Date: October 06, 2014
Author: Martin Blake/

Guide to Australians on the PGA Tour

new season on the United States PGA Tour begins this week, not so long after the dust settled on the previous one.

The Open is the first tournament of the 2014-15 season, now that the PGA Tour wraps around the Christmas period.

Seven Australians are teeing it up at the Silverado Country Club in Californialooking to cash up before returning home for the summer.

Some – like Steven Bowditch and Matt Jones – have an exemption for the next two years because they had tournament wins last season. Others, like Aaron Baddeley, Stuart Appleby, Marc Leishman and Robert Allenby, need to kickstart their new seasons.

Cameron Percy is a different case, having earned his spot on the main tour through strong performance on the secondary Tour this year. Percy also will be looking for a flying start before the Christmas break.

There are seven money-list tournaments prior to Christmas, including a big one in Malaysia and a World Golf Championship event, the HSBC Champions, in Shanghai next month.

There is also Tiger Woods’ tournament, where the former world  No. 1 player is expected to make his return from rehabilitation on a back problem.

World No.1 Rory McIlroy and the top European players still have the season-ending Dubai World Championship, worth $8 million, next month.

Plus McIlroy is coming to Australia at the end of November to defend his Emirates Australian Open title.

There are 11 Australians who are exempt to play on the United States tour in 2014-15.

Allenby will begin the season perhaps under the most pressure, having already already used his one-off career earnings exemption to keep playing. The Victorian veteran played an exhausting schedule of 29 tournaments last season, missed 17 cuts but sneaked into the top 125 with $514,000 in prizemoney to keep his card by the slimmest-possible margin.

The top players such as Scott and Day will not be seen for a while.

Day has a back problem that has him in rehabilitation, and he may not play until late in the calendar year. Scott is on a long break, with plans to play all three of the big Australian tournaments over summer headed up by his tilt at the Emirates Australian Open at The Australian from 27 November.

All the tournament winners – Scott, Day, Senden, Jones, Bowditch and Ogilvy – receive an invitation to play the first tournament of 2015, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January.


Adam Scott

Fedex Cup rank this year:  15

Wins in 2013-14: 1 (Crowne Plaza International)

Comment: Focus is on the majors. A different look without Steve Williams on bag.

Jason Day

Fedex rank: 34

Wins: 1 (WGC Accenture Matchplay)

Comment: Had a good season despite constant injuries. Needs a clean run this season.

John Senden

Fedex rank: 26

Wins: 1 (Valspar Championship)

Comment: Super-consistent player rewarded with a win last season. Always thereabouts.

Marc Leishman

Fedex rank: 58

Wins: 0

Comment: Solid year, but ran out of petrol after T3 in the Bridgestone Invitational. Has the game to go deeper.

Matt Jones

Fedex rank: 40

Wins: 1 (Houston Open)

Comment: First victory this year gives him the right to play without stress for two years. Continues to improve.

Steven Bowditch

Fedex rank: 52

Wins: 1 (Texas Open)

Comment: Breakthrough season gives him some comfort for this one. Huge talent who needs to back up strongly.

Stuart Appleby

Fedex rank: 98

Wins: 0

Comment: Strong finish to last season after a long drought. Working hard to find his game again.

Robert Allenby:

Fedex rank: 125

Wins: 0

Comment: Has not won in the US since 2001. Continuing to battle the ravages of time.

Geoff Ogilvy

Fedex rank: 29

Wins: 1 (Barracuda Championship)

Comment: Seemed to be on the decline then bobbed up with a win last season.

Aaron Baddeley

Fedex rank: 114


Wins: 0

Comment: Finished the season with five straight missed cuts. Has been quiet, but hanging in there.

Cameron Percy

Fedex rank: –

Wins: 1 (Price Cutter Championship, Tour)

Comment: Gets another crack at the main tour at 40 years of age.