The Aussies at the PGA Tour halfway mark
It’s only April but already, the PGA Tour is at the halfway mark of its 45-event 2013/14 wrap around season which started at the Frys.Com event in October.
If the ultimate measure of success on Tour is winning, then the first six months has been an absolute winner for Australian golf.
Steve Bowditch holds his first PGA Tour trophy at the Valero Texas Open (Credit: Getty Images)
Adam Scott may not have defended his green jacket at Augusta, although he gave it a fair shake until a third round 76 deflated his chances, but our players have returned to their winning ways this season after fairly slim pickings in recent years.
We can label it the ‘Adam Scott Effect’ but there’s no doubting how much inspiration has been drawn by Scott’s recent exploits with not one, but four players breaking into the winner’s circle and Oliver Goss snaring low amateur honours at The Masters.
Jason Day (WGC- Accenture Matchplay), John Senden (Valspar Championship), Steven Bowditch (Texas Open) and Matt Jones (Houston Open) have won in the past two months and following the Masters, Australians are still the only non-American winners on Tour so far this season.
Scott himself has not tasted victory in 2014 but he was close at Bay Hill and another appears to be just a matter of time.
Looking at the secondary measure – the FedEx Cup Playoffs race – and the picture also looks healthy for several of our non-winners thus far.
The Top 125 following the Wyndham Championship in August will qualify for the opening event of the FedEx Cup Playoff Series and automatically retain their Tour card for the following season.
369 points was enough for 125th position in 2013 and those Aussies that have passed that figure this season, not including the four winners, include Marc Leishman (378), Stuart Appleby (384) and Scott (497).
Appleby’s solid play this season, with two top-10s and T12th at this week’s RBC Heritage, have him poised to return to the Playoffs as is Aaron Baddeley (261) with just a handful more high finishes.
Greg Chalmers (232), Robert Allenby (228), Geoff Ogilvy (188), Scott Gardiner (91) and Bronson La’Cassie (60) have work to do but the ‘Adam Scott Effect’ may yet shine on them in the second half of the year.
The injured Tiger Woods incidentally, is in 200th position in the FedEx rankings with just 43 points from three events.
Getting back on the paddock is his primary objective following back surgery on a pinched nerve, although indications are the prospects of a return before the U.S. Open in June are tenuous.