Monday finishes are an inconvenient necessity on the PGA Tour. Clint Jensen, a career mini-tour player, probably wishes play could go an extra day on the Nationwide Tour.
Rain not only canceled the final round of last week’s Rex Hospital Open, but ended Jensen’s run on the Nationwide Tour.
Jensen, 35, is a career mini-tour player, but won a recent eGolf Professional Tour event to earn a sponsor exemption into the BMW Charity Pro-Am, where he finished 11th. Because the top 25 and ties each week earn a spot in the following week’s event, he got to play the Rex Hospital Open.
Jensen, and 12 other players, were tied for 27th through three rounds, one shot outside the top 25.
Heavy rains Sunday at TPC Wakefield Plantation forced officials to reduce the tournament to 54 holes. If it were a PGA Tour event, officials would’ve been obligated to try to complete the fourth round Monday.
“We have a regulation on this Tour that doesn’t allow us to play on Monday unless half the field finishes,” said Nationwide Tour tournament director Jim Duncan.
Another start on the Nationwide Tour would’ve helped Jensen work toward earning status. The top 100 finishers on the money list earn conditional status for the following season.
Jensen had his chances to earn another Nationwide Tour start, but poor putting forced a return to the eGolf tour.
“I bogeyed No. 9 to shoot 1 over on the front, and then on the back, I hit eight greens, and the one I missed was on the fringe. I was actually hitting it good, but couldn’t get anything to go with the putter,” Jensen said. He had an uphill, 6-foot birdie putt on the final hole, but lipped it out.
“(The top 25) didn’t cross my mind at the time. I just wanted to make a birdie to salvage the day a little bit. … It’s all part of the game.”
Among those that rain left one shot shy of earning another Nationwide Tour start were conditional members Keven Fortin Simard and Chris Mundorf. It’s commonly said that if a player simply makes Q-School finals, they have a place to play the following season. That’s not completely true.
Because of poor finishes at Q-School, neither Fortin-Simard and Mundorf had made a start before the Rex Hospital. Fortin-Simard had to Monday qualify to get in the field, while Mundorf, a former North Carolina State standout and medalist at the 2001 U.S. Amateur, got a sponsor exemption.