Local Players, Up-And-Coming Stars, Tour Veterans To Compete In 2018 Rust-Oleum Championship

Mundelein, Illinois (June 2, 2018) – A victory at next week’s $600,000 Rust-Oleum Championship at Ivanhoe Club would go a long way toward catapulting the champion onto the PGA TOUR next season.

Players who finish the season in the top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list automatically move up to the world’s most prestigious – and lucrative – Tour while others still have a chance via the Web.com Tour end-of-season playoffs.

The diverse field at the Rust-Oleum Championship includes several local players, a handful of young former amateur stars, and a group of former PGA TOUR veterans trying to play their way back onto the regular Tour.

“What makes the Rust-Oleum Championship so compelling for spectators is the high level of competition due to the stakes being so high,” said tournament director Scott Cassin. “And there’s no doubt that many of the players in this field will be competing
next year on the PGA TOUR.”

Among players with a local connection are:

  • Luke Guthrie, 28, a former Illinois player who turned pro in 2012. Guthrie, who enjoyed PGA TOUR success his first couple of years out of school (he earned $427,000 in 2016), stood 66th on the Web.com Tour money list as of May 26 with $34,317 in official earnings. The Quincy native needs a win or several high finishes to have any hope of graduating to the PGA TOUR.
  • Brad Hopfinger, 29, a former Lake Forest High School player who attended Iowa, finished T-5 in Nashville on May 27, moving him up to 32nd on the money list from 56th with $64,784 in earnings. His best finish in 2017 was a T-28 at the Rust-
    Oleum Championship, where he received a sponsor exemption.
  • Scott Langley, 29, born in Barrington and raised outside St. Louis, played for the
    Illini and turned pro in 2011. His victory in Panama earlier this year, two other
    top 10 finishes, and a T-14 last week in Greenville, May 20, put him at No. 3 on
    the money list with $192,000 as of May 26.
  • Max Marsico, 27, of Chicago, parlayed a T-22 finish at last year’s Rust-Oleum
    Championship – where he played on a sponsor exemption – into playing
    opportunities on this year’s Web.com Tour. The Penn graduate stands 90th on
    the money list with $22,000; his best finish was a T-11 at Savannah. His driving
    distance is 310.4 yards and he hits 75 percent of his greens in regulation with a
    scoring average of 71.48.
  • Carlos Sainz, Jr., 32, of Elgin, had his best finish this season in Colombia, where
    he was T-8. The Mississippi State product is 85th on the money list as of May 26
    with $23,000 earned on the course.
  • Mark Wilson, 43, of Elmhurst, a four-time winner on the PGA TOUR, has played
    in four Web.com events this year, with his best finish a T-38 in Knoxville last
    month.

In addition to Langley, other players who appear to be “locks” to step up to the PGA TOUR next season are:

  • Sungjae Im, a 20-year-old Korean who won in the Bahamas, has four other top
    10 finishes, and has amassed $287,000 to put him No. 1 on the money list.
  • Sam Burns, 21, of Shreveport, Louisiana, famously beat Tiger Woods when he
    was paired with him in the early rounds of a PGA TOUR event earlier this season.
    Burns won in Savannah and was runner-up in Colombia, putting him sixth on the
    money list with $155,000.
  • Jose de Jesus Rodriguez, 37, of Mexico, who won last month in Evansville, has
    two other top 10 finishes and stands fourth in official earnings with $166,000.
  • Wyndham Clark, 24, of Denver, Colorado, a former Player of the Year in both the
    Pac 12 (Oregon) and Big 12 conferences (Oklahoma State), finished T-11 at
    Nashville and stands ninth on the money list with $145,191 on the strength of
    four top 10 finishes, three of which have come in the last month
  • Robby Shelton, 22, a former Alabama star, Phil Mickelson Award winner and SEC Player of the Year, moved up to 22nd on the money list from 26th with a T-7 finish in Nashville (May 27) a week after recording a runner-up finish in Raleigh. In 2017, the quiet Alabama native finished second on PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit, recording six top 10 finishes on the Mackenzie (Canadian) Tour, including a victory.

Several big names formerly in the elite amateur ranks also will be at Ivanhoe trying to make their way to the PGA TOUR, including:

  • Curtis Luck, 21, of Perth, Australia, winner of the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland
    Hills, stands 58th on the money list. He has one top 10 finish and two other top
    20s.
  • Lee McCoy, 24, of Dunedin, Florida, a former University of Georgia golfer who
    played on the 2015 U.S. Walker Cup team, won the SEC individual championship,
    finished fourth at the PGA TOUR’s 2016 Valspar Championship, won an event on
    the 2017 Mackenzie (Canadian) PGA Tour, and was medalist at the 2017
    Web.com Tour qualifying school. He stands 78th on the money list with just
    under $26,000.
  • Maverick McNealy, 22, the former standout from Stanford, stands 44th on the
    Web.com Tour money list with $50,528. He also has played in a number of
    regular PGA TOUR events.
  • Jordan Niebrugge, 24, of Mequon, Wisconsin, was low amateur at the 2015
    British Open after winning the 2013 Western Amateur and playing on two
    Walker Cup teams (2013 and ’15). Received a Web.com sponsor exemption.

Among the veteran names fans might recognize are:

  • 2011 Masters champion Mike Weir, 48, who is playing under an eligibility
    category for players ages 48-49, in preparation for PGA Tour Champions. The
    eight-time PGA TOUR winner has earned $28 million during his career.
  • Winner of the 2003 PGA Championship Shaun Micheel, 49, will be in the field.
    His only Tour victory was the PGA at Oak Hill in Rochester, New York. The Indiana
    University product was runner up to Tiger Woods at the 2006 PGA Championship
    at Medinah Country Club.
  • Nine-time PGA TOUR winner Stuart Appleby, 47, of Australia, will be playing in
    his first Web.com event of the year. He has played six regular Tour events,
    missing four cuts. Has earned more than $29 million during his Tour career.
  • Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton, 38, who has two top-15
    finishes this year; Derek Ernst, 28, winner of the PGA TOUR’s 2013 Wells Fargo
    Championship, and such former PGA TOUR regulars as Brendon de Jonge, Jason Gore, Spencer Levin, Frank Lickliter II, Edward Loar, and Dicky Pride.
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