Sunday Contenders: Price Cutter Championship
With the marathon season winding down the pressure builds on Sunday
By Ryan French
Dylan Wu -20
Alex Kang -20
Nicholas Thompson -18
Austin Smotherman -18
Seth Reeves -17
Dylan Wu Age: 24 Turned pro: 2018 College: Northwestern Wu is a great example of how one event can change your career. He had really poor status on KFT in 2019 and in June was headed to a Mackenzie Tour event in Canada when he got the call: He was in the KFT event. It was just his second start … and he finished second and secured his card for the next season. Now a win here and he will secure his PGA Tour card. No matter where Wu goes in his career, I bet he will always point to that second-place finish as the jumpstart of his career. This is his fifth consecutive made cut, but he hasn’t had a top 10 since 2020. He finished T31 at the U.S. Open, but in a great example of why KFT points should be rewarded for majors, he fell down the points list on the KFT. Wu was a decorated hockey player in high school, played on the varsity for all four years and was voted best defenseman on the team three of those years.
Alex Kang Age: 31 Turned pro: 2012 College: San Diego State Kang has struggled this season, so much so that a win won’t even get him into the top 75 on the points list. He sits 191st in points and a win would move him to 80th. Kang was the second-to-last player into the field and didn’t get in until Tuesday afternoon. He has played in 54 events on the Korn Ferry Tour. He has a win on PGA Tour China. Everyone knows who his sister is, right? I don’t need to mention it, right? I figure if you are reading this article, you already know. OK? Good.
Nicholas Thompson Age: 38 Turned pro: 2005 College: Georgia Tech Reading back on his career makes me miss Q school, when you could go directly to the Tour. Nicholas turned pro in 2005 and in his first year at Q school finished third at the final stage and earned his Tour card. Man, do I miss that drama, where one putt can mean millions of dollars. Thompson has one win on the KFT, in 2007, when he defeated David Moreland IV in a playoff. This season he finished seventh in the 2020 Panama Championship, then missed nine consecutive cuts. He hasn’t had success since then and sits way down the points list. A win would be the only way for him to get close to the top 75. Everyone knows who his sister is, right? I don’t need to mention it, right? I feel like if you are reading this article, you already know. OK? Good.
Austin Smotherman Age: 27 Turned pro: 2016 College: SMU Huge Sunday. Just huge. When you are on the bubble for the top 25, these last few events are pressure-packed. Austin is 26th and can lock up his Tour card with a good Sunday. The pressure of knowing a good round means your life could change must be heavy. I’m not sure I would get the tee in the ground on the first hole. Smotherman has a win this year, which he followed up with five consecutive missed cuts and then a T5. He won on the Latin American Tour in 2017 when he shot 66-65-66-65 to win by four. Former college teammate of _____________. (I figure if you are reading this, you already know.)
Seth Reeves Age: 30 Turned pro: 2014 College: Georgia Tech Had one of the biggest surprise wins earlier this year at the Pinnacle Bank Championship. Coming into the event, he had missed six consecutive cuts and had shot in the 80s more often than the 60s. He opened the week with a 74 and got his first Korn Ferry title with a closing 64. He has made nine of his last 10 cuts. He virtually has his card locked up, but a solid Sunday will ensure it.
Steve Alker At 49, can he make a run at one more KFT title before heading to the Champions Tour?
Roberto Diaz Sitting 23rd in points, he has a very important Sunday ahead.
Brent Grant He is 73rd in points, and the top 75 make the KFT Finals. A solid Sunday will lock up a spot there and will keep the dream alive of getting his PGA Tour card this year.