Eckroat, Stevens earn cards, ready for first full PGA Tour campaigns

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NEWBURGH, Indiana – Edmond native Austin Eckroat and former Oklahoma State teammate Sam Stevens were among the 25 happy recipients of a PGA Tour card for 2022-23 Sunday. The three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals, along with the 26-event 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season, concluded Sunday evening at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, as the second set of 25 PGA TOUR cards were awarded in a ceremony on No. 18 green at Victoria National Golf Club.

The top 25 players on the Korn Ferry Tour Finals Eligibility Points List earned PGA TOUR cards for the 2022-23 season, which begins Thursday, September 15 at the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California. This year’s Finals 25 is a mix of players earning their first TOUR card and others either retaining or improving their TOUR status for the upcoming season.

The Finals 25 features 12 rookies: Dean Burmester, Eric Cole, Eckroat, Thomas Detry, Nicolas Echavarria, Tano Goya, Brent Grant, Philip Knowles, Matti Schmid, Stevens, Kyle Westmoreland, Carson Young.

Justin Suh, who earned his first PGA TOUR card at the regular season finale three weeks ago, won the season-ending Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, vaulting him to No. 1 in both the season-long points race and the Korn Ferry Tour Finals Eligibility Points List. By virtue of sweeping the No. 1 rankings, Suh will have fully exempt status for the 2022-23 PGA TOUR season, an exemption for the 2023 PLAYERS Championship and, for the first time in history, an exemption for the 2023 U.S. Open.

No. 3 Austin Eckroat

The 23-year-old native of Edmond, Oklahoma began the season with conditional status and, after missed cuts in January and April, Monday qualified into May’s AdventhHealth Championship, the first event after the third reshuffle of the season, for his third start. Facing the prospect of needing four consecutive top-25s to continue earning starts ahead of the next reshuffle, Eckroat rattled off finishes of T23-T23-T25-T25, shuffled up the priority ranking, and eventually finished No. 34 on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Eligibility Points List off the strength of a runner-up finish at the Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS. XXXX FINALS INFO. Played collegiately at Oklahoma State University and finished No. 3 in the inaugural PGA TOUR University presented by Velocity Global Class of 2021.

No. 21 Sam Stevens

The 26-year-old rookie and third-generation professional golfer earned his first PGA TOUR card with a T28 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and a T12 Sunday at the season-ending Korn Ferry Tour Championship. Recorded 11 top-25s in 23 starts this season, which propelled him to a No. 43 finish on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Eligibility Points List. Played collegiately at Oklahoma State University and was a member of its 2018 NCAA Championship-winning team. Finished No. 2 on the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Order of Merit for Korn Ferry Tour membership. Father, Charlie, played collegiately at University of Oklahoma and Texas Christian University before he made two Korn Ferry Tour starts in 1992. Grandfather, Johnny, made 30 PGA TOUR starts, mostly across the 1968 and 1969 seasons.

Making it to the Finals but not earning their cards were former Sooner and Weatherford native Quade Cummins as well as former Oklahoma State golfer Kevin Dougherty and Tulsan and former Cowboy Bo Van Pelt.

Eckroat and Stevens will join a host of other players with Oklahoma ties on the PGA Tour, including current Stillwater resident Viktor Hovland (OSU), Taylor Moore of Edmond, Max McGreevy of Edmond, Robert Streb (Edmond North), Kevin Tway (Edmond North), Rickie Fowler (OSU) and Alex Noren (OSU).

Also in professional golf this weekend, Talor Gooch of Midwest City took a lead into the final round of the LIV Golf event in Boston. He shot a 1-under 69 in the final round and finished two shots behind Dustin Johnson, who won in a playoff over Anirban Lahiri. Former Oklahoma golfer Abraham Ancer finished eighth at 11-under, former Cowboy Matthew Wolff of Edmond tied for 13th at 8-under, former Cowboy Charles Howell III tied for 15th at 7-under,  rookie Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra of OSU tied for 35th at 2-under and former Cowboy Peter Uihleiin tied for 45th at 5-over.


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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source