(NORTH PLAINS, OR) For the third consecutive year, Pumpkin Ridge hosted the world’s best golfers as they played the four most important rounds of their season. As the Regular Season Finale, Portland is where players arrive hoping to punch their ticket to the PGA TOUR. Twenty events precede the WinCo Foods Portland Open; however it is here where anything can happen and always does. Take a look at some of the most fascinating story lines that played out in Portland this year.
Drive for Show, Putt for… a PGA TOUR Card… For Rick Lamb this was exactly the scenario that led to him receiving his PGA TOUR card. Lamb entered the week ranked 27th and needed a strong finish to jump into the coveted top 25. He responded to the pressure by firing a final round score of 68, including a birdie on the 18th hole to move him into the 24th position and flying home with a PGA TOUR card amongst his luggage.
The Waiting Game… Players on the course weren’t the only ones watching names ebb and flow in and out of The 25. Joel Dahmen, a native of Clarkston, WA entered the week ranked 22nd on the money list but missed the cut on Friday and was perhaps the most interested spectator come Sunday afternoon. There was a point when his name was in the dreaded 26th position however things fell in Dahmen’s favor as he finished squarely on the bubble landing 25th on Sunday and leaving Portland with his TOUR card.
A 68 a Day Keeps a PGA TOUR Card in Play… Mark Anderson, whose wife was due with their child any day heading into the weekend certainly had plenty on his mind as play began. Anderson entered the weekend in need of two stellar rounds to have a chance at his PGA TOUR card. Anderson shot scores of 68 on both Saturday and Sunday to jump from 51st to 16th on the money list and cap a whirlwind weekend with his PGA TOUR Card.
Sunday Belongs to Sparty… Solid from start to finish, our champion and former Michigan State golf coach Ryan Brehm charged out of the gates on Thursday with a round of 63 and he never looked back. Brehm calmly picked apart the challenging Witch Hollow layout on Sunday and stood on the 18th tee with a two shot lead. Twenty minutes later he was holding the trophy and had locked up his spot on the PGA TOUR next season.
(NORTH PLAINS, OR) Each year 25 players leave Pumpkin Ridge with their PGA TOUR Card for the upcoming season and inevitably some of those players find their way to stardom. Names from past years include Justin Thomas (Portland Class of ’14, 2016 CIMB Classic Champion), Smylie Kaufman (Class of ’15, 2016 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Champion), and Daniel Berger (Class of ’14, 2015 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year & 2016 FedEx St. Jude Classic Champion). It’s only a matter of time before the stars of the Portland Class of ’16 emerge, here are a few names to keep an eye on this PGA TOUR Season.
Richy Werenski- Finishing 2nd on the Regular Season Money List, Werenski arrived in Portland with his place in Sunday’s 25 Card Ceremony assured. Not one to rest on his laurels Werenski surged to a strong T11 finish here in Portland. Winner of the Big Break Palm Beaches season, Werenski shines brightest when the spotlight is on him, and is off and running this season with a T35 finish in the PGA TOUR Season Opener the Safeway Open.
Cheng Tsung Pan- 2016 was a big year for the former University of Washington Husky. Pan represented Chinese Taipei in Rio before coming to Portland where he locked up his PGA TOUR Card after a T4 finish. Pan has all the makings of a star ranking inside the top 10 on the Web.com Tour in putting, scoring average, and all around driving.
Ollie Schniederjans- An outstanding amateur, Schniederjans held the title of #1 ranked amateur in the world for 41 weeks during his time at Georgia Tech. Furthering his credentials Ollie was a 3 time All American and 2 Time ACC Player of the Year. Entering the season Schniederjans had lofty expectations to live up to and did so by finishing 7th on the Money List and securing his PGA TOUR Card in Portland. Look for Ollie near the top of PGA TOUR leaderboards next season as he makes our list of players to watch from the Class of 2016.
Trey Mullinax- Another outstanding amateur player, Trey was part of the Alabama golf team that made history winning back to back National Championships in 2013 & 2014. Mullinax bruises his way around the golf course averaging 305 yards off the tee, an attribute that will suit him nicely on the PGA TOUR. A winner at the Rex Hospital Open, Trey found himself in the Top 10 on 3 other occasions throughout the season. Looking to join his former teammate and Portland alum Justin Thomas as one of the young stars of the PGA TOUR, look for Mullinax to do just that in 2017.