One of golf’s endearing traits is that it is equitable, that one succeeds or fails based on numbers on a scorecard. But that does not inoculate those who play it for a living from the cruelty the numbers can cause.
The Web.com Tour Championship begins Thursday, and as it does every year, painfully illustrates that point. Among those in the field at the Atlantic Beach Country Club in Atlantic Beach, Fla., is Lucas Glover, who won the U.S. Open in 2009 and once ranked as high as 15th in the world.
He is in the field in a bid to regain a full PGA Tour exemption. In 18 events on the PGA Tour this year, Glover, 38, finished 135th on the FedEx Cup points list to lose his full exemption.
So in an effort to improve his PGA Tour access he entered the Web.com Tour finals, where the top 25 money earners in the four-tournament series earn a PGA Tour card for the 2018-’19 season.
A U.S. Open Trophy looks great on a mantel, but it won’t help if the numbers don’t add. After the first three events in the finals, Glover’s number is an anemic $17,212, 46th on the money list.
This is not to pick on Glover, who is not alone. Hunter Mahan, who has played on three U.S. Ryder Cup teams and four Presidents Cup teams, also entered the final series. He is not in the Tour Championship field because he tied for second in the DAP Championship presented by NewBrick, the second of the four events, to earn enough to finish among the 25.
The field in Atlantic Beach is dotted with recognizable names, among them Australians Stuart Appleby and Aaron Baddeley. Appleby has nine PGA Tour victories and Baddeley has four.
Other PGA Tour winners playing in the Tour Championship include Ben Crane, defending champion Jonathan Byrd, Matt Every, David Lingmerth, Chad Campbell, Jim Herman, Andres Romero, J.J. Henry, John Senden and John Merrick.
Two former Nos. 1 in the World Amateur Ranking, Maverick McNealy and Curtis Luck, also are playing, attempting to jump-start their professional careers.
A strong resume is nice to have, but it promises nothing in a sport that continually asks what you have done lately.