By Gateway Pro Tour
July 29, 2009
Following suit with an explosive summer on the PGA TOUR by former Gateway Tour players, Gateway Alumni, Brandt Snedeker and Chris Baryla, notched Top 10 finishes at the RBC Canadian Open this past weekend.
Starting with Snedeker — coming off of a missed cut in the Open Championship at Turnberry — he notched his third Top 5 finish on TOUR in the past four weeks, worth $186,150. It began with a T5 at the AT&T National before a runner-up finish the next week at the John Deere, and now with quick jump to $861,773 in ’09 earnings after starting the year with only 4 of 14 cuts made, with just one of those finishes within the Top 20 (a T17 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational), Snedeker now stands at 69th in the FedEx Cup race and is surely poised to improve on that number with positive play for the remainder of the year.
And Baryla — a Canadian native who played The Gateway Tour as recent as this year to warm up for his conditional Nationwide Tour status — made the most of his third-career Canadian Open start by closing with a 6-under, 66 to secure a Top 10, $123,037.50, and perhaps most importantly – a spot in this week’s Buick Open.
So, the stellar year of former Gateway Tour players accruing Top 10 finishes on the PGA TOUR continues, but after Gateway Alum, Rich Barcelo, took the Cox Classic of Omaha title this past weekend along with six other former Gateway Tour players littering the leaderboard by notching Top 10’s, Gateway Alumni are perhaps most visibly making an impact on the Nationwide Tour of late.
With impressive rounds of 69/62/68/65-264 (20-under par), Barcelo garnered his 1st-career Nationwide Tour victory by one shot over two-time ’09 winner on The Gateway Tour, Tom Gillis, and two shots over former Gateway Tour player, Brent Delahoussaye.
Gateway Alumni go 1,2,3?
Impressive, yes, but it didn’t stop there with former players Matt Every (T5), Blake Adams (8th), Brian Smock (T9), and Steve Wheatcroft (T9) accounting for an astounding seven players in the Top 10 at Omaha who hold Gateway Tour experience.
With thirteen events remaining on the ’09 Nationwide Tour schedule, eight players currently sit within The 25 :
Kevin Johnson (2nd)
Tom Gillis (4th)
Blake Adams (5th)
Garth Mulroy (6th)
Rich Barcelo (7th)
Jeff Gove (11th)
Martin Piller (13th)
Fabian Gomez (21st)
At the conclusion of their season, the top 25 on the official Nationwide Tour money list will earn 2010 PGA TOUR cards. Which of the 89 former Gateway Tour players currently on the Nationwide Tour will find their way in there?
Just as we are with our former players making the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA TOUR, we’re excited to find out. Keep it up, guys…
Click here for full field results of the RBC Canadian Open, here for full field results of the Cox Classic Presented by Lexus of Omaha, and here for an up-to-date list of The 25 on the Nationwide Tour — from pgatour.com…