Eighteen holes stand between Philip Knowles and an eleventh-hour PGA Tour card.
While 16 of 25 cards via the Korn Ferry Tour’s regular-season points list are already spoken as of Saturday evening, the remainder – plus spots in the KFT Finals and a chance at 25 more cards – will be determined on Sunday in Elkhorn, Nebraska. And Knowles, a 25-year-old University of North Florida product who played this season with conditional membership, is in position to nab that coveted #TourBound status.
Knowles is in a three-way tie with Ben Taylor and Taylor Montgomery for the Pinnacle Bank Championship lead at 13 under after a 7-under 64 in Saturday’s third round. But unlike Taylor and Montgomery, who entered the week at Nos. 23 and eighth, respectively, in points, Knowles can’t afford to lose ground on the final day outside of Omaha.
Of course, provided Knowles finishes better than a three-way tie for 23rd, he’ll qualify for the three-event KFT Finals, where he’ll have another opportunity to earn his Tour card. But if he wants to earn that card on Sunday as part of The 25, he needs to pull off a hail mary – win, and nothing less.
Through 54 holes, Knowles is the only player on the leaderboard projected to move into the top 25 in points. Kevin Roy, who went 11 holes without making a par on Saturday before shooting 73, is projected to fall from No. 22 to No. 26. Anders Albertson is the current No. 25, down from No. 21 after he missed the cut.
Here is a look at the top-25 bubble picture (players who missed cut and are mathematically out of running aren’t listed):
Projected (Started). Player, Current place (minimum finish to have a chance)
- 20 (18). Kevin Yu, MC
- 21 (19). Harrison Endycott, T-41
- 22 (20). Trevor Cone, T-29
- 23 (25). Michael Kim, T-22
- 24 (24). Vincent Norrman, T-29
- 25 (21). Anders Albertson, MC
- 26 (22). Kevin Roy, T-55
- 27 (26). Brandon Harkins, T-34
- 29 (30). Akshay Bhatia, T-13 (needs solo 13th)
- 30 (31). T.J. Vogel, T-13 (needs two-way 12th)
- 33 (40). Will Gordon, T-5 (needs two-way T-3)
- 34 (32). Carson Young, T-46 (needs two-way T-9)
- 35 (33). David Kocher, T-46 (needs solo eighth)
- 36 (39). Austin Eckroat, T-13 (needs solo fourth)
Besides Knowles, there is just one other player currently projected to move inside the top 75, which comes with a KFT Finals berth and a full KFT card again next season: Xinjun Zhang, who at T-22 currently figures to move from No. 83 to No. 73.
Here are a few names to watch in the top-75 race who also sit inside the top 25 on the leaderboard:
Current place. Player (minimum finish to have a chance)
- T-9. Cody Gribble (needs solo fourth)
- T-11. Ryan Hall (needs two-way second)
- T-13. Cole Hammer (needs solo third)
- T-13. Luis Gagne (needs two-way third)
- T-13. Conner Godsey (needs two-way third)
- T-13. Zac Blair (needs two-way third)
- T-22. Tripp Kinney (needs solo third)
- T-22. Martin Contini (needs solo 21st)
- T-22. Xinjun Zhang (needs solo 33rd)