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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Golf Report

THE FLATSMatt Kuchar turns back the clock with runner-up finish in Mexico … Andy Ogletree continues to close on in Asian Tour and International Series Order of Merit titles … More details below in this week’s Georgia Tech #ProJackets Report.

*****

KUCHAR SETTLES FOR RUNNER-UP FINISH IN MEXICO

Matt Kuchar and Camilo Villegas turned back the clock at the World Wide Technology Championship. The accomplished forty-something pros shared the 54-hole lead at El Cardonal at Diamante, creating new memories for old fans. It appeared for much of the weekend that one of them would hoist the title and snap a lengthy victory drought.

Yet they’ll depart Mexico with wistfulness, sharing second place at 25 under, at the receiving end of Erik van Rooyen’s final-nine 28 (punctuated by a closing eagle) for a two-stroke victory.

Kuchar hasn’t won on TOUR since 2019; Villegas’ drought dates to 2014. Each held the solo lead at one point Sunday – Villegas was 4 under through six; Kuchar led by himself with just two holes remaining. This week marked the first TOUR event to be played at a Tiger Woods design, so perhaps it was fitting that two of Woods’ contemporaries jockeyed for the title through the weekend.

“I think as anybody knows, you never know when you wake up the next morning if golf will still be there for you,” Kuchar added. “I’ve felt good now for a while. I felt like this is kind of the best ownership I’ve had of my golf swing and kind of what I’m doing with the golf ball. Held steady all week. A good solid week of golf for me.”

The two veterans have won FedExCup Playoffs events, competed in international team competitions and combined for approximately $80 million in PGA TOUR earnings. They’ve both featured in the top 10 on the Official World Golf Ranking and have identifiable traits that connect them with fans – think Villegas’ long-used Spider-Man green-reading technique, or Kuchar’s daffy grin. But they’re not done striving to compete at the highest level or make new memories, as they proved this week.

Kuchar, the 2018 World Wide Technology Championship winner earned his 15th runner-up finish on TOUR in his 535th career start. He also jumped from No. 66 to No. 52 in the FedEx Cup points list, which would make him eligible for two more signature events in 2024 if he remains in the top 60.

Meanwhile, Chesson Hadley turned in a tie for seventh place with a closing 63 and moved up to No. 104 in the FedEx Cup points standings, solidifying his position for 2024 with two events remaining.

*****

OGLETREE CLOSER TO SEALING TOP SPOT IN ASIAN TOUR ORDER OF MERIT

The final three weeks of this year’s International Series began in Shenzhen last Thursday, with Andy Ogletree leading the race to claim a place with LIV Golf in 2024.

Ogletree takes a healthy lead at the top of the series’ order of merit into the Volvo China Open at Hidden Grace Golf Club, with Spain’s David Puig and Zimbabwe’s Kieran Vincent more than US$500,000 behind, in second and third respectively.

Victories in Qatar and England, plus top-10s in Singapore, Oman and Scotland, have propelled the American to the top of the rankings, making the 25-year-old the runaway favourite to join the likes of Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka and others in the team league next year.

But with stops in Hong Kong and Indonesia to also come this month, and some US$360,000 for the winner of each tournament, even the fifth-place Wade Orsmby will fancy his chances of challenging for the order of merit title.

Ogletree had a chance to wrap up The International Series Order of Merit with two International Series events remaining. He needed to finish in outright third or better at the Volvo China Open last weekend, but he closed with a 69 to finish in a tie for seventh. Ogletree continues to own a healthy lead and will likely seal the top spot – and full membership in next year’s LIV Golf League – at next week’s Hong Kong Open.

*****

KUCHAR HAD THE WILDEST ROUND WE’LL EVER SEE

After his second straight round of 65 in the Wide World Technology Open on Friday, an upbeat Matt Kuchar recalled that when he left his family at home to head for this week’s tournament in Mexico, he had a good feeling about the week. “Never know,” he said. “I’ve certainly said that before and it’s not gone quite as planned. Golf is a fickle creature.”

Fickle, exhilarating, confounding and utterly maddening. Kuchar would add those adjectives after what he experienced in the third round on Saturday at El Cardonal Diamante in Los Cabos.

The exhilarating: Kuchar opened the round with an eagle and three more birdies against a bogey, then made three more birdies to shoot seven-under 29 on his front side. And when the Georgian made another three straight birdies from 12 through 14, he reached 24 under overall and had a six-shot lead.

The coronation walk to a 10th career victory seemed on.

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • PGA Tour: Butterfield Bermuda Championship • November 9-12, 2023 • Port Royal Golf Course • Southampton, Bermuda • Purse: $6.5M • FedEx Cup points: 500
  • Korn Ferry Tour:  season concluded
  • PGA Tour Champions:  Charles Schwab Cup Championship • November 9-12, 2023 • Phoenix Country Club • Phoenix, Ariz. • Purse: $3M
  • PGA Tour Canada: season concluded
  • Asian Tour/International Series: Hong Kong Open • November 9-12, 2023 • Hong Kong Golf Club • Hong Kong, China • Purse: $2M
  • LIV Golf Series: season concluded
  • G Pro Tour: Mimosa Challenge • November 7-9, 2023 • Mimosa Hills Golf & Country Club • Morganton, N.C. • Purse: $66,525

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PLAYERPLAYERLAST WEEKDATA
ANDERS ALBERTSON
Hometown: Woodstock, Ga.
Turned pro: 2015
Years at Georgia Tech: 2011-15
Status: PGA Tour
Did not playFedEx Cup points ranking: n/a
YTD earnings: n/a
Career earnings (PGAT): $512,187
Career earnings (KFT): $915,431
STEWART CINK
Hometown: Florence, Ala.
Residence: Duluth, Ga.
Turned pro: 1995
Years at Georgia Tech: 1991-95
Status: PGA Tour/PGA Tour Champions
Did not playSchwab Cup points: 5
YTD Earnings (Champions): $93,000
Career earnings (Champions): $561,639
FedEx Cup points ranking: 132
YTD earnings (PGA Tour): $67,645
Career earnings (PGA Tour): $43,526,864
WILL DICKSON
Hometown: Providence, R.I.
Residence: Atlanta, Ga.
Turned pro: 2021
Years at Georgia Tech: 2017-21
Status: Developmental tours
Did not playGPro Points ranking: n/a
YTD Earnings (GPro): $n/a
Career earnings (GPro): $56,010
Points ranking (KFT): 193
YTD earnings (KFT): $4,538
Points ranking (FET): 154
YTD earnings (FET): $2,571
DAVID DUVAL
Hometown: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Residence: Denver, Colo.
Turned pro: 1993
Years at Georgia Tech: 1989-93
Status: PGA Tour Champions
Did not playSchwab Cup Points ranking: 49
YTD earnings (Champions): $17,000
Career earnings (Champions): $310,290
Career earnings (PGAT): $18,983,931
J.T. GRIFFIN
Hometown: Wilson, N.C.
Residence: Marietta, Ga.
Turned pro: 2011
Years at Georgia Tech: 2007-11
Status: Korn Ferry Tour
Did not playFortinet Cup points: n/a
YTD earnings (Canada): n/a
Career earnings (Canada): $29,836
Career earnings (KFT): $187,056
CHESSON HADLEY
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
Turned pro: 2010
Years at Georgia Tech: 2006-10
Status: PGA Tour
PGA Tour
Mexico Open at Vidanta
69-67-69-70--275 (-9)
FedEx Cup points ranking: 99
YTD earnings: $147,362
Career earnings: $11,871,421
SHUN YAT HAK
Hometown: Hong Kong
Turned pro: 2013
Years at Georgia Tech: 2012-13
Status: PGA Tour China
Did not playFortinet Cup points: n/a
YTD earnings: n/a
Career earnings: ¥251,305
PAUL HALEY II
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Turned pro: 2011
Years at Georgia Tech: 2007-11
Status: PGA Tour
Did not playKFT points ranking: 119
YTD earnings: n/a
Career earnings (PGAT): $828,193
Career earnings (KFT): $1,078,795
CONNOR HOWE
Hometown: Ogden, Utah
Residence: Atlanta, Ga.
Turned pro: 2023
Years at Georgia Tech: 2018-23
Status: PGA Tour Canada
Did not playFortinet Cup points ranking: n/a
YTD earnings (Canada): $n/a
MATT KUCHAR
Hometown:
Lake Mary, Fla.
Residence: Sea Island, Ga.
Turned pro: 2000
Years at Georgia Tech: 1997-2000
Status: PGA Tour
Did not playFedEx Cup points ranking: 146
YTD earnings: n/a
Career earnings (PGAT): $58,758,691
LARRY MIZE
Residence: Columbus, Ga.
Turned pro: 1980
Years at Georgia Tech: 1975-79
Status: PGA Tour Champions
Did not playSchwab Cup points ranking: n/a
YTD earnings: n/a
Career earnings (Champions): $5,154,323
Career earnings (PGAT): $7,947,092
NOAH NORTON
Hometown: Chico, Calif.
Residence: Atlanta, Ga.
Turned pro: 2021
Years at Georgia Tech: 2017-21
Status: Developmental tours
Did not playPoints ranking (GPro): n/a
YTD earnings (GPro): n/a
ANDY OGLETREE
Hometown: Little Rock, Miss.
Residence: Roswell, Ga.
Turned pro: 2020
Years at Georgia Tech: 2016-20
Status: Asian Tour
Did not playLIV standings: 50
YTD earnings (LIV): $182,250
Order of Merit (Asian Tour): n/a
YTD earnings (Asian Tour): n/a
YTD earnings (LIV): n/a
Career earnings (LIV): $873,250
CHRIS PETEFISH
Hometown: Danville, Calif.
Turned pro: 2018
Years at Georgia Tech: 2014-18
Status: Korn Ferry Tour
Did not playKFT Points ranking: 92
YTD earnings (KFT): $5,850
Career earnings (KFT): $328,065
Career earnings (PGA Tour Canada): $21,118
SETH REEVES
Hometown: Duluth, Ga.
Turned pro: 2014
Years at Georgia Tech: 2010-14
Status: Korn Ferry Tour
Did not playKFT points ranking: 133
YTD earnings: $4,050
Career earnings (PGAT): $649,622
Career earnings (KFT): $630,168
LUKE SCHNIEDERJANS
Hometown: Powder Springs, Ga.
Residence: Alpharetta, Ga.
Turned pro: 2020
Years at Georgia Tech: 2016-20
Status: MacKenzie Tour/Forme Tour
Did not playFortinet Cup points: n/a
YTD earnings (Canada): n/a
Career earnings (Canada): $46,844
OLLIE SCHNIEDERJANS
Hometown: Powder Springs, Ga.
Turned pro: 2015
Years at Georgia Tech: 2011-15
Status: Korn Ferry Tour
Did not playKFT Points ranking: n/a
YTD earnings: n/a
Career earnings (KFT): $553,500
Career earnings (PGAT): $3,879,653
BEN SMITH
Hometown: Novi, Mich.
Residence: Atlanta, Ga.
Turned pro: 2022
Years at Georgia Tech: 2018-22
Status: developmental tours
Did not playGPro points ranking: n/a
YTD earnings: n/a
ROSS STEELMAN
Hometown: Columbia, Mo.
Residence: Atlanta, Ga.
Turned pro: 2023
Years at Georgia Tech: 2021-23
Status: Korn Ferry Tour
Did not playKFT points ranking: 9
YTD earnings: $85,619
Career earnings (KFT): $109,740
TYLER STRAFACI
Hometown: Davie, Fla.
Residence: Davie, Fla.
Turned pro: 2020
Years at Georgia Tech: 2016-20
Status: none
Did not playFortinet Cup points: n/a
YTD earnings (Canada): n/a
Career earnings (Canada): $24,570
YTD earnings (GPro Tour): $1,112
Career earnings (PGA Tour): $21,111
Career earnings (Canada): $12,970
NICHOLAS THOMPSON
Hometown: Coral Springs, Fla.
Turned pro: 2005
Years at Georgia Tech: 2001-05
Status: Korn Ferry Tour
Did not playKFT points ranking: n/a
YTD earnings: n/a
Career earnings (KFT): $922,294
Career earnings (PGAT): $5,729,551
CAMERON TRINGALE
Hometown: Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Turned pro: 2009
Years at Georgia Tech: 2005-09
Status: LIV Golf/Asian Tour
Did not playYTD Earnings (LIV): $397,800
YTD earnings (Asian Tour): n/a
Career earnings (LIV): $6,872,648
Career earnings (PGAT): $17,310,004
RICHY WERENSKI
Hometown: South Hadley, Mass.
Turned pro: 2014
Years at Georgia Tech: 2011-14
Status: Korn Ferry Tour
Did not playKFT points ranking: 21
YTD earnings: $56,680
Career earnings (KFT): $508,233
Career earnings (PGAT): $6,699,075
VINCENT WHALEY
Hometown: McKinney, Texas
Residence: Alpharetta, Ga.
Turned pro: 2017
Years at Georgia Tech: 2013-17
Status: PGA Tour
PGA Tour
Mexico Open at Vidanta
missed cut
71-72--143 (+1)
FedEx Cup points ranking: 144
YTD earnings (PGA Tour): $45,780
Career earnings (PGAT): $2,691,589
Korn Ferry Tour points ranking: 119
YTD earnings (KFT): $20,415
Career earnings (KFT): $263,392

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