One stroke.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â For Oswego native David Branshaw, a single stroke is the difference between returning to the major leagues of pro golf and continuing the struggle to get back.
Branshaw had one of his best performances of the year at the Nationwide Tour Championship in Texas this weekend.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He posted a 3 under par 68 to finish in a tie for 11th place and earn $21,200.
But Branshaw finished in 26th place on the money earnings list for the Nationwide Tour.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The top 25 finishers receive their PGA Tour cards for next year.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â It means they can leave behind the second-tier tour and its lower-dollar events.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Branshaw finished about $3,000 out of 25th place.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Had his score been one stroke lower, he’d have earned about $6,000 more and would have taken the 25th slot.
“I had every chance in the world, but I just didn’t make enough putts coming down the stretch,” he told reporters afterwards.
Branshaw earned a full year’s exemption to play in the Nationwide Tour next year.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He can still make the PGA Tour if he can survive what’s called “Qualification School”.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Branshaw’s had two tours on the PGA.
He played some of his better golf of the year at the event, notching 14 birdies against just four bogeys.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He needed only 29 putts in the fourth round, his best putting performance of the weekend.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He drove for an average of 308 yards on Sunday, with 79% accuracy.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Both numbers were better than his average for the tournament.
For the year, Branshaw played 24 events.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He finished second once and third once.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He made the cut 17 times and was cut 6 times. (There was no cut in the Nationwide Tour Championship, which was open only to the top 60 money winners.) He earned $215,320, including $21,200 in the Championship.