5 Things: Loar wins Web.com event to take money lead
Ed Loar has bounced back well from his heartbreak at last year’s Q-School. The lefty from Oklahoma State won the Louisiana Open on Sunday and has taken over the No. 1 position on the Web.com Tour’s money list, all but guaranteeing himself a PGA Tour card for next season.
Here are 5 Things you need to know from his win:
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1. BOUNCE BACK: Loar shot 2-under 69 in Sunday’s windy conditions to finish at 17-under 267, two shots ahead of fellow Oklahoma State alum Morgan Hoffmann.
With the wind gusting to 30 mph, Loar made birdies at Nos. 5, 6 and 8 to get to 18 under and four ahead of his nearest challengers. His three-putt at No. 16 cut his lead to two over fellow Hoffmann. Loar, 35, bounced back on the par-3 17th by knocking his 8-iron to 10 feet and making the birdie putt to go three ahead. His bogey at the final hole was inconsequential.
“There were a few stressful holes out there,” said Loar, the father of triplets. “Most of it was as stress-free as it could be.”
Loar was runner-up in his previous start at the Chile Classic. He now leads the money list with $164,684. He’s approximately $33,000 ahead of No. 2 Patrick Cantlay.
Loar was a PGA Tour rookie last year, but finished 209th on the money list. He failed to regain his Tour card after a tough finish to December’s Q-School. He started the final day in third place but shot 78 to miss his PGA Tour card by two shots. He hit his approach shots into the water on Nos. 17 and 18, finishing with a double-bogey and bogey. He’s all but locked up a return to the PGA Tour, though.
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2. GETTING IT GOING: Morgan Hoffmann is a PGA Tour rookie in 2013, but has made occasional visit it to the Web.com Tour because of a rough start to the season. Hoffmann has made just two of five cuts on the PGA Tour season, with $72,562 in earnings. That’s made it hard to get access to Tour events, so he’s filled in his schedule with Web.com Tour starts.
This was Hoffmann’s third start on the Web.com circuit in 2013. He withdrew and missed the cut in his first two. A runner-up finish in Louisiana, where he shot a third-round 62, could help him regain his confidence. Hoffmann’s runner-up was his 10th top-10 finish in 19 career Web.com Tour events. He started last year with no status but used Monday qualifiers and sponsor exemptions to finish 19th on the money list.
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3. MOVING ON: Monday qualifier Blayne Barber finished T-6 to earn a start in the tour’s following event, the Brasil Classic presented by HSBC. Barber also Monday qualified for this year’s Northern Trust Open, finishing 42nd, and finished 24th on a sponsor exemption to the Puerto Rico Open. Barber has finished 33rd or better in all three Web.com Tour starts as a pro. He's made the cut in all five starts on the PGA and Web.com tours as a pro. This was his best finish in those five starts.
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4. ON A RUN: Jim Renner’s fourth-place finish in Louisiana was his second top-5 finish in three starts. He also finished second to Patrick Cantlay at the Colombia Championship. Renner has earned $101,540 in four starts this year and ranks fifth on the money list. He’s one of five players to earn more than $100,000 already this season. Renner already has surpassed his earnings from last season. He finished 59th on the money list with $99,500 in 24 starts.
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5. HOMETOWN HERO: John Peterson, who won the NCAA individual title while playing for LSU, fittingly posted his best finish of 2013 at the Louisiana Open. Peterson, the first-round leader after shooting 65, finished 10th at 11-under 273 (65-72-65-71). He’s made the cut in his first four starts this year, earning $30,568. Peterson is playing the upcoming Masters after finishing fourth at last year’s U.S. Open.