Keep an eye on Chesson Hadley this week in the Northern Trust at Liberty National. He is, by his own admission, playing with “house money.’’
Hadley got into the field as the 125th and final player in FedEx Cup points via a magical final round Sunday at the Wyndham, where he shot 62 and had his first-ever hole-in-one.
To earn enough points to get into the top 125, Hadley knew he needed to finish 16th or better at the Wyndham. After shooting 68-69-69, he shot 62 on Sunday, highlighted by his first career ace on the par-3 No. 16, to finish tied for 15th.
A finish outside of the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings this week, and Hadley was going to be headed back to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, which start next week in Idaho. Hadley has won four times in 45 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, but he wants more. And now he has a chance to achieve it, having secured his PGA Tour card with the 125th-place finish.
That begins with this week at Liberty National.
“I’m playing with house money,’’ Hadley said Wednesday. “I’m on credit at the casino, and I can just kind of let it go. I think I need to set a new goal … to figure out exactly what I need to finish to get inside the top 70 [to advance to next week’s second leg].’’
Hadley’s 2021 has been eventful. He has just one top-10 finish, and it came at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree, where had a chance to win but finished with a 75 in the final round with consecutive bogeys on the final three holes.
“I’ve kind of been on the outside looking in all year,’’ Hadley said. “I just found something there the last day [on Sunday]. I mean, the whole day was kind of magical from the start, from the hole-in-one to the finish. I’m very blessed to be here right now, that’s for sure.’’
Joe LaCava, Tiger Woods’ caddie is working for Patrick Cantlay this week. Cantlay’s regular caddie, Matt Minister, has been out a couple of weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. LaCava lives in nearby Connecticut, so this is an easy home game.
With Woods out indefinitely with his leg injuries suffered in the February car crash, LaCava also worked with his former boss Fred Couples at the PGA Tour Champions in June.
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