By Jon Levy - Staff Writer
May 12, 2010
In the richest event on the PGA TOUR schedule, last week’s PLAYERS Championship, former Gateway Tour player, Chris Stroud — with his T10 — continued a fine streak of Gateway Alum finishing within the top-10 on the PGA TOUR.
The fourth-year TOUR member and Texas native fired a fine 9-under 279 (70/69/66/74) to earn his first top-10 honor of the year, worth $237,500, which, after making just five of his first 11 cuts this year (with a T21 at the Zurich Classic coming as his best finish), was sorely needed. Cut percentage aside, though, a less than 50% cut-made streak is nothing new for the 28-year-old as he’s made just 45/95 cuts of his events entered since his rookie 2007 season. The key to Stroud’s success, then — and the reason he’s already been able to net over $2.2 million dollars in career earnings — is the consistency of notching two top-10s in each of his first three seasons on TOUR.
Halfway there again in 2010 with this latest — and lucrative — top-10 showing at the PLAYERS, Stroud is on par for another solid and comfortable year on the PGA TOUR, as the season is just now hitting its midway stride. With consistent $475,000+ years in each of his first three seasons on TOUR, Stroud, in fact, has now reached 261st in the official World Golf Ranking, which is his highest mark yet.
So, congratulations and best of luck for the remainder of the season our proud Gateway Alum, as well as to the 12 former Gateway Tour players who currently sit within THE 25 on the Nationwide Tour.
In an astoundingly high percentage, former players, Bobby Gates (1), Martin Piller (2), Kevin Chappell (3), Fabian Gomez (4), Aaron Watkins (13), Brian Smock (14), Gary Christian (15), Mark Anderson (16), William McGirt (17), Daniel Summerhays (20), James Hahn (22), and Andrew Buckle (25) currently hold the coveted spots, of which — at the end of the season — will earn a graduation to the 2011 PGA TOUR.
Holding each of the first four spots in succession, Gates, Piller, Chappell and Gomez also hold the unique and impressive distinction of winning an event this year. Together, they account for 11 top-10s and over $600,000 in earnings in just 32 collective starts this season. Talk about domination!
The Gateway Tour is extremely proud, each and every week, to watch the successes of its former players now thriving on the PGA and Nationwide Tours. It seems a different player breaks out during any given week to realize a piece of their competitive golf dreams since playing The Gateway Tour not long before.
In that regard, it’s great to sit back and watch player after player come into the spotlight. But, it’s even better to use their motivation to work hard to help our current and future players do the same. Keep it up, guys.
Click here for full field results of the PLAYERS Championship and here for a full breakdown of THE 25, from pgatour.com, and stay tuned as The Gateway Tour Alumni tee it up again this week with the Valero Texas Open on the PGA TOUR, and the BMW Charity Pro-Am on the Nationwide Tour…