Career Defining: Nationwide Children's Championshp Preview

This week, I decided to gas up the car and hit the road for the third leg of the Tour Finals, the Nationwide Children’s Championship in Columbus, OH. The 4 events during the Tour Finals are some of my favorites of the season because you get to see players trying to keep or earn their spot on the PGA Tour. Players range from the likes of a multi-PGA Tour winner such as Scott Stallings to a young phenom like Bryson DeChambeau to little-known number 75 on the’s money list, Timothy Madigan. 

How the Tour Finals Work

Here are 3 different groups of players who play in the Tour Finals:

PGA Tour’s 126th-200th in FedEx Cup Points - These are the guys who failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs and are now in jeopardy of losing their PGA Tour cards. In order to secure their cards for next season, they need to finish in the top 25 of the Tour Finals Money List. If they fail to earn their cards, they will spend the 2016-2017 season on the Tour.

The Tour’s 26th-75th on the Money List - These players failed to earn their cards by finishing in the top 25 of the regular season money list. In order to earn a PGA Tour Card for the 2016-2017 season, these players need to finish in the top 25 of the Tour Finals Money List. If they don’t finish in the top 25, they will play the 2016-2017 season on the Tour.

The Tour’s 1st-25th on the Money List - These are the guys who are playing with house money, as they have already earned their spot on the PGA Tour for the 2016-2017 season and now jockey for their priority ranking. The higher a player finishes on the money list, the more early season starts on the PGA Tour they will get.

How the Tour Finals currently stand

Through two events, eight players have earned enough money to guarantee their spots on the PGA Tour for the 2016-2017 season. Those eight are Michael Thompson, Bryson DeChambeau, Miguel Angel Carbello, Andres Gonzales, Scott Stallings, Beef, Zack Sucher and Gonzalo Fdez-Castano. Full standings here.

With only 17 spots remaining, those who haven’t secured their card will be looking for a hot week.

The Course

The Ohio State Golf Club’s Scarlet Course is an original Alister MacKenzie design that was “restored” by Ohio golf legend, Jack Nicklaus, in the early 2000s. While some of MacKenzie’s great work remains (most notably the bunkering), Nicklaus brought to the table his championship course pedigree and goofy green complexes, wiping most of MacKenzie’s original work away. While the golf course took a hit architecturally, it is now a stern tournament test that will crown a great champion. 

Storylines to watch

How the once mighty have fallen - Scour through the tee-times and you will see a lot of big names playing in this event. A few of note include Rory Sabbatini, former world top 10 Camilo Villegas, Stuart Appleby, Jason Gore and Chesson Hadley.

Rising to the occasion - As the Tour Finals draws to a close, the pressure mounts on those who have yet to secure their spot on the PGA Tour. It will be interesting to see who gets it done this week.

Who do you want me to follow?

Check out the first round pairings here and let me know who you would like me to follow during the opening round. Drop us a line here.