I’ve written this before, but one of the cool things about Gold Mountain Golf Club’s ability to host all of the prestigious tournaments — the U.S. Public Links, U.S. Junior, NCAA West Regionals, Husky Invitationals, etc. — is that you get a chance to see the stars of tomorrow.
Jonas Blixt was a guy who passed through on his way to the PGA Tour. Blixt, a Swedish golfer, was a senior at Florida State when he played in the NCAA regionals in 2009. Kyle Stanley, the Gig Harbor golfer who was at Clemson at the time, was also in that field. So was Jamie Lovemark, a USC star. I talked to Blixt and Stanley that year for a column on the globalization of college golf.
Stanley won a tour event earlier this year, and Blixt had his breath through moment on Sunday by winning the Frys.com Open. Blixt has made 13 of 19 cuts and is No. 35 on the money list with more than $2.1 million in winnings. Stanley is No 32, winning $2.3 million. Stanley had a heart-breaking second at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego earlier in the year, then won at Phoenix the following week.
The top 125 money earners on the PGA Tour keep their cards for another season. With two tournaments left — this week’s McGladrey Classic at Sea Island, Ga., and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Nov. 8-11, Troy Kelly is safe. Kelly, a Central Kitsap product, missed the cut at the Frys.com Open and only dropped two spots — from No. 107 to No. 109. Another ex-Husky, Richard H. Lee, is No. 134.
Kelly and Lee have both made 11 of 22 cuts. Lee, a former winner of the Bremerton City Amateur, has four Top 25 finishes, and one top 10 and has won $540,133. His tie for sixth in Las Vegas at the Justin Timberlake Childrens Open was worth 4156,335. Kelly has been in the Top 25 just once, but the second-place finish at the Greenbrier was worth $658,800 and he’s now at $786,832.
Two weeks ago, Kelly didn’t think he would play the final event if he didn’t have to. If he misses another cut this week, he might change his mind. Seems like it would be nice to end the year on a good note. Lee, meanwhile, has no choice, although a top 10 finish this week would propel him well into the Top 125.
Veteran Billy Mayfair is currently holding down the No. 125 spot with winnings of $612,361.
No. 126 is Kevin Chappel ($610,948), a former UCLA standout and another of those golfers that has passed through Gold Mountain.
Lovemark, considered one of this can’t-miss guys, is No. 195. He’s played in 16 PGA events and has won $109,572. He’s won another $61,808 in 11 Web.com (formerly the Nationwide Tour) events.
Anthony Kim, who was second in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 2006 at Gold Mountain, has fallen off the map. Once a rising star, he’s battled some physical problems and who knows what else. He played in just 10 tournaments this year, making two cuts and $33,960.
Luke Donald (Northwestern) and Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina) are others who also played in college tournaments at the Bremerton city-owned course.
There’s no guarantees, but I think current University of Washington start Chris Williams will start showing up on those tour money lists in the next couple of years.