ODDS OF EARNING A PGA TOUR CARD

With the Nationwide Tour Championship taking place this week and the top-25 players earning a PGA Tour card, I decided to set up a little simulation to determine what chance every player has of earning a PGA Tour card for next season.

The top-60 players on the Nationwide money list qualify for the Tour Championship. As far as I can tell the purse structure breaks down like this. That doesn’t look too official, but it aligns with the winners share, total purse and breakdown from last year that were published on the official site, so I went with it.

Here are the results of 50,000 sims using two-year performance:

PLAYER

Top-25

Money

Win

Jamie Lovemark

100.00%

$449,024.59

48.57%

Chris Kirk

100.00%

$433,279.10

17.99%

Tommy Gainey

100.00%

$417,128.35

8.78%

Daniel Summerhays

100.00%

$394,032.33

4.27%

Hunter Haas

100.00%

$390,218.17

4.69%

Martin Piller

100.00%

$343,131.20

1.42%

Jhonathan Vegas

100.00%

$346,664.61

4.20%

Kevin Chappell

100.00%

$348,315.95

4.75%

Fabian Gomez

100.00%

$283,126.81

1.35%

Keegan Bradley

100.00%

$280,917.76

1.11%

Kevin Kisner

100.00%

$279,471.26

0.92%

David Mathis

100.00%

$276,591.11

0.85%

Steven Bowditch

100.00%

$264,772.71

0.30%

Tag Ridings

100.00%

$276,163.78

0.80%

Robert Gates

100.00%

$266,859.99

0.00%

D.J. Brigman

100.00%

$250,522.50

0.00%

Scott Gutschewski

100.00%

$238,842.56

0.00%

Peter Tomasulo

100.00%

$234,521.97

0.00%

Michael Putnam

99.95%

$233,484.77

0.00%

Jim Herman

98.68%

$220,863.40

0.00%

Justin Hicks

90.45%

$215,081.47

0.00%

Scott Gardiner

81.81%

$218,901.89

0.00%

B.J. Staten

49.83%

$207,867.43

0.00%

Brandt Jobe

48.66%

$214,801.89

0.00%

Nathan Smith

34.42%

$203,948.14

0.00%

Chris Nallen

21.33%

$200,509.96

0.00%

James Hahn

18.70%

$194,812.47

0.00%

David Hearn

17.33%

$195,951.91

0.00%

Jon Mills

15.74%

$192,763.29

0.00%

William McGirt

14.75%

$188,951.36

0.00%

Brendan Steele

10.25%

$184,266.07

0.00%

Kyle Stanley

9.12%

$182,609.52

0.00%

Joe Affrunti

8.05%

$178,672.75

0.00%

Alistair Presnell

7.20%

$177,591.72

0.00%

Won Joon Lee

6.30%

$177,156.76

0.00%

Colt Knost

5.48%

$168,995.85

0.00%

Gavin Coles

5.04%

$154,868.65

0.00%

Andrew Svoboda

4.81%

$153,345.19

0.00%

Brian Smock

4.78%

$164,522.63

0.00%

Bradley Iles

3.66%

$155,626.89

0.00%

Zach Miller

3.65%

$133,340.85

0.00%

Jonas Blixt

3.64%

$131,724.86

0.00%

Rob Oppenheim

3.51%

$145,541.60

0.00%

David Branshaw

3.32%

$147,289.75

0.00%

Scott Stallings

2.99%

$138,246.54

0.00%

John Riegger

2.63%

$162,718.81

0.00%

Dicky Pride

2.51%

$154,580.12

0.00%

Jason Gore

2.50%

$153,855.38

0.00%

Jeff Curl

2.46%

$130,154.30

0.00%

Mark Anderson

1.84%

$125,823.48

0.00%

J.J. Killeen

1.84%

$128,637.83

0.00%

Paul Claxton

1.80%

$138,957.78

0.00%

Jeff Brehaut

1.77%

$124,910.07

0.00%

Geoffrey Sisk

1.65%

$146,202.74

0.00%

Travis Bertoni

1.59%

$139,134.49

0.00%

Jin Park

1.48%

$154,835.41

0.00%

Kyle Thompson

1.39%

$144,921.45

0.00%

Steve Pate

1.26%

$145,538.40

0.00%

Doug LaBelle II

1.07%

$127,957.30

0.00%

Ewan Porter

0.80%

$128,862.06

0.00%

And 5 guys that could make an impact on the PGA Tour this year:

Chris Kirk

Kirk falls into the category of Rickie Fowler in that he twice appeared in the Sagarin top-10 college players. Kirk has struggled in his first two professional years in more limited action. This year, he played fully on the Nationwide tour and was almost as good as Rickie Fowler on the PGA Tour, picking up two wins and two seconds in 21 starts. If 2010, is his true level of performance he’s probably around 80% to win back his tour card next season.

Jamie Lovemark

Jamie Lovemark made his losing two years ago, in the same playoff as Rickie Fowler, at the Frys.com Open. Lovemark didn’t get his PGA Tour card this year, but fared quite well on the NW Tour, leading its money list. Lovemark wasn’t quite as consistently good as Kirk this year, but racked up a lot of high finishes. In around 100 professional rounds, Lovemark is around a PGA Tour average player.

Kevin Chappell

Like Kirk, Kevin Chappell was a highly decorated college player, who struggled at first after turning pro. Chappell played less than 40 rounds in 2009 and was worse than NW average. With a fuller schedule this year, he was significantly better. With some good luck, he can probably finish around 100 on the PGA Tour money list next season. With some better luck, he can snag a win.

Daniel Summerhays

Daniel Summerhays 2010 season, was the best of his career, ranking above PGA Tour average. After a good 2007, with not enough events to get high enough on NW money list, and an unlucky 2008, where he finished 35th, Summerhays was awful in 2009. This year, he turned that around and if you consider 2009 and outlier, for whatever reason, Summerhays has a chance to be slightly better than average next season.

Hunter Haas

Like Summerhays, Hunter Haas has been close before and rebounded from a off 2009 with his strongest, and most fortunate, season to date. Haas’ two wins this season were enough to finally break into the top-25. Haas has been right around average since 2006, with the exception of 2009, so he should have a decent shot at a top-125 finish on the PGA Tour.

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