The purse may be smaller – OK, A LOT smaller – but Zac Blair is indeed teeing it up in a professional event this week.
The 27-year-old agonizingly missed out on a FedEx Cup playoffs spot last week, dropping from 120th to 126th on the points list after an MDF at the Wyndham Championship. The top 125 in points after this event earned a postseason spot.
Even worse … Blair has lost his full PGA Tour card for the time being. He needed to finish top 125 in FedEx Cup points after the Wyndham Championship to be fully exempt on the PGA Tour for 2017-18, but he came up shy. We documented that he was No. 126 in points, but he did finish 125th exactly on the money list. In another cruel twist, that top-125 money list finish would have retained him his full Tour card if this happened last year, but the 2016-17 campaign marks the first time that season-long earnings don’t play into status for the next year.
So that’s pretty rough, and Blair will be off to Web.com Tour Finals soon to see if he can regain full status for 2017-18 (if he fails there, he’ll only have conditional status).
If Blair’s down about all of this, though, he’s not moping.
Blair is keeping busy. In fact, the Utah native has returned home this week to play an event … the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open.
Yes, the PGA Tour player is competing in a state Open.
It’s certainly an unorthodox path, but he’s eligible for this, and more tournament play before the Web.com Tour Finals will keep him sharp.
Blair can even win some money, too, as first place is slated to earn $20,000. That’s a far cry from the winner’s share at this week’s FedEx Cup playoffs opener, The Northern Trust – where first place gets a player $1.575 million – but it’s not nothing!
The Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open, played at Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah, is a three-day affair and begins Friday.
Could going back to a local tournament really be a catalyst to get Blair ready for the FedEx Cup playoffs? Again, maybe not the most conventional idea, but we applaud Blair for thinking outside the box.