will get it done over the next couple of weeks because he's had a lot of experience through the years fighting for his card.
Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Jason Kokrak was really struggling, making just his 11th cut in 25 starts this year. But he made the best of it, tying for second, to jump 50 spots on the money list from 167th to 117th. He's had just two top-25 finishes, but with just two tournaments remaining toward top-125 status, he might not have to do much to retain his card.
Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: I'll go with Alexandre Rocha from Brazil first, with American Tim Petrovic a close second. My main reasoning? Both have decent finishes at the year's final two events (McGladrey and Disney.) And Rocha gets the edge by being one of only four players at the Frys.com Open to notch all four rounds in the 60s. That consistent play, if he can keep it up, will clinch that job with the big boys for next year.
2. Which of the Sea Island-based PGA Tour pros will have the best showing this week at the McGladrey Classic?
Michael Collins: That's tough, because of the seven guys living on the island, three big ones aren't playing (Jonathan Byrd, Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson). With Davis Love III hosting parties all week, you know he's got no shot at a top-10, so that leaves three guys. Of those three I say Brian Harman has the best finish, with Chris Kirk and Harris English all making the cut but finishing lower.
Farrell Evans: Brian Harman. The 25-year-old Savannah native and PGA Tour rookie nearly made it to the Tour Championship this year after a tie for fifth at The Barclays. Generously listed at 5-foot-7, the former University of Georgia star is one of the toughest little guys in golf. With his card already locked up for next year, he's probably looking forward to hunting season, but he will be fighting hard for bragging rights on the island this week at the McGladrey.
Bob Harig: Davis Love III. The U.S. Ryder Cup captain is the tournament host and will be playing in his backyard. It's been a heck of a run of late, and his game has shown some flashes despite all the distractions. He's got nothing to lose.
Kevin Maguire: Rookie Brian Harman already has his card locked up for 2013, so playing a home game doesn't come with any real added pressure. Plus, a strong showing, dare I say maybe even his first PGA Tour win, would get him into the rookie of the year conversation.
3. After several players at the Turkish Airlines Open played sans slacks, where do you stand on the shorts versus pants debate in pro golf?
Michael Collins: I would love to see shorts in a pro tournament, but I only want them to do it once or twice a year tops. And yes, Hawaii should be mandatory! For the people who say it's part of their work attire, I say, grow up, look at what football players' knee pads used to look like, or NBA players' shorts in the '70s. Actually, you probably shouldn't look at those.
Farrell Evans: I'm old-fashioned. Tour players need to wear pants. It's hard to imagine Bobby Jones or Ben Hogan or Jack Nicklaus ever wearing shorts in a tournament.
Bob Harig: It is not the worst thing in the world to allow shorts, and perhaps the PGA Tour might consider designating a handful of events each year in which they would be allowed. But to do so all the time? No.
Kevin Maguire: Call me a traditionalist, but it's just a bit jarring seeing the likes of Lee Westwood and Matt Kuchar out there in shorts playing in a professional event, even if it's an exhibition. I'd be fine with allowing it in certain situations, similar to the caddie heat rule (in which they don't have to wear their bibs if the mercury exceeds a certain temperature), but for everyday play, I'd vote no on this ballot referendum.
|Lee Westwood was among several golfers at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final exhibition event to wear shorts during tournament play. |
4. Which tour will Nicolas Colsaerts be playing the majority of his golf on in 2013?
Michael Collins: By accepting a temporary membership, he's planning on spending most of his time on the PGA Tour in 2013. He can keep his membership on the European Tour, but he'll play for the big money over here.
Farrell Evans: If the bomber from Belgium earns his PGA Tour card by the end of the year, he definitely centers his 2013 schedule around the PGA Tour. But I hope he gets enough international starts to keep good standing on the European Tour. Colsaerts would make a nice addition to the PGA Tour with his great length off the tee, but he would be a major loss to the European Tour.
Bob Harig: There's no point in going through the effort of gaining PGA Tour status if you are not going to use it. Colsaerts will play both tours, but because the PGA Tour requires more starts -- and three of the four majors are played in the U.S. -- you'll see him more on this side of the Atlantic. And there is no denying the lure of the big-money FedEx Cup playoffs.
Kevin Maguire: With the nearly $25,000 he made at the Frys.com Open, Colsaerts owns $677,011 in what amounts to official PGA Tour money for 2012. That would make him currently 119th on the money list, which would be cutting it close. I suspect, though, that when all is said and done, the Belgian Bomber will be on the American side of the pond in 2013.