Despite early playoff exit, Hadwin and Taylor enjoy success as PGA Tour rookies
Posted on 1st September, 2015 / Source: Brad Ziemer, Guest Contributor
They both made early playoff exits, but that certainly should not diminish the solid rookie seasons Abbotsford natives Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin enjoyed on the PGA Tour.
The first goal for any PGA Tour rookie is to play well enough to keep your card for another year. Taylor and Hadwin passed that test. They’ll both be back teeing it up in golf’s promised land next year. Both, however, will undoubtedly be feeling a little sour about how their seasons ended.
After finishing in the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list to qualify for the lucrative four-event PGA Tour playoffs, Taylor and Hadwin were both eliminated in the first round. Hadwin entered the first playoff event, The Barclays in New Jersey, at No. 95 on the points list, while Taylor was No. 102. The top 100 players after The Barclays survived to play in the second playoff event, the Deutsche Bank Championship. Hadwin missed the cut at The Barclays, so his season ended. Taylor made the cut, but struggled in the final round and finished as the bubble boy at No. 101 on the points list. Five feet, seven inches was all that separated Taylor from advancing to the second round of the playoffs. That was the length of the birdie putt Taylor missed on the 18th green in the final round of The Barclays. Still, despite their early playoff exits, both can draw a lot of positives from their rookie years. Not the least of which is the fact they remain fully exempt for 2016.
“Disappointing way to end the year,” Hadwin said on Twitter. “Didn’t have my best when I needed it. Consolation is I keep my job for next year!”
And that is a very nice consolation prize. Hadwin earned $937,611 US in his rookie season. He had three top 10s and made 18 of 29 cuts. He’ll aim to be more consistent next year and I have a hunch he’s going to win soon.
Taylor, of course, already has. He won the Sanderson Farms Championship last November and that victory left Taylor, whose earnings totalled nearly $1.1 million this year, in a very sweet spot. He’s fully exempt on the PGA Tour for the next two years.
Things didn’t go quite as well for B.C.’s other rookie on tour this year. Merritt’s Roger Sloan finished 200th on the FedEx Cup points list, meaning he will compete in this month’s four-event Web.com Tour playoffs. He’ll tee it up with players finishing 126th through 200th on the FedEx Cup points list and the top 75 on the Web.com Tour money list. There will be 50 PGA Tour cards up for grabs, although 25 of those are reserved for the top 25 finishers on the Web.com Tour money list. If Sloan does not regain his PGA Tour status, he’ll be fully exempt on the Web.com Tour in 2016.
The Web.com Tour is exactly where a few other B.C. golfers hope to be next year. With the Mackenzie Tour (PGA Tour Canada) heading into its final stretch, West Vancouver’s Kevin Spooner is fifth on the money list. The top five on the money list at season’s end earn some status on the 2016 Web.com Tour. Others are close. Chilliwack’s Brad Clapp moved to No. 7 on the money list with his recent win at the Mackenzie Tour’s Great Waterway Classic, Surrey’s Adam Svensson is 11th, while Riley Wheeldon of Comox is 17th.
It seems a good bet that Taylor and Hadwin will soon have some B.C. company on the PGA Tour.
Kudos to Vancouver Golf Club, which once again did a nice job of playing host to the LPGA Tour’s CP Women’s Open. Large crowds turned out to get a glimpse of young Canadian star Brooke Henderson and witness Lydia Ko winning her third Canadian Open in the last four years. It was a great week. Golf Canada boss Scott Simmons said he hopes the tournament will return to Vancouver Golf Club in the next five years. Local golf fans hope he’s right.
Article by Guest Contributor Brad Ziemer, as featured in the August 2015 edition of the GolfBC eNews. Brad Ziemer covers the B.C. golf scene for the Vancouver Sun. He received Golf Canada’s Distinguished Service Award in 2013 and was also named the PGA of British Columbia’s Patron of the Year in 2013...