Deerfield's Vince India gets another shot at PGA Tour card
Golf's postseason playoffs haven't been kind to Chicago area players. Wheaton's Kevin Streelman was eliminated from the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoffs Sunday and now Deerfield's Vince India faces a tough battle in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.
The Korn Ferry event at Indiana's Victoria National determines the final 25 from the PGA's alternate tour to earn PGA Tour membership for the 2021-22 season.
India, one of 10 golfers to own titles in both the Illinois State Amateur (2010) and Illinois Open (2018), has toiled on the Korn Ferry for eight years and made a run at his PGA Tour card in this pandemic-impacted season that started in 2020 and concludes Sunday.
The Top 25 on the Korn Ferry's regular season point list received their PGA Tour cards two weeks ago. They included Northbrook's Nick Hardy and Northwestern alums David Lipsky and Dylan Wu. India was No. 43, his career best, on the point list then and in good position to succeed in the second phase of PGA Tour eligibility.
India, 32, was safely into the Korn Ferry's three-tournament playoff series, and the Finals 25 get their PGA Tour cards, too. Unfortunately, India didn't perform well in the first two playoff events, finishing tied for 77th in the Boise Open and tied for 58th in last week's Nationwide Championship in Ohio. His ranking is No. 66 on the Finals 25 list so India needs a high finish to have a chance at a PGA Tour card for the 2021-22 season.
There's hope, though. India's best finish last year, when the PGA opted not to award PGA Tour cards due to the shortened season, was a tie for third at Victoria National. A repeat this week might give him a chance at moving up to golf's premier circuit after all.
Streelman bows out: Only the top 30 in the FedEx Cup point standings will compete in this week's season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta. Streelman entered the playoffs with a No. 53 ranking and he finishes the season at No. 64 after a tie for 64th in The Northern Trust and a tie for 52nd in last week's BMW Championship.
Still, the 42-year old Streelman had another solid season. He qualified for the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the 14th straight year and enjoyed his best year in the major championships. His tie for eighth in the PGA Championship was his first Top-10 in 26 appearances in the major events. He also tied for 15th in the U.S. Open and tied for 19th in the British Open. He didn't qualify for the Masters.
Here and there: Chicago's Larry Blatt, who played collegiately at Illinois before giving up golf for three years to become a financial trader, will turn pro after this month's U.S. Mid-Amateur. He announced that decision after winning last week's Illinois State Mid-Amateur at Bloomington Country Club. Local qualifying for the national event is Thursday at Prestwick in Frankfort. ... The Illinois PGA's Super Senior Open concludes its 36-hole run Wednesday at Pine Meadow in Mundelein, and the Birdies for Charity event is Sept. 7 at River Forest in Elmhurst. ... Inverness Golf Club has broken ground on a new family activity center that will include indoor golf simulators, pickleball and paddleball courts, a restaurant, sports bar and Wi-Fi lounge. It's expected to open in early 2022. ... The Arlington Amateur is Sept. 11-12 at both Arlington Lakes and the 9-hole Nickol Knoll course.
• Illinois Golf Hall of Famer Len Ziehm is on the "Golfers on Golf Radio 820" show at 4 p.m. Saturdays. He co-hosts the "Ziehm & Spears Golf Podcast Series" on social media. Past columns are at lenziehmongolf.com.