Monday, September 30, 2013


 By Joe Chemycz, Tour staff
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Rookie Chesson Hadley fired a 1-under 69 Sunday and won the season-ending Tour Championship by two strokes over four others. Hadley, a rookie out of Georgia Tech, posted a 10-under 270 total at the TPC Sawgrass Dye’s Valley course and collected his second win of the year.
Hadley trailed by one to start the rain-delayed final round but jumped in front with three birdies in his first five holes to open a three-stroke lead. Trouble emerged on the back nine and Hadley stumbled down the stretch for the second straight day but still had enough left to hold off the field and collect the winner’s trophy and a check for $180,000.
“This is incredible. I have no idea what happened,” said Hadley, who hit eight fairways and had 31 total putts. “It was blackout golf out there today and I was just trying not to puke on myself on the way in, even though I tried to.”
Hadley’s wild ride on the back nine -- two birdies and four bogeys -- was enough to keep things interesting as the field jockeyed to earn the final 25 available PGA TOUR cards for the 2013-14 season.
Hadley had finished No. 3 on the Regular Season money list and moved up from No. 14 to No. 3 on the Finals Priority Ranking with his win. The ranking determined a pecking order for the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season, which begins in two weeks with the Open in California.
“This is something that we’ve been dreaming of since we were kids out there beating balls on the range with our parents,” said Hadley. “To see that come to fruition with a bunch of hard work and a bunch of people supporting us along the way, it’s pretty special.”
Brendon Todd’s 5-under 65 was the low round of the day and it gave the Stadion Classic at UGA winner a share of second place with Canada’s Brad Fritsch (66), LSU’s John Peterson (72) and third-round leader Scott Gardiner (72) of Australia.
Todd was already assured of a TOUR card  by virtue of his 20th-place finish on the Regular Season money list but he moved up eight spots to No. 12 in the Tour Finals.
Fritsch missed the cut in his first three starts in the Finals but earned enough to regain his playing privileges.
Peterson capped off a furious late-season surge that saw him finish in the top-5 in all four of the Finals events. His payday of $66,000 pushed his money total to $230,000, about $567 more than Hadley and good for the No. 1 spot on the Finals money list.
The top spot gave Peterson full-exempt status in 2013-14 as well as a berth in THE PLAYERS Championship next May.
“I was aware at the beginning of the week,” said Peterson of the No. 1 ranking. “I thought I had to win or finish solo second barring a win by someone near me. I knew I needed a big week but I didn’t think it would turn out like this.”
Andrew Loupe, a college teammate and roommate of Peterson’s at LSU, fired a 1-under 69 and finished in a tie for sixth place. His payday of $34,750 was just enough to sneak him into the top 50 in the Priority Ranking
Fourth-Round Notes and Quotes:
• Sunday weather: Mostly cloudy and windy. Overnight low 72. Daytime high 82. Wind NE 10-20 mph.
• The start of the fourth round was delayed until 11:30 a.m. due to heavy overnight and early morning rain. Rainfall totaled 1.8 inches.
• Lift, clean and place rules were in effect for all four rounds.
• John Peterson shot a 3-under 67 to finish tied for second with three others at 8-under 272, his fourth straight top-5 finish in the Finals. Peterson’s check for $66,000 pushed his Finals money total to $230,000, giving him the No. 1 spot on the list by $566.67 over tournament winner Chesson Hadley.
• By finishing No. 1 on the Priority Ranking John Peterson earned Full Exempt status on the PGA TOUR for the 2013-14 season, which starts in two weeks at the Open. He also earned an exemption into THE PLAYERS Championship next spring.
• Chesson Hadley collected his second win in his rookie season on the Tour, adding the Tour Championship title to the one he won at the Rex Hospital Open in June.
• Hadley picked up a check for $180,000 this week.
• Hadley will be a rookie on the 2013-14 PGA TOUR. He has made two career starts but missed the cut in both the 2012 and the 2013 Wyndham Championship.
• Hadley’s second win came in his 22nd start of the year. Hadley made 16 cuts this year and in addition to his two wins he also finished second once (Mid-Atlantic Championship) and tied for third twice (BMW Charity Pro-Am, Midwest Classic).
• Hadley is now 2-for-2 when holding a second-round lead this year. He was ahead by two after 36 holes this week and held a one-stroke lead at the midway point of the Rex Hospital Open.
• Here’s how Hadley performed in the four Tour Finals events:
Hadley in the Finals
Rd. 1
Rd. 2
Rd. 3
Rd. 4
09/01 Hotel Fitness T69 71 70 74 73 288 (E) $2,500.00
09/08 Chiquita Classic T34 72 70 73 72 287 (-1) $5,600.00
09/15 Nationwide Children's T4 68 67 73 71 279 (-5) $41,333.33
09/29 Championship 1st 65 66 70 69 270 (-10) $180,000.00
• Regular Season money leader Michael Putnam finished with a 4-over 74 and a 286 (+6) total and in a tie for 62nd place. Putnam earned fully exempt status on TOUR in 2013-14 by virtue of finishing first on the money list for the first 21 events on the schedule. A two-time winner this year (Mexico Open, Mid-Atlantic Championship), Putnam also earned a spot in THE PLAYERS Championship next May.
• Brad Fritsch fired a 4-under 66 Sunday to finish at 8-under 272 and T2. Fritsch chalked up nine birdies in the final round and will return to the PGA TOUR for the upcoming season.
• Fritsch had missed the cut in all three of the previous Finals events and came into the week tied for 116th in the Priority Ranking. His T2 effort was worth $66,000 and pushed him all the way up to No. 14 in the Priority Ranking.
• Fritsch made the cut in 18 of 24 PGA TOUR starts this year, which was his rookie season. He had one top-10 finish (T9 at Farmers Insurance Open) and ended the season No. 129 on the FedExCup points list.
• John Peterson made the cut in 16 of 18 starts on the Tour this year and had six top-10 finishes and 13 top-25 outings. In the three weeks that he made the cut but didn’t get into the top-25, he finished T28, T30 and T36.
• Peterson capped off a tremendous late-season run that ended with five straight top-5 weeks:



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