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First alt. Xiong earns Sony spot in 7-hole playoff at 'Tuesday' qualifier

First alt. Xiong earns Sony spot in 7-hole playoff at 'Tuesday' qualifier

Norman Xiong began the week as first alternate for the Sony Open and one of over a dozen Korn Ferry Tour graduates shut out of the first non-signature event of the year.

He’s now punched his ticket.

Xiong earned the fourth and final spot in the Sony field via a Monday qualifier that was stretched into Tuesday because of heavy rain and flooding. It took Xiong seven holes to eliminate Julian Suri after both players shot 5-under 67 and got into a 7-for-2 playoff at Kapolei Golf Course about 40 minutes west of Honolulu.

Martin Trainer and Parker Coody, who like Xiong also attended the PGA Tour’s two-day rookie orientation last weekend, each shot 6-under 66 to earn the first two Sony tickets outright. Robert Streb birdied the first playoff hole and also will play at Waialae starting Thursday.

Yuki Moriyama, Ryan McCormick, John Oda and Patrick Flavin joined Suri in missing out in the playoff.

Trainer is a 32-year-old French native who won the 2019 Puerto Rico Open and is playing off past champion status this year. Coody joins his twin brother, Pierceson, as a first-year Tour pro after both competed on the Korn Ferry Tour last season. Parker Coody has made three previous Tour starts, including last spring’s Honda Classic, which he Monday’d into.

Streb, 36, is a veteran of 300 career Tour starts. He’s won twice, most recently at the 2020 RSM Classic, and finished runner-up three times.

Xiong was the 2018 Haskins Award winner as the NCAA player of the year when he was a sophomore at Oregon. Now 25, Xiong won last season on the KFT, though he’s made just 2 of 11 career PGA Tour cuts.

After Xiong got through the open qualifier, Nicholas Lindheim moved up to first alternate. However, Lindheim since had withdrawn, meaning Joe Highsmith is now next up. He’s followed by Patrick Fishburn, Mac Meissner and Tom Whitney.

This year’s Sony Open now has 17 of the 30 KFT grads from a season ago teeing it up at Waialae, though just 14 of them got in on their number. Two – Jimmy Stanger and Josh Teater – were designated sponsor invites.