|.Carolina Golf News Line|
Three-Year eGolf Tour Member Chesson Hadley Earns PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Honors
Charlotte, NC – Longtime eGolf Tour member Chesson Hadley, who earned his first professional victory at the tour’s River Landing Open in 2012, completed a phenomenal rookie season on the PGA TOUR last month, and was rewarded for it today. With a breakout first-year campaign featuring a win at the Puerto Rico Open and three additional top-10s, the Raleigh, NC native was named the TOUR’s Rookie of the Year on Wednesday morning in a press release issued out of TOUR headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
Hadley’s march towards the postseason award began in the fall of 2013 in just his second career start as a PGA TOUR member. At the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October, the former Georgia Tech star made his presence known with opening rounds of 65-66-67—198 to earn a spot in Sunday’s final pairing alongside good friend and former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.
A closing 70 left him well off the pace of eventual six-shot winner Simpson, but nevertheless brought forth a solid T5 finish early in the PGA TOUR’s new wraparound schedule – aptly named the 2013-14 season.
Missed cuts in each of his next five starts left Hadley scrambling early on in 2014, but a T10 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February righted what was quickly becoming an off-course ship heading into the PGA TOUR’s annual Florida swing.
A T24 at The Honda Classic in March set Hadley up for a breakthrough week at the Puerto Rico Open, where rounds of 68-65-67-67—267 (21-under) delivered a two-shot victory over Danny Lee, and his first career PGA TOUR title.
The $630,000 first-place prize and move to No. 21 in the FedEx Cup standings set Hadley up as an early contender for Rookie of the Year honors, while the two-year exemption afforded him job security that most PGA TOUR newcomers can only dream of.
"It's incredible. It's a dream come true. This is what you dream of as a 6-year-old out in the bunker, hitting bunker shots on the range,” he said at the time. "It hasn't sunk in yet. It'll be nice to sleep on it and wake up in the morning knowing I'm a PGA TOUR champion and nobody can ever take that away from me."
Hadley’s rookie year again hit the skids in the summer months, with 10 missed cuts in an 11-tournament stretch heading into the season-ending FedEx Cup.
The married father of one finished 70th at The Barclays in August, but rounded out his year with solid efforts at the Deutsche Bank Championship (T9) and the BMW Championship (T12) to finish 49th in the final points standings.
“If I had continued to miss cuts and kind of finish the way the middle of the year had gone, that would have been really sour going into the offseason,’’ Hadley told the Boston Globe last month. “Even at Wyndham, I missed the cut there but I showed some signs of life. I just started doing things I hadn’t done in a while. I put some stretches of holes together. I’m not constantly grinding.”
Hadley, who beat out European Ryder Cup hero Victor Dubuisson and Brooks Koepka for Rookie of the Year honors, finished 58thon the PGA TOUR’s money list with $1,703,316 in earnings.
After finishing his standout Yellow Jacket career in 2010, Hadley turned to the eGolf Tour, almost winning in his second professional start at the Bushnell Championship in June, where he went toe-to-toe with Nos. 1 and 2 on the money list – current PGA TOUR member Jason Kokrak and Tommy Biershenk – en route to a T2 finish.
In 2011, Hadley recorded three top-3 finishes, nearly winning the tour’s Samanah Classic in Morocco before ultimately ending up with a solo-second-place finish. By season’s end, he had finished inside the top 10 on the tour’s money list, solidifying his status as one of the tour’s up-and-coming stars.
It was 2012, however, that cemented Hadley as one of the eGolf Tour’s best young players. After nearly giving the game up in the offseason while eyeing a possible corporate job, he made good on his vast potential by notching seven top-5 finishes on the year, including a win at the River Landing Open in July – his first as a professional. With over $87,000 in earnings, Hadley finished second on the tour’s money list and kept his play solid through the fall, winding up at PGA TOUR Q-School’s final stage, where a T43 finish secured full status on the 2013 Web.com Tour.
Once on the PGA TOUR’s developmental circuit, Hadley shined, winning his hometown Rex Hospital Open in June and the season-ending Tour Championship at TPC Sawgrass to lock up his TOUR card for the 2013-14 season.
Hadley’s postseason award wrapped up a solid year for former eGolf Tour players on the PGA TOUR, as seven former players captured a total of nine titles in the 2013-14 season. Joining Hadley in the winner’s circle were Billy Horschel (TOUR Championship, BMW Championship), Chris Kirk (Deutsche Bank Championship, The McGladrey Classic), Brian Harman (John Deere Classic), Brendon Todd (HP Byron Nelson Championship), Matt Every (Arnold Palmer Invitational) and Scott Stallings (Farmers Insurance Open).
About eGolf Professional Tour
The eGolf Professional Tour is a Charlotte, NC-based professional golf tour that has conducted 54- and 72-hole tournaments in the Southeast since its inception in 2002. The tour features approximately 20-24 professional tournaments annually in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Since the 2009 season, the eGolf Tour has paid out over $14 million in prize money. In March of 2011, the tour conducted two events in Morocco, in turn becoming the first United States-based tour to conduct multiple tournaments on the continent of Africa. eGolf is the parent tour to both eGolf Tour Florida and eGolf Tour West, and created the Million Dollar Championship Series – a four-event series in 2014 with $1,000,000 in guaranteed prize money. In its 10-year history, the tour has seen the likes of Billy Horschel, Chesson Hadley, Tommy Gainey, Scott Brown, Roberto Castro, Tom Gillis, Jason Kokrak, Brian Harman, Will MacKenzie, Jason Bohn, Steve Marino, Matt Bettencourt, William McGirt and others ascend to the PGA TOUR, while over 150 past eGolf Professional Tour players have gone on to play on the Web.com Tour.
For More Information Contact:
Stewart Moore, Chief Operating Officer & VP, Public Relations, eGolf Professional Tour