The 2013 Web.com Tour regular season produced the normal slate of 25 PGA TOUR cards for the 2013-14 season. This year’s class of graduates includes nine rookies -- Chesson Hadley, Kevin Tway, Bronson La’Cassie, Will Wilcox, Brice Garnett, Peter Malnati, Benjamin Alvarado, Wes Roach and Kevin Foley -- several of which could stick around for a while. While this class does not appear to be as deep as some of the more recent groups, it does offer some very nice high-end options for gamers in full-season formats.
When preparing for the 2013-14 season, one thing of which to be mindful is the depth coming out of the 25 players from the Web.com Tour playoffs versus those out of Q School. Everyone earning a PGA TOUR card this season will have spent the 2013 season on either the Web.com Tour or the PGA TOUR, so there will not be instances of players of whom we’ve never heard.
Projections below are based on an estimated range of regular-season FedExCup finish. The hope is that this adds more value to full-season and salary cap gamers than just simply projecting Top 125, 126-150 and 150+.
Age (As of Oct. 10, 2013): 30
Record (regular season): 19 events; 15 cuts made; 11 top 25s; eight top 10s; two wins
Earnings (Before Web.com Playoffs): $450,184
Money List Rank: 1
Summary: No stranger to the Web.com Tour. His familiarity with the courses and the schedule certainly led to big things. His wins came in back-to-back weeks beginning with the Mexico Championship in late May and including the Mid-Atlantic Championship in early June. With a T2 and a T3 also on the ledger, he came close to a battlefield promotion.
2013-14 Expectations: Being first on the Web.com Tour money list has been a bit of a curse of late. One has to look all the way back to 2009 (Michael Sim) to find a money leader that actually retained his PGA TOUR playing privileges. All that to say it is by no means a lock that he will be successful in 2013-14. In 62 previous PGA TOUR events, he’s scored just one top 10. A solid start to his season will be a key for his confidence to show that he has cleared the hurdle. A slow start, and things could quickly go the way of J.J. Killeen or Casey Wittenberg.
Crystal Ball: I see him somewhere in the 110-140 range in the FedExCup Standings, so a bubble boy.
Age (as of Oct. 10, 2013): 26
Record (regular season): 18 events; 15 cuts made; 11 top 25s; six top 10s and two wins
Earnings (before Web.com Tour Finals): $399,769
Money List Rank: 2
Summary: Making his second consecutive lap around the Web.com circuit proved to be a huge advantage. Gave a nod to the familiarity of courses and cities being a major advantage in his second time around. Ranked first in all-around ranking, ball-striking and scoring average, second in GIR and was 10th in scrambling on the off chance he did miss a green. He was the total package.
2013-14 Expectations: He was a rookie on the PGA TOUR fresh out of Clemson in 2011 and made 12 of his 25 cuts with a T6 in Reno serving as the highlight. He should take a page out of his Web.com Tour playbook and use his second look on the PGA TOUR as a big advantage. With those stats and his confidence, don’t count him out for a win in the Fall Series.
Crystal Ball: Should be a good value, making his way into the FedExCup Playoffs in the 60-90 range.
Age (as of Oct. 10, 2013): 26
Record (regular season): 18 events; 12 cuts made; six top 10s; one win; one runner-up; two third-place finishes
Earnings (before Web.com Tour Finals): $305,999
Money List Rank: 3
Summary: The Web.com Tour rookie was a bit feast-or-famine, with all six of his top 25s going for top 10s. He won in his hometown Rex Hospital Open and also had strong finishes in both of the events Michael Putnam claimed. At 14th in driving distance and third in putting, he could have the skills to compete and contend on TOUR next season.
2013-14 Expectations: When I look at his splits and his background, the name that jumps to mind is Jason Kokrak. Kokrak was first in driving distance and 32nd in putting on the 2011 Web.com Tour and has managed to keep his card and occasionally contend in each of the last two seasons. Kokrak also earned his PGA TOUR in his rookie season on the Web.com Tour and resides in North Carolina. If he follows that formula, expect Hadley to do just enough in his rookie year on TOUR to stick around and then grow from there.
Crystal Ball: Expect him to miss some cuts, but ultimately end up in the 105-135 range in the FedExCup standings. Best-case scenario, he could be this year’s David Lingmerth.
Age (as of Oct. 10, 2013): 35
Record (regular season): 15 events; 12 cuts made; nine top 25s; six top 10s; a win, a second and a third
Earnings (before Web.com Tour Finals): $303,993
Money List Rank: 4
Summary: Easily navigated the Web.com Tour to earn a return trip to the PGA TOUR, but could be one of those guys that’s always a step above the Web.com Tour and a step below the PGA TOUR. In baseball, they refer to them as the Quadruple-A players in that they are too good for AAA but can’t stick in the big leagues. He ranked inside the top 20 in driving distance, putting and GIR but 102nd in driving accuracy.
2013-14 Expectations: There are numerous reasons a guy doesn’t stick on the PGA TOUR, but my read on Loar is that he doesn’t adjust well to the courses getting tougher at the top level. He can get away with being 102nd in driving accuracy on the Web.com Tour, but the PGA TOUR is just too penal for him to turn in those GIR stats after missing that many fairways. That said, with his power and putting it just takes one or two really good weeks to stick.
Crystal Ball: He has a shot to stick, but his value falls in the 120-150 range in the FedExCup standings.
Age (as of Oct. 10, 2013): 25
Record (regular season): 14 events; 12 cuts made; six top 25s; four top 10s and a win
Earnings (before Web.com Tour Finals): $260,541
Money List Rank: 5
Summary: Had a nice ball-striking season (ninth) and ranked a moderate 76th in putting average. Got off to a nice start with an eighth in Brazil and won the Albertsons Boise Open to lock up his card.
2013-14 Expectations: Given his pedigree from multiple angles, the pressure for him to succeed will be more than other PGA TOUR rookies and Web.com Tour graduates will experience. He’s the son of Bob Tway and a product of the heralded Oklahoma State golf program. The strength of his game is tee-to-green, so how he adjusts to the difficulty of TOUR courses and handles the putter will be the key. There are examples of guys like Bill Haas and Kevin Stadler performing well, so having a household name for a father could prove not to be all that distracting.
Crystal Ball: I can see this going a number of ways, but I’m inclined to think he will finish the regular season in the 85-115 range of the FedExCup standings.
Age (as of Oct. 10, 2013): 30
Record (regular season): 19 events; 10 cuts made; six top 25s; one win and two third-place finishes
Earnings (before Web.com Tour Finals): $255,629
Money List Rank: 6
Summary: Moved from 33rd to sixth on the Web.com Tour money list by winning the Cox Classic to close out the regular season. It is concerning that he missed almost half of his cuts and ranked 79th in ball-striking.
2013-14 Expectations: He’s been more of a gradual improver on the Web.com Tour over the last few years, so I have a hard time seeing him fire out of the gates in his rookie season. If he struggles in the Fall Series, this could be a long year.
Crystal Ball: He needs some time to familiarize himself, so I’ll go 150-175 in the FedExCup standings.
Age (as of Oct. 10, 2013): 27
Record (regular season): 17 events; 15 cuts made; eight top 25s; four top 10s and a win
Earnings (before Web.com Tour Finals): $248,372
Money List Rank: 7
Summary: Finally broke through to collect a PGA TOUR card in his third consecutive season on the Web.com Tour. His win at the South Georgia Classic was obviously impressive, but for the purposes of 2013-14 it may be an even bigger deal that he made his last 14 cuts in a row.
2013-14 Expectations: Ball-striking improved dramatically from 72nd to fifth from 2012 to 2013, and if that keeps up he has a real chance to stick as a rookie. As mentioned earlier, consistently making cuts is a big deal in racking up FedExCup points and ensuring a high number in the reshuffle.
Crystal Ball: It’s a little foggy, but I’ll go with the 115-145 range.
Age (as of Oct. 10, 2013): 27
Record (regular season): 16 events; 10 cuts made; a win and a runner-up
Earnings (before Web.com Tour Finals): $225,184
Money List Rank: 8
Summary: Won the BMW Charity Pro-Am in his home state of South Carolina and added a solo second at the Midwest Classic in the heart of the summer. This is the second time he’s graduated from the Web.com Tour in three years, so he has this thing figured out.
2013-14 Expectations: He actually had a nice rookie year on the PGA TOUR in 2012 from several standpoints, but his fatal flaw was a string of 11 missed cuts in 13 tournaments in the middle of his season. It seems reasonable to think, since he both started and ended strong, that he will have learned from that and will schedule himself accordingly.
Crystal Ball: Much like Ben Martin, I like him to have a nice second run at the PGA TOUR and finish the regular season in the 75-105 range in the FedExCup standings.
Age (as of Oct. 10, 2013): 34
Record (regular season): 18 events; 11 cuts made; two top 10s; one win and one runner-up
Earnings (before Web.com Tour Finals): $223,196
Money List Rank: 9
Summary: Completed his most consistent season on the Web.com Tour that was highlighted by his second win and first runner-up finish. Other than ranking 22nd in putting, nothing statistically jumps off the page.
2013-14 Expectations: Alluded to above, consistency is a historic problem for him. In his Web.com career he’s made just 32 of 80 cuts (40 percent). In 34 PGA TOUR starts, he’s made eight cuts (23.5 percent) with zero top 25s. We’ve seen guys like Derek Ernst and Charlie Beljan catch lightning in a bottle for a week or two in a season, and that’s likely what he’d need to do.
Crystal Ball: Run away. FedExCup ranking to be somewhere in the 180-210 range.
Age (as of Oct. 10, 2013): 35
Record (regular season): 15 events; 11 cuts made; six top 10s; one runner-up
Earnings (before Web.com Tour Finals): $216,948
Money List Rank: 10
Summary: Ten of his 15 starts resulted in top-15 finishes. A bit of a known commodity, he is who we thought he was, as the saying goes. Solid putter, struggles with length off the tee but second in scrambling makes up for the miscues.
2013-14 Expectations: As a veteran of 61 PGA TOUR starts, he has a second and a third to go with two other top 10s and has made 30 cuts. While he doesn’t have the firepower to contend on a consistent basis, the stage won’t be all that intimidating and he understands his game. A gamer could do a lot worse with a late-round draft pick.
Crystal Ball: All depends on how big his good weeks are, but should fall in the 125-155 range in the FedExCup standings.