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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Golf Report

THE FLATSStewart Cink accelerates into the weekend at Sony Open, stays in Hawai’i for first Champions Tour event … Andy Ogletree welcomed into LIV Golf and HyFlyers team … Cink not a fan of new event structure on PGA Tour … Three Jackets in field for first Korn Ferry Tour event … More details below in this week’s Georgia Tech #ProJackets Report.

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CINK ACCELERATES INTO WEEKEND AT SONY OPEN

Stewart Cink has surveyed PGA TOUR Champions pros about when to commit a full-time crossover to the 50-and-over circuit, and he receives a consistent response.

Not that he gathers much specific insight.

“Most everybody I talked to just said, ‘You’ll know,’” Cink said. “They didn’t say how. They didn’t even say how they knew. They just said, ‘You’ll know.’”

Right now, Cink knows that he has a chance at his ninth PGA TOUR title. (Cink tied for 24th ultimately).

Cink, 50, opened the Sony Open in Hawaii in rounds of 67-65, one back of leader Carl Yuan through the late-early wave at Waialae Country Club. Cink stayed steady in gnarly conditions Thursday afternoon – steady rain and stiff winds – and pounced with a bogey-free, 5-under 65 on Friday morning, positioning himself for a realistic chance at his ninth TOUR title this weekend.

Unlike most of his TOUR peers, Cink is staying in Hawaii for next week’s PGA TOUR Champions season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. Cink played four Champions Tour events last season (in addition to 27 TOUR starts) and might play a healthy number this season. His gathered advice has also included picking one Tour and sticking with it, but he plans to take the opposite approach.

“I’m not doing that,” Cink said. “I’m not trying to make the FedExCup or the Charles Schwab Cup my priority, to capture one of those Cups. I just want to play good golf, and I don’t care where it is.”

More from PGATour.com

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CINK AMONG STORYLINES TO FOLLOW ON PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

PGA TOUR Champions kicks off its 45th year next week in Hawaii with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, the first of 28 events in 2024. The season will culminate in November with the crowning of a Charles Schwab Cup champion in Phoenix.

The 2024 schedule includes 25 regular-season tournaments and three Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs events. During the season, players will compete for more than $67 million in total prize money, the highest in PGA TOUR Champions history. Here are some storylines to watch as the 2024 season unfolds.

2009 Open champion Stewart Cink, who turned 50 on May 21, 2023, made four starts last season, including a third-place finish at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Cink will still be considered a rookie in 2024 due to only making four starts last year.

More from PGATour.com

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PETEFISH, STEELMAN START KORN FERRY TOUR SEASON IN BAHAMAS

Chris Petefish and Ross Steelman, both of whom played full-time on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023, are guaranteed 12 starts in 2024 and got started with their 2024 Korn Ferry Tour schedule this week at the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic along with Paul Haley II, who also has status on the PGA Tour for 2024.

Steelman stood tied for 13th place at 6-under-par, six strokes off the lead after round 2 on Monday.

Korn Ferry Tour leaderboard

OGLETREE READY TO TRANSITION TO LIV GOLF

Andy Ogletree enjoyed a remarkable 2023 on the Asian Tour that included two wins on its International Series, which helped him finish top of its Order of Merit.

That earned him a place with LIV Golf for the upcoming season, and his efforts have now been further rewarded after being named the Asian Tour’s Player of the Year with the Kyi Hla Han award.

It wasn’t just the two victories earned by the 2019 US Amateur champion that defined Ogletree’s year. He also produced five more top 10 finishes on the circuit, including ninth at the high-profile PIF Saudi International, which featured many LIV Golf players.

A measure of how the successful the American’s 2023 on the Tour had been can also be found with his rise in the world rankings. He began the year ranked 861st and finished it almost 700 places higher at World No.169.

The announcement means Ogletree follows fellow LIV Golf player Anirban Lahiri, who won the award in 2014 and 2015. Sihwan Kim, who was relegated from LIV Golf at the end of the season, also won the award in 2022.

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CINK “MIXED” ON NEW PGA TOUR EVENT STRUCTURE

Stewart Cink knows about change as well as anyone, a combination of good play and his birth certificate. At age 50, the former British Open champion is the only player at the Sony Open who will stay in Hawaii next week for the PGA Tour Champions opener.

Cink played at Firestone when it held the World Series of Golf. He missed it when it became a World Golf Championship for only Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup players. And then he won it in 2004 when it was for the top 50 in the world.

So what to make of this new PGA Tour model of signature events and $20 million purses with small fields and most of them not having cuts?

He is in the final year of his full exemption from two victories in the 2021 season, but he was well out of the top 50 (No. 153) in the FedEx Cup. That’s what it takes to secure spots in the eight signature events this year.

The change was a reaction to the ongoing threat of Saudi-funded LIV Golf. The idea was to bring the best players on the PGA Tour together more often and reward them with $20 million prize funds, not to mention a new PGA Tour requirement to have flushable toilets on the course for player families.

“Unfortunately, I do think it’s probably the right thing to do for golf fans,” Cink said. “If all the players play in those and we get great fields playing for a lot of money, then it’s great. It’s just I don’t think it serves everybody. And the PGA Tour has been about doing the best for everybody, for all the pros and members.

More from the Associated Press

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • PGA Tour: The American Express • January 18-21, 2024 • Pete Dye Stadium Course • LaQuinta, Calif. • Purse: $8.4M • FedEx Cup points: 500
  • Korn Ferry Tour:  The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic • January 21-24, 2024 • The Abaco Club on Winding Bay • Great Abaco, Bahamas • Purse: $1M • KFT points: 500
  • PGA Tour Champions:  Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalei • January 18-20, 2023 • Ritz-Carlton Golf Club • Orlando, Fla. • Purse: $2M
  • PGA Tour Americas: Bupa Championship • March 21-24, 2024 • PGA Riviera Maya • Tulum, Mexico • Purse: $225K • Fortinet Cup points: n/a
  • Asian Tour/International Series: International Series Oman • February 22-25, 2024 • Al Mouj Golf • Oman • Purse: $2M • Fortinet Cup points: n/a
  • LIV Golf Series: Mayakoba • February 2-4, 2024 • El Camaleon Golf Club • Mayakoba, Mexico • Purse: $20M

#PROJACKETS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

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: 114
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
PGA Tour Champions
Chubb Classic
withdrew
80-WD
Schwab 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
Did not playFedEx Cup points ranking: 110
YTD earnings: $85,667
Career earnings: $11,809,726
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
PGA Tour
Genesis Invitational
missed cut
72-72--144 (+2)
FedEx Cup points ranking: 135
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
Did not playFedEx Cup points ranking: 130
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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