« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Jeff Kolpack, Published September 30 2013

Fargo golfer Hoge sees progress after finishing 72nd on Web.com Tour

FARGO – Opening the final round of the Web.com Tour Championship with three straight birdies is the start of champions. Tom Hoge wasn’t able to keep that pace, of course, but the big picture looks promising.

The Fargo golfer finished 72nd in the Web.com priority points system, meaning he finished 22 spots from earning a PGA Tour card. It gives him full status on the Web.com Tour next year for the first time, meaning he’s guaranteed entry in every tournament.

“I’m looking forward to moving forward,” he said.

He began this season finishing second in the BMW Charity Pro-Am in May. But he missed eight of the next 11 cuts.

The tie for 17th in the Web.com Championship over the weekend, however, was a much-needed momentum booster. The only hitch was a triple-bogey 7 on the sixth hole, but he still finished with a 67 at Dye’s Valley Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

“It was a difficult golf course, but I thought, what the heck, let’s try and birdie every hole and see what we can do,” Hoge said. “Other than one or two swings, I was right there to get a (PGA) Tour card. I was happy playing the way I did yesterday with everything on the line.”

The 24-year-old Hoge finished his second full year on the Web.com Tour. He had a couple of top-10 finishes as a rookie, but this year ended better in terms of threatening to earn PGA Tour status.

“I felt like I played better than the results indicated most of the weeks,” Hoge said. “I really felt my weaknesses progressed to be my strengths.”

Specifically, he became a better putter, finishing fourth in the Web.com statistics for putts per round with an average of 28.63. That was inconceivable to him just a couple of years ago.

“I worked hard on it to get it up to speed,” he said.

He finished 57th on the money list at $87,027. A statistic that could use a boost, however: He was 124th in greens in regulation.

“I’ve always been a pretty good ball striker,” Hoge said. “The short game has held me back a bit. And in the last month, I didn’t hit it as well as I would have liked to, and part of that was being on the road. I had last week off to get back to some good practice and get back on track.”

Hoge said he may enter a few Monday qualifiers for PGA Tour events this fall. The Web.com Tour re-starts in February. Unlike this year, he will not be part of any re-shuffling of tour status.

“I can play all 25 to 30 events and pick my schedule,” he said. “Even if you have a slow start, you can still be fine.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia