On the Korn Ferry Tour, there's only one chance left for players to lock up a PGA Tour card for next season.
This week, at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana, there will be 17 at stake.
Earlier this year, 25 players, including Carl Yuan, Davis Thompson and Kevin Yu, earned full Tour status for 2022-23 via regular-season qualifying. Last week at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the second of three KFT finals events, winner David Lingmerth along with Joseph Bramlett, Michael Gligic, Austin Cook, Dean Burmester and Henrik Norlander secured Tour cards, joining Will Gordon and Phil Knowles who clinched their place inside the Finals 25 at the first playoff event.
Here are five notables who could play their way on Tour next season at the KFT Championship and round out the 2022 KFT graduates.
The 33-year-old finished his rookie year on Tour in excruciating fashion.
At the Wyndham Championship, the Tour's regular-season finale, Lower three-putted for bogey on his 72nd hole and fell out of the top 125 — not only missing out on the playoffs, but also a Tour card for next season.
"There's positives," he said in tears afterward, "but right now it just flat out sucks."
Consolation, though, is on the horizon. The Ohio native placed T-9 last week in his home state and is currently first in line to secure a card this week, sitting ninth on the points list. Also, Lower was only three spots away from notching a card for next season via the FedExCup, and with seven names reportedly set to defect for LIV Golf this week, Lower would then move up the points list enough to claim another year on Tour.
The 29-year-old Belgian and Illinois product, who has mostly played on the DP World Tour, earned enough non-member points this season to make it to the Korn Ferry Tour finals.
In five Tour starts last year, he had one top-10 with four top-25s. And in the first KFT Finals event, the Albertsons Boise Open, he finished T-4 and is now knocking on the door of Tour status.
Once a can't-miss prospect, winning the 2018 Nicklaus and Haskins awards at Oregon as college golf's top player, the 23-year-old's professional career hasn't gone as expected.
He's missed eight cuts in 10 Tour starts since 2018. In '19 on the KFT, he made only five cuts with one top-25 in 25 starts.
Then this past June, with only one KFT start under his belt in 2022 (MC), he Monday qualified for the Wichita Open and won the event, posting the second-lowest 72-hole score (26-under 254) in KFT history.
“I really don’t know how I’m feeling just because I didn’t really expect to be here,” Xiong said after his win.
With a solid week at the KFT Championship, he can stay within the top 25 and find himself with a 2022-23 Tour card, where he'd regularly tee up alongside his 2017 Walker Cup teammates — Scottie Scheffler, Will Zalatoris, Collin Morikawa, Doug Ghim, Maverick McNealy and Cameron Champ.
After notching Tour status via the 2021 regular-season KFT points list, the 26-year-old hit a roadblock during his rookie season.
With no top-25s in his first 12 starts last season, Hardy finally earned one at the Zurich Classic in April (T-21). However, it was there he also sustained an ECU tendon subluxation and torn subsheath, which sidelined him for almost two months.
After returning, he lost in a playoff to Harry Hall at the KFT's NV5 Invitational before posting a T-14 at the U.S. Open and a T-8 at the Travelers Championship. But it wouldn't be enough to keep his Tour card.
With two solid outings at the KFT Finals (T-15, T-28), one more would get him back on Tour next season as he's 13th on the points list.
At the Travelers Championship, the 2022 Haskins and Nicklaus award recipient told GolfChannel.com, "good golf takes care of everything."
Though he turned pro this summer and earned Canada status via PGA Tour University, the 22-year-old New Jersian took advantage of many sponsor exemptions on Tour and made six cuts in eight starts, highlighted by a T-4 at the John Deere Classic.
That success earned him a spot in the KFT Finals, and one more week of good golf can move him up two spots into the top 25 and onto the Tour.