Spencer Levin’s second-chance season begins Thursday in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio, the first of four tournaments that make up the Web.com Tour Finals.
Levin finished 163rd on the FedEx Cup points list in 2016-17, failing to earn any PGA Tour status for next season. In the Web.com Tour Finals, he will compete against the top 75 players on the Web.com Tour money list and PGA Tour players finishing 126-200 in FedEx Cup points.
The top 25 from the Web.com Tour money list are guaranteed a place on the PGA Tour next season and will play for priority ranking. That leaves the remaining players to fight for 25 PGA Tour cards based on cumulative earnings in the four-tournament series that concludes with the Web.com Tour Championship on Sept. 28-Oct. 1.
Levin, 33, has been down this road before. Although fully exempt on the PGA Tour since 2009, he had to return to the PGA Tour qualifying tournament at the end of that year and the Web.com Tour Finals in 2014. He regained his PGA Tour status both times.
The Sacramento native and resident would have a safety net if his 8-foot par putt on the final hole of the Quicken Loans National early last month had fallen – it horseshoed out. The nasty miss left him in an eight-way tie for fifth, when a make would have put in a three-way tie for third, gotten him into the British Open and provided him with enough FedEx Cup points to finish inside the top 150 and with partial status for next year.
Levin earned $469,730 this season, giving him career PGA Tour earnings of $8,618,533.
Et cetera – Emilee Hoffman (Folsom) was part of the gold-medal winning United States team in the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan. Hoffman, a Texas sophomore, competed alongside UCLA’s Mariel Galdiano and Stanford’s Andrea Lee.
▪ Jeff Hoffman (Folsom), Emilee’s dad, advanced to match play at the U.S. Senior Amateur in Minnesota. He lost his Round of 64 match on the 18th hole.
▪ McClatchy freshman Genevieve Cha started her competitive high school career in style with a hole in one in her first match. The 14-year-old aced the seventh hole at WildHawk in a match against Florin, using a 9-iron from 115 yards.
▪ Steve Smith made a double eagle on the par-5 third hole at Morgan Creek, sinking a 5-wood from 247 yards.
▪ Kim Welch (Roseville) is 24th on the Symetra Tour’s money list and in the field for next month’s second stage of the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament.
▪ Paige Lee (Folsom) failed to advance out of the first stage of LPGA Tour qualifying.
▪ River Oaks in Nicolaus will reopen under new ownership Sunday. The course has been closed for four months after flooding, then a bankruptcy filing. The standard walking rate will be $30 ($45 with cart). Greens fees will include a hot dog, fries and a soda during September and October as the course is worked back into better shape.
▪ Napa Golf Course is offering Dollar Day on Wednesday. Greens fees, hot dogs, range balls and sodas are each $1 all day. There has to be a catch, right? “A $15 cart fee, if you want to call that a catch,” said Howie Muto in the Napa golf shop. Players can walk for $1. The tee sheet is booked in the morning, Muto said, but there are plenty of times available in the afternoon.
▪ The California State Fair Men’s Amateur is Saturday-Monday at Haggin Oaks. Cal, Stanford and UCLA are each sending their usual strong contingent. The State Fair Women’s championship is Saturday-Sunday at Bartley Cavanaugh.
Steve Pajak: 916-326-5526.