Josh Culp

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Web Rankings: The Finals 25

Monday, October 2, 2017


If you haven't done so already, check out Part 1 of this article where I ranked the first 25 graduates from the Web.com Tour regular season money.


In part 1, I also went over the simple methodology I used to rank the grads.


With the Web.com Tour Championship now in the books, we have the second set of graduates. This list comes from the top 25 money earners during the Web.com Tour Finals (excluding The 25 from the regular season list). 


After ranking The Finals 25, I will include a complete ranking of the 50 graduates, on Page 3. Then on Page 4, I will include the Strokes Gained Ranking for all 50 graduates. 


Like I mentioned in part 1, I'm going to combine Strokes Gained in 2017 (Web.com, PGA TOUR, and European Tour) with Age to rank these graduates. 


#1 Peter Uihlein

Strokes Gained Rank: 1st
Age: 28


For years he was just known as "the son of the Titleist CEO." Then he soared through the amateur golf ranks and established a name for himself before heading overseas. Much like Brooks Koepka, the original plan was likely to win a few events overseas and earn invites into bigger events along the way. Instead, he stalled out a bit in terms of top-heavy finishes, got injured along the way, and ended up playing over in Europe for more than 5 years. Finally, he got homesick this year and wants to spend more time back in Jupiter, Florida. He's ready to test his game against the best in the world, on a weekly basis. Decided to give the Web.com Tour Finals a shot and won on his first attempt. That says all you need to know about his talent and swag level. As a Florida resident and a big fan of hitting butter cuts, we can safely file him somewhere in the Daniel Berger & Brooks Koepka folder. 


#2 Tom Lovelady
Strokes Gained Rank: 7th
Age: 24

 

They say you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If that's true, then Lovelady has a great headstart with Justin Thomas as his roommate in Jupiter, Florida. The University of Alabama product hasn't found the winner's circle yet but he is 16-for-24 to kickoff his Web.com Tour career. After finishing the regular season ranked 29th on the money list, he posted a T3 in the Finals opening event. That was plenty good enough to secure his status for the upcoming PGA TOUR season. Lovelady doesn't have any PGA TOUR experience but he does pack plenty of potential as he readies for his rookie season.


#3 Keith Mitchell
Strokes Gained Rank: 6th
Age: 25


A member of the Sea Island Mafia, so you know he already has plenty of experience against a lot of the guys who are now his PGA TOUR peers. In part one of this feature, I talked about the big driving distance flaws between the Web.com and PGA TOUR stats. Mitchell is actually one of the big boys who's driving distance will translate to the PGA TOUR. Distance-wise, he grades out similarly as guys like Brandon Hagy, Trey Mullinax, Kevin Tway, Grayson Murray, and Ryan Brehm. I would also expect his performance to be similar to that group of golfers. If you followed along closely last year, you probably noticed that all of those were spotty for most of the year but nearly all of them "got hot" and ran off a good run of finishes at some point in the season. Mitchell ranks 7th in Par 5 Birdie or Better on the Web.com Tour this season and 1st in Total Eagles (17). Has winning upside (in weak-field events) but I'm more interested in his scoring prowess as he'll likely be very fantasy friendly in formats that heavily reward birdies and eagles (FanDuel, for example). 

 

#4 Denny McCarthy
Strokes Gained Rank: 9th
Age: 24


One of the better golfers to come out of the University of Virginia, this youngster is still tapping into his full potential. McCarthy has been a top-25 machine on the Web.com Tour, posting seven in his rookie campaign and 10 more this year (also in line for an 11th as I type this). Proven to be very consistent but lacking any podium finishes thus far. The 24-year-old grew up in the Northeast and now calls Jupiter, Florida, home. Despite the East Coast connection, two of his top four finishes this year have come on the West Coast with the other two coming south of the border. Might end up to be one of those sneaky DFS plays that make cut after cut as a salary saver. 

 

#5 Corey Conners
Strokes Gained Rank: 8th
Age: 25


Didn't finish any better than T5 but his round-by-round results suggest there is plenty of upside hiding in the young Canadian's game. Since 2014, there are only seven golfers who have done a better job at consistently gaining strokes over the field each round (on the Web.com Tour). Those golfers? Justin Thomas, Wesley Bryan, Grayson Murray, Fabian Gomez, Patton Kizzire, Chesson Hadley, and Tony Finau. Only Kizzire is winless on the PGA TOUR (has a runner-up finish). He is 1-for-10 in his career on the PGA TOUR, but I expect him to improve that record quite a bit this season. Winning upside here for the 25-year-old who ranked 1st on the Web.com Tour in GIR Percentage.


#6 Sam Saunders

Strokes Gained Rank: 2nd
Age: 30


Just joined the Sub-60 Club last week on the Web.com Tour to secure his card. That happened to be at his home course, not to take anything away from the stellar round/week, but it is worth mentioning. Saunders is coming off a career year on the PGA TOUR but even that was just shy of cracking the Playoffs (and retaining his card). It's possible that he's still improving but at 30-years old it's more likely that he's stuck in the AAAA-mold. He's too talented for the Web.com Tour but doesn't quite have the chops to make it as a regular on the PGA TOUR. On the bright side for gamers, Saunders appears to really take advantage of course knowledge and plays well at the same venue time after time. Looking at his 18 career top 25s, two have come at the Valspar, two at the Honda, two at Glen Abbey, two at the Barracuda, and two in Puerto Rico. It looks like an easy recipe for gamers, only consider rostering him if he's previously posted a top 25 at that week's venue.

 

#7 Seamus Power
Strokes Gained Rank: 5th
Age: 30


Posted an impressive 19-for-25 record during his rookie season. It was a lack of top-heavy finishes that held him back though, finishing 130th in the final FedExCup standings. Could that have been a warmup season as he gets comfortable on PGA TOUR course setups? Or will he always be categorized as a cut-maker? I guess that is what we'll find out this season, as he finished 25th in the Web.com Tour Finals standings, cutting it very close. 

 

#8 Tyler Duncan
Strokes Gained Rank: 10th
Age: 28


Took him three full seasons on the Web.com Tour to play his way up on merit, but the Purdue Boilermaker got the job done when he opened the Finals with finishes of T24 and T5. He's built in the Justin Thomas mold, except three inches shorter. Duncan checks in at 5'7" and 145 pounds. Duncan doesn't quite have the distance of Thomas, though, as Duncan ranked 86th on the Web.com Tour this year in Driving Distance. Instead, he gets it done through accuracy (5th) and putting (18th in putting average). He's just 0-for-1 on the big stage (inexperienced), making him a bit of a wildcard this year. My gut tells me he will be a golfer we want to target on less-than-driver courses where his lack of distance won't be punished as well as easy courses where his flat stick will be able to shine. 

 

#9 Tom Hoge
Strokes Gained Rank: 15th
Age: 28


He's posted a cuts-made ratio greater than 50% in all three seasons he's appeared in, on the PGA TOUR. However, three of his six top 10s have come in alternated-field events, where FedExCup points are reduced. That helps explain why he's finished outside the top 130 in the FedExCup standings in all three of those seasons. On two occasions, the TCU product from Fargo has been inside the top 5 after R2 of the St. Jude Classic, so perhaps we should make a note to circle Hoge for that event, as long as he finds a way into the field this year. 

 

#10 Cameron Tringale
Strokes Gained Rank: 14th
Age: 30


Wasn't that long ago that Tringale was on the short list of "Best Golfers without a PGA TOUR win." Now he's lost his card after finishing 133rd in the FedExCup race last year before earning that card back in the Web.com Tour Finals. Perhaps that will be the motivating factor that gets him back on route to the winner's circle. Prior to last season, the Oklahoma State product had posted six or more top 25s in six straight seasons. He's never been elite off the tee, but he gained strokes off-the-tee in just 1-of-28 starts last season (three of those were not lasered events, so 1-of-25 in ShotLink events). He'll need to tidy up his driver if he wants to get back into contended on a weekly basis.


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Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.
Email :Josh Culp



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