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B.C. pros juggle for position -- and their jobs -- as PGA Tour begins home stretch

Posted on 1st July, 2019 / Source: Brad Ziemer, Guest Contributor


Nick Taylor clearly does not want a repeat of what happened last year.

All Taylor had to do last year was shoot the round of his life in the final round of the final event of the regular season to maintain his exempt status on the PGA Tour.

Taylor had entered last year’s Wyndham Championship in 129th place on the FedEx Cup points race. He needed to move inside the top 125 to keep his job.

You want pressure? That’s pressure.

The Abbotsford native responded with a brilliant seven-under 63 in the final round, finishing the event in a tie for eighth place and jumping 10 spots to 119th on the FedEx Cup points list.

Fast forward to this year and Taylor is in a slightly more secure position, although he’s probably not quite ready to exhale just yet.
He emerged from the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit on the Canada Day weekend, where he tied for 35th place, at No. 108 on the FedEx Cup list. With only five regular-season events left on the schedule, Taylor may have enough wiggle room to be safe.

Fellow British Columbian Roger Sloan is anything but safe. The Merritt native also made the cut in Detroit, finishing tied for 21st, and moved up three places on the FedEx Cup list to No. 116. That’s nail-biting territory for Sloan, who failed to keep his card in his first crack at the PGA Tour back in 2015.

Sloan can’t afford to take any time off between now and this year’s Wyndham Championship, which goes July 31-Aug. 3 and concludes the regular season. He needs to not only make cuts, but may require at least one more solid finish like he had in Detroit to remain inside the top 125 on the points list.

Surrey’s Adam Svensson, meanwhile, probably needs the golfing month of his life to retain his exempt status. It’s been a tough rookie season on the PGA Tour for the 25-year-old Svensson, who graduated from the Web.com Tour -- recently renamed the Korn Ferry Tour -- last year.

Svensson has missed the cut in 13 of 20 starts this year. His missed cut in Detroit was a real heart-breaker. Svensson birdied his final three holes in the second round to get to four-under, which looked like it was going to be the cut-line. However, the cut moved to five-under late in the day and Svensson had another weekend off.
He is now 184th on the money list and seems destined for the Korn Ferry Tour playoffs, where he will have a chance to earn one of 25 PGA Tour cards up for grabs. If he misses that, Svensson will be back to the Korn Ferry Tour for the 2019-20 season.

Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin, the final member of the foursome of British Columbians on the PGA Tour, has no such worries.
Hadwin has enjoyed another solid season. He is currently 49th on the FedEx Cup points list and if he remains inside the top 70, Hadwin will be guaranteed at least two starts once the three-event PGA Tour playoffs begin in the second week of August.

Hadwin is one of two Canadians with a spot in this month’s Open Championship. He will join Ontario’s Corey Conners at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Despite his secure status, Hadwin has lots to play for. He would love to compete in his second Presidents Cup, which goes Dec. 9-15 in Melbourne, Australia. 

Hadwin is currently 19th in the International team standings. The top eight players make the team and captain Ernie Els will fill out his squad with four captain’s picks. Unless he can win a tournament, moving into the top eight will be tough for Hadwin. But if he can string together some good tournaments, it might be enough to get Els’ attention and earn a trip Down Under.

Brad Ziemer covered the B.C. golf scene for the Vancouver Sun for nearly 25 years. He is a past recipient of Golf Canada’s Distinguished Service Award and the PGA of British Columbia’s Patron of the Year award.

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