Ryan Palmer is the latest in a string of golfers to make a major move in the PGA Tour's Fall Series.
Palmer overcame a nightmarish stretch and weather delays to break a six-way tie by sinking a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Sunday to win the Ginn sur Mer Classic by a stroke. The putt gave Palmer his second PGA Tour victory and an $828,000 first-place check.
More importantly, the victory at Palm Coast, Fla., gives Palmer a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour. His winning score of 7-under-par 281 at the Conservatory Course at Ginn Hammock Beach Resort moved Palmer from No. 143 to No. 73 on the PGA Tour money list.
"I'm speechless - it's unbelievable," Palmer told reporters. "The work I put in this year, working hard, grinding ... for it to finally show. I knew it was coming."
Palmer appeared to be on his way to a successful career on Tour as he earned more than $1 million from 2004-2006, climbing to No. 80 in the world golf rankings in 2005. However, the Texas native had just one top-25 finish in 30 starts in 2007, earning $524,988 and slipping to 410 in the world rankings.
"I had [it] a little rough last year," Palmer said. "I put so much sweat and a lot of tears into this year."
This year, Palmer has made the cut in 11 of 21 PGA Tour events and now has more than $1.3 million in earnings. He has six top-25 finishes, including placing in the top 10 three times.
Palmer's last victory came in 2004 when he won the Children's Miracle Network Classic.
Shortly after making the turn, Palmer called a penalty on himself and made bogey on the 10th hole. He then took double bogey on the next hole with a tee shot into the water.
All six of the Fall Series winners this season were at No.125 or higher on the money list prior to their win. The list includes Will MacKenzie at the Viking Classic (No. 178 to No. 97), Dustin Johnson at Turning Stone (No. 128 to No. 41), Zach Johnson at Valero Texas Open (No. 125 to No. 55), Marc Turnesa at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Classic (No. 138 to No. 75) and Cameron Beckman at the Frys.com Open (No. 175 to No. 86).
George McNeill, Nicholas Thompson, Vaughn Taylor, Ken Duke and Michael Letzig all tied for second at 6-under 282. Troy Matteson, Brian Gay, Tom Scherrer, Robert Allenby and John Huston tied for seventh at 5-under 283.
Jeff Overton, who entered the tournament at No. 126 on the money list, shot a 3-under 285 to finish tied for 18th and move up to No. 125 on the money list — just 12 days after undergoing an emergency appendectomy.
Palmer, Overton and Vaughn Taylor all moved into the top 125 with their performances this weekend. Patrick Sheehan, David Toms and Charles Warren dropped out heading into the final event of the season, next week's Children's Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart.
November 3, 2008
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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