Former USC Aiken golfers Matt Atkins and Roberto Diaz will both be making the jump to the PGA Tour next season after finishing in the top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list at the end of the regular season.
Atkins, a North Augusta resident, finished No. 19 on the money list and had already locked up a spot on the PGA Tour prior to the final regular season event.
He won the El Bosque Mexico Championship early in the season and finished in the top 20 at five other events.
Diaz had to sweat it out a little longer. He was No. 24 on the money list going into the final tournament, and his T43 finish was just good enough to earn him the 25th spot and the final PGA Tour card.
"I don’t think there’s any words that I can say about how I feel. It’s a dream come true obviously," Diaz said.
After Diaz finished his round he was left watching the scoreboard on his cellphone from his hotel room. His PGA Tour hopes were in the hands of Keith Mitchell as Mitchell made his way to the 72nd hole of the tournament.
"I press refresh probably 90-100 times. It was a lot of nerves," Diaz said.
A birdie by Mitchell would have knocked Diaz out of the 25th spot. Instead, Mitchell failed to make birdie and finished No. 26 on the money list.
"You’re never pulling against anyone," Diaz said. "It was sad to see that, and to reward it with a PGA TOUR card for myself is obviously great, but kudos to Keith because he played great."
Diaz had five top-20 finishes this season, his best being a second place finish in the Club Colombia Championship.
Atkins, Diaz and the other card earners will carry over earnings to the Web.com Tour Finals, where positions on the priority ranking list, used to set PGA TOUR fields each week, will be finalized.
An additional 25 cards will be awarded following the conclusion of the four-event finals.
The top 25 will be joined at the Finals by those PGA TOUR players who finished 126-200 in the FedExCup standings (less those with exemptions), plus non-members who earned enough equivalent FedExCup points to finish within the 126-200 range.
The 50 card earners will join the PGA TOUR for the 2017-18 season, which opens the week of October 2-8 with the Safeway Open in Napa, California.