Gibson, Spears on verge of earning PGA Tour cards

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Sept. 27, 2015) – Rhein Gibson just missed earning a PGA Tour card during the Tour’s regular season, but he’s on the verge of taking advantage of the second chance afforded by the Tour’s playoffs to qualify for the big tour. The Oklahoma Christian Athletic Hall of Fame member tied for ninth in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship that ended Sunday at Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, moving Gibson to No. 18 on the Tour’s playoff money list with one tournament remaining.

Gibson was tied with Ryan Spears of Del City, among others. The top-10 finish vaulted Spears to 21st in the playoffs. The top 25 money earners during the Tour’s regular season already have earned their PGA Tour cards for next year, and the top 25 earners during the playoffs will join that group. A good finish in the postseason finale, the Tour Championship at TPC Sawgrass-Dye’s Valley in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., that starts Thursday, should assure Gibson and Spears hard-earned spots on the PGA Tour in 2016.

In the tournament that ended Sunday, Gibson opened with a 1-under-par 70 on Thursday and followed that with a 68 on Friday to move into second place, just one shot out of the lead. He struggled a bit on the weekend, with a 72 on Saturday and a 73 on Sunday, but held onto his fifth top-10 finish on the tour in 2015, ending the tournament at 1-under 283.

He earned $23,142, raising his postseason total to $33,942 through three events. The No. 25 player on the list has earned $28,871. Spears has earned $31,278.

During the tour’s regular season, Gibson – who’s originally from Linsmore, Australia, and now resides in Edmond, Okla. – was 33rd on the money list with earnings of $128,953, spending much of the summer hovering around the top-25 cut line.

While at OC, Gibson won four individual tournament titles while helping the Eagles to a pair of runner-up finishes and a pair of third-place team showings at the NAIA Championship. Shortly after his graduation in 2008, he won the Oklahoma state amateur title and was named as the Oklahoma state amateur player of the year in 2008.

He’s most famous for a memorable round in May 2012 at River Oaks Golf Club in Oklahoma City, during which he set a world scoring record by shooting a 55. He also qualified for the 2014 British Open and played in a memorable third-round grouping with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.

Other players with local ties who need a big finish, possibly even a victory, this week to earn a 2016 Tour card include Kevin Tway, currently 62nd in the playoffs, as well as Brad Elder (58) and Tag Ridings (73).

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Ken MacLeod

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

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