With five newbies on the top of the leaderboard after 54 holes at the Northern Trust Open and a host of seasoned veterans on the PGA Tour just four shots back, you had to wonder how the newcomers would fare on Sunday afternoon at Riviera Country Club. I was impressed with all of them as they didn’t win, but finished high enough to collect a nice paycheck, and some status on the tour.
The big winner was Jason Allred who was a Monday Qualifier, and went to college at nearby Pepperdine University. This was the first time Allred made a PGA Tour start since he lost his card back in 2008. Allred shot a -3 under 68 in the final round, and finished in a tie for third place. The $388,600 Dollar check he picked up Sunday afternoon was the biggest of his career.
This is why I love sports. A guy who has been banging around on the edge of the sport for his entire career, and at one time discussed taking a regular job and giving up his dream with his wife, hits the jackpot. His life is changed forever.
His wife is due with the couples third child, and the third place finish makes him exempt for the Honda Classic in two weeks. The 33 year-old will have some decisions to make, but whatever he decides to do, he will have the money to do it with.
“We’ll have fun figuring out what that looks like,” Allred said.
Brian Harman also finished with a -3 under 68 on Sunday, and gets the same payday as Allred with his third-place tie. Unlike Allred, Harman has status on the PGA Tour, and moves up to 29th place in FedEx Cup standings. Jason Allred has no status, so like Jordan Spieth in 2013, will need a victory to validate any points he accumulates with his new-found exemptions.
William McGirt, who began the final round at Riviera with a two-shot lead didn’t fare quite as well. He started his day with a birdie at the first hole, but three bogey’s on the day would get him in the clubhouse with a two over 73 for his effort. That would drop him into a tie for sixth place.
What the four-year player did pick up on Sunday was a check for $216,912.50. I’m sure that will help ease the pain. Because McGirt has status on the tour, he ends up in 62nd place in the FedEx Cup standings. A good day all around.
McGirt’s two-shot lead was a sitting duck with a bunch of experienced tour players just four shots back. Bubba Watson, and Dustin Johnson set the tone with Watson catching the leader in just six holes. Watson would go on to shoot a second 64 in as many days, and get his first victory in almost two years, the fifth of his career. Dustin Johnson would finish in second place for a second week.
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