Just under two years after turning professional, Cameron Davis has both an Australian Open and PGA Tour card to his name.
The 2018 Web.Com Tour season comes to a close this week with the playing of the Web.Com Tour Championship in Atlantic City in Florida where eight Australians will fight for not only the title and the US$180,000 first prize but the right to play the PGA Tour in 2019.
Two of those eight, Cameron Davis and Curtis Luck, are all but assured of a ticket to the big-time next season but, for all eight, the week provides the opportunity to either improve their current standing for 2019 or force their way onto the PGA Tour.
The leading 25 players from the four event Web.Com Tour Finals at the completion of this week’s event- after those already qualified through the regular season have been deducted – at the Atlantic Beach Country Club near Jacksonville in Florida’s north-east earn the right to play on golf’s most lucrative tour and so there will be many tournaments within a tournament and a lot of anxiety as the week progresses.
Despite missing the cut last week Sydney’s Cameron Davis is currently in 7th position in the race for one of the 25 cards. While already assured of graduation, another good week on top of his 3rd place finish three starts ago will enhance his prospects of plenty of early season starts.
West Australian Curtis Luck dropped two places last week and is currently in 16th place. His total of US$41,000 has historically been enough to get the job done and although mathematically possible to be gazumped this week he appears safe. A cut made would certainly be enough.
Victorian Aaron Baddeley sits precariously in 20th position. The final total required is very much a moving feast as a player not only has to rely on his own efforts but those of others although a top 30 would appear to be enough for Baddeley to regain full PGA Tour status.
Baddeley does enjoy the luxury, if that is what it can be called, of partial status on the PGA tour courtesy of a 132nd placing on this year’s FedEx Cup standings. The chance to regain full status however will assist his cause in 2019 and so his performance this week is important.
Baddeley’s fellow Victorian, Cameron Percy, is currently sitting in 44th place of the 150 players eligible to play ‘The Finals’ and needs another US$26,000 or so to be guaranteed a card for 2019. On that basis a top 11 finish might be enough so the Victorian faces a big task this week.
Lismore’s Rhein Gibson is currently 58th in the standings and a finish inside the top 7 this week appears necessary for him to be on his way back to the PGA Tour where he played two years ago.
NSW’s golfer Brett Drewitt began well at last week’s Boise Open but struggled over the weekend to finish 43rd. He now appears to need a finish inside the top 6 or better to return to the PGA Tour where he played in 2017.
Queenslander John Senden is playing his way back into competitive golf after a break away from the game to attend to his son’s illness. He played several PGA Tour events in 2018 without any real success and therefore needs a big finish this week if he is to return to the PGA Tour where the former Australian Open Champion has previously won on two occasions.
Senden is languishing in 77th position on the Finals money list and therefore needs a top five 5 finish or better this week to regain PGA Tour status.
Victorian Stuart Appleby has also struggled in the Finals missing two of three cuts and he also now finds himself needing a top 5 finish this week.
A lot therefore is at stake for the Australians, the chance to reach the pinnacle of tournament golf a huge incentive to play to the best of their ability.
For those unable to reach that all important top 25 they face, in the main, a year on the Web.Com Tour where purses are typically just 10% of those available on the PGA Tour.