By Zach Dirlam, PGATOUR.com
Meet The 40: Bo Hoag wins Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament’s Final Stage as guaranteed starts are awarded
Savannah, GA (November 7, 2022) — Bo Hoag’s nerves crept in as he stood on the first tee of The Landings Golf & Athletic Club’s Marshwood course ahead of Monday’s final round of the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament’s Final Stage. Hoag was nervous, but focused. The pressure, he said, actually helped.
Hoag, a native of Columbus, Ohio, began the day five strokes behind 54-hole leader Chan Kim. Hoag’s only goal for the day? Make five birdies.
The 34-year-old Ohio State University alum accomplished the feat in his first five holes.
Hoag added another birdie at the par-4 ninth, but fell back to the field with bogeys at the par-4 10th and par-3 12th. His seventh and eighth birdies of the round came at the par-4 14th and 17th, respectively, as Hoag carded a 6-under 65 and reached 14-under par for the week, holding off Kim by one stroke for medalist honors and fully exempt status for the upcoming 2023 Korn Ferry Tour season.
“That kind of sticks with people when they’ve won Q-School,” Hoag said. “Whether it was PGA TOUR or Korn Ferry Tour, you can say you won a stressful event. It’s cool that you can say, ‘Not only got my card, but I won.’ It’s different. It’s a stressful thing.”
Hoag has spent the last three seasons on the PGA TOUR following his victory at the 2019 WinCo Foods Portland Open, which vaulted him into the Korn Ferry Tour’s regular season graduating class. Hoag qualified for the 2019-20 FedExCup Playoffs as a rookie, but had to play this past season as a conditional member after a No. 129 finish in the 2020-21 FedExCup Standings.
Hoag finished No. 176 on the final 2021-22 FedExCup Eligibility Points List, relegating him to Final Stage of the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament.
“I didn’t have my best season by any stretch,” Hoag said. “I had a couple good weeks here and there, but I think as much as I want to be on the PGA TOUR right now and playing out there, I probably need to go to the Korn Ferry Tour and spend the season out there and re-establish my game. Hopefully I come back out on the PGA TOUR and have my game ready to compete when I get back out there.
“It’s a great opportunity every week on the Korn Ferry Tour, and it’s probably what I needed. It’ll be great.”
The 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament’s Final Stage determined which players earned guaranteed starts for the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour season. Here’s what was at stake:
• The medalist (and ties) receives fully exempt status for 2023
• Finishers 2-10 (and ties) are guaranteed entry into the first 12 events (exempt from first two reshuffles) of the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour season
• Finishers 11-40 (and ties) are guaranteed entry into the first eight events (exempt from first reshuffle) of the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour season
• The remainder of the field receives conditional status for 2023
After their guaranteed starts, players are subject to the reshuffle, where they are reordered in the Korn Ferry Tour’s priority ranking based on their season points total. Tournament fields are filled by going down the priority ranking, so the higher a player’s standing, the more tournaments he is able to play in. That’s why it is imperative for Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament graduates to get off to a fast start when the season begins.
The medalist is fully exempt, which means he is exempt from reshuffles and has a spot in every event preceding the season-ending Korn Ferry Tour Finals, a four-event series with elevated purses and points.
Players who finished beyond the top 40 and ties have conditional status. They are not guaranteed starts but they earn entry into tournaments on a space-available basis. Until the Korn Ferry Tour’s first reshuffle – which occurs after the fourth event, the Astara Golf Championship – they are ordered in the priority ranking by their finish at Final Stage and alternated with players who finished Nos. 76-100 on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Points List.
Conditional members can also gain entry to events via open qualifying and sponsor exemptions, and any points they earn will help improve their position when a reshuffle occurs (every four events prior to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals).
Guaranteed 12 Starts
All but three of the top-10 finishers began the day inside the top 10, with the exceptions being Paul Peterson, a 34-year-old Oregon State University alum and first-time Korn Ferry Tour member, Chandler Phillips, a 25-year-old native of Huntsville, Texas who left the last two Final Stages with only conditional status, and Steven Fisk, a 25-year-old Georgia Southern University alum who earned eight guaranteed starts as a top-40 finisher at last year’s Final Stage.
Fisk’s spot in the top 10 was all the more remarkable given the fact he made a quintuple-bogey nine on Marshwood’s par-4 13th in the first round, as well as a quadruple-bogey seven on Magnolia’s par-3 16th en route to a 5-over 40 on the back nine of his second round. Fisk closed with a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Marshwood Monday afternoon to finish T10.
Also of note, Frankie Capan III was one of eight players in the field who advanced through every stage of this year’s Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament, beginning with pre-qualifying.
2nd (-13): Chan Kim
T3 (-12): Chris Gotterup, Chase Seiffert
5th (-11): Thomas Rosenmueller
T6 (-10): Ben Kohles, Jared Sawada
T8 (-9): Paul Peterson, Frankie Capan III
T10 (-8): Steven Fisk, Chandler Phillips
Guaranteed Eight Starts
The cutoff line for guaranteed starts held steady at 3-under par for much of the day. There were multiple times throughout the round where it appeared as though the cutoff line would move to either 2-under par or 4-under par, but neither came to fruition.
Cooper Musselman made the biggest leap Monday among players who finished inside the top 40, with the 28-year-old University of Kentucky alum climbing all the way from T84 to T29 with a 6-under 65 on Magnolia.
This group included three players – Mason Andersen, Davis Chatfield, Joe Weiler – who advanced through every stage of this year’s Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament, beginning with pre-qualifying.
T12 (-7): Willie Mack III, Curtis Luck, Joe Weiler, Kaito Onishi, Mason Andersen
T17 (-6): Rico Hoey, Jacob Solomon, Cody Blick, Colin Featherstone, Abel Gallegos, Daniel Summerhays, Alan Wagner
T24 (-5): Vince India, Ryan Elmore, Patrick Flavin, Joe Highsmith, Emilio Gonzalez
T29 (-4): Daniel Miernicki, Alejandro Tosti, Michael Johnson, Tim Widing, Spencer Ralston, Patrick Cover, Cooper Musselman, Brady Calkins, Peter Knade, Alistair Docherty
T39 (-3): Wilson Furr, Logan McAllister, Joel Thelen, Davis Chatfield, Carter Jenkins, Brandon McIver