Ryo Ishikawa will compete in his second full PGA TOUR season in 2013-14 after a successful Web.com Tour Finals.
Ishikawa earned his card for 2013 by finishing inside the top 125 in non-member earnings, but couldn't pull off that trick again once he became a full-time member of the TOUR. Rather than retreat to Japan, the young star took his medicine and played in each of the four Web.com Tour Finals events, securing three top 10s in the process. This speaks to his commitment to play in the U.S. as much as possible. He's already essentially locked up his 2014-15 card by making three of four cuts to start the new year, including a T2 at TPC Summerlin. While he is subject to the reshuffle, the cash he's already amassed all but guarantee him as many starts as he could want, not to mention that he rose to No. 1 in the category when the first reshuffle occurred following the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Peter Hanson will take a second crack at a full PGA TOUR season thanks to his top-125 finish on the 2013 money list.
Luckily for Hanson, they kept the money list in play for full status because he failed to earn a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs. He played the minimum number of events to meet the criteria for full status, making 11 of 15 cuts with four top 25s and a top 10. He's teed it up once in the new season, tying for 21st at the WGC-HSBC Champions. Knowing that he's unlikely to play much more than the 15 times he has to needs to be a concern for gamers. It's a good strategy to limit the number of players like Hanson to a minimum for full-season formats in order to ensure plenty of starts throughout the season.
Aaron Baddeley narrowly retained his PGA TOUR card for the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season, finishing 101st in the FedExCup standings and 113th on the money list in 2013.
Badds has built an early cushion this season, tying for fifth at the CIMB Classic and sharing 40th at The McGladrey Classic after an early missed cut at the Frys.com Open. He also tied for 27th in his native Australia when he was in the area for the Emirates Australian Open. Savvy golf fans know his deal. He's going to putt the lights out, but his accuracy tee-to-green as always been his question mark. In 2013, he was 179th in driving accuracy and 178th in GIR. Conversely, he's up to 148th and 141st in those respective categories this season.
David Lingmerth wasn't among the more hearlded 2012 Web.com Tour graduates as a PGA TOUR rookie in 2013, but responded with two runner-up finishes and a ranking of 46th on the money list.
While his 2013-14 season is off to a slow start, if there's anything we've learned in the Swede's short career it is not to count him out. We should get a good feel for his form in January, since he tied for 31st at the 2013 Sony Open, then lost in a playoff at the Humana Challenge the very next week. Nabbing him in the top 50 of a full-season league may be a bit of a reach, but if he's around as the picks near 100 then jump all over him and cross your fingers that the sophomore slump doesn't find him.
Sean O'Hair failed to retain his PGA TOUR card on the merit of his 2013 performance, but dropped down to the Web.com Finals to reclaim status on TOUR in 2013-14.
Seemingly entering the prime of his career, O'Hair's 2013 performance was shockingly bad. He made just seven of his 22 cuts, with only two going for top 25s while failing to crack a top 10. At 31, he is already a four-time TOUR winner with another three runner-ups and four third-place finishes. He could prove to be a huge value for salary cap gamers this season, already making two of four cuts with both going for top 30s.
Russell Knox' consistency on the PGA TOUR in 2013 has spilled over into his 2013-14 season.
Playing with only conditional status last season, Knox managed to corral eight cuts in 11 attempts, with three going for top 25s. He then successfully earned his 2013-14 card via the Web.com Tour Finals and has converted each of his first four starts of the new season into paydays, meaning his reshuffle number for the West Coast Swing is solid. If you're keeping score at home, that's 12 of his last 15 attempts going for cash. It's in stark contrast to him missing 14 of his first 26 cuts prior to 2013, so it appears he's had enough time to figure out the ins and outs of the PGA TOUR and has found a comfort level. Don't be surprised if he doesn't need a return trip to the Web.com Finals later in 2014.
Chesson Hadley took the Web.com Tour by storm in his rookie year of 2013, winning twice on his way to a 2013-14 PGA TOUR card.
While he is still subject to the reshuffle, a T5 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open went a long way towards assuring him of plenty of starts down the road. With zero scar tissue built up, the sky could be the limit when he gets into the hunt. Coming off the Web.com Tour, it's easy to think of him in a light similar to a Russell Henley or a Luke Guthrie in terms of his potential this season.
Stewart Cink enters the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season after earning $1,052,712 during the 2013 campaign.
Cink's 2013 was a vast improvement from the $477,173 he earned in 2012. Subsequently, the new season has seen him earn paychecks in two of three starts, including a T11 at the CIMB Classic. Now 40, he's reached the age where gamers have to take into account the probability that he's on the downswing of his career. While there are examples of golfers who found the fountain of youth -- see Vijay Singh -- Cink doesn't appear to be one of them. He still has value, to be sure, but he is no longer an elite option.