Bursting BubbleAugust 27, 2017

Web.com Tour pro thinks he needs eagle for a PGA Tour card but only needs birdie, makes par and feels “almost numb”

Keith Mitchell
Steve Dykes/Getty ImagesKeith Mitchell walks up the path to the tee box on the third hole during the final round of the WinCo Foods Portland Open.

The final round of the final regular-season event on the Web.com Tour had all angst and agita you’d expect when PGA Tour cards are on the line, even if the final results didn’t necessarily reflect it. As it turned out, the top 25 on the Web.com money list entering the WinCo Foods Portland Open were the same 25 coming out on Sunday, only the order changing.

That said, somebody might want to check on Keith Mitchell come Monday morning. With back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15, he needed another coming in to move from 36th on the money list inside the top 25. After burning the left edge with a six-foot birdie try on the 16th hole, then leaving a 20-foot birdie attempt on the 17th hole one revolution short, the 25-year-old former Georgia All-American, who shot a Saturday 62 to get into Sunday’s final twosome, still had a chance on the par-5 18th at Pumpkin Ridge G.C.’s Witch Hollow course to bump out Roberto Diaz for the final PGA Tour card.

Mitchell, who led the tour in eagles this season, confidently blasted a driver 330-plus yards, but tugged his second shot left, missing the green on the short side as his ball game to rest in a shortly mowed area. Mitchell’s third shot surprisingly raced 20 feet by the hole and, despite the benefit of seeing playing partner (and eventual winner) Brice Garnett roll in an almost identical putt, Mitchell hit his too hard and too far right. He’d have to settle for a par, a closing 70, T-6 finish and, ultimately, the No. 26 on the money list.

Adding insult to insanity, Mitchell said afterward that he had been told on the 18th tee he needed to eagle the last hole rather than birdie to earn his card. It might explain the chip shot and his poor birdie putt.

“I only learned in the trailer what I really needed,” he said.

Mitchell, who started the week No. 36 on the money list, described the final few holes as “the most stressful I’ve ever been. … There were a couple shots out there I was almost numb. “It’s really, really, really disappointing.”

When you see this birdie miss on the 17th, you'll understand why.

The fate of a pair other players on the “bubble” weren’t as dramatically painful, but still remained disappointing.

• Rob Oppenheim, No. 26 on the money list to start the week, closed with a 76 to finish T-65 in the tournament, falling back to No. 27.

RELATED: Somehow, Rob Oppenheim is on the bubble for a PGA Tour card, again

• After a 65-70 start, No. 27 Martin Piller, who skipped the second-to-last Web.com Tour event to watch his wife, Gerina, compete at the Solheim Cup, shot 74-75 on the weekend to finish T-60 and drop to No. 28.

And then there was the story of David Skinns, an Englishman who started the week 115th on the money list. His target wasn’t the top 25 so much as the top 75, which would secure him full Web.com Tour status in 2018 and a spot in the Web.com Tour Finals Series

Skinns started the week 115th on the money list, and started the day projected at 107th, but a closing 64 moved him into T-2 for the tournament and bumped him to 58th on the money list, securing his Web.com Tour status for 2018 and giving him a spot in the Web.com Tour Finals. He was one of two players to move inside the top 75, along with Ben Kohles. Brady Schnell fell from (75th to 77th) and Samuel Del Val (74th to 76th).

WEB.COM TOUR MONEY LIST (Top 25 earn PGA Tour cards for 2017-'18)

  1. Brice Garnett, $368,761
  2. Sam Ryder, $314,306
  3. Abraham Ancer, $295,528
  4. Andrew Landry, $292,939
  5. Stephan Jaeger, $278,364
  6. Talor Gooch, $271,316
  7. Kyle Thompson, $266,312
  8. Andrew Putnam, $266,296
  9. Chesson Hadley, $264,350
  10. Ben Silverman, $256,906
  11. Nate Lashley, $252,160
  12. Adam Schenk, $236,792
  13. Andrew Yun, $222,856
  14. Ted Potter, Jr., $207,368
  15. Austin Cook, $206,515
  16. Zecheng Dou, $203,630
  17. Conrad Shindler, $203,483
  18. Aaron Wise, $199,922
  19. Matt Atkins, $192,029
  20. Xinjun Zhang, $186,306
  21. Brandon Harkins, $172,162
  22. Lanto Griffin, $169,689
  23. Beau Hossler, $164,326
  24. Ethan Tracy, $161,211
  25. Roberto Díaz, $157,823

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