Robert Streb defeated Peter Malnati in a playoff at the first event of the Web.com Tour Finals, a result that ensured both former PGA Tour winners will be back on the main circuit in 2019.
While Streb started the final round of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in the lead, it was Malnati who surged ahead with five birdies in a seven-hole stretch on the back nine at the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University. But a closing bogey by Malnati opened the door for Streb, who grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie on No. 16 and won with a par on the first extra hole.
It’s the third career win for Streb, who captured the 2014 RSM Classic during a career season that included nine top-10 finishes but fell to No. 178 in FedExCup points this season.
“It was a little rough. I had a couple signs of good golf there late in the year,” Streb said. “Honestly, I usually draw the ball and I spent the whole week trying to cut it. Didn’t necessarily succeed, but the ball stayed in play which was helpful.”
Web.com Tour Finals standings
Full-field scores from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship
Malnati started the final round five shots off the lead, but a closing 66 ensured he’ll be back on Tour next season despite coming up short in the playoff. Malnati hadn’t had a top-10 finish since the 2016 Sentry Tournament of Champions, and his two-season exemption for winning the 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship expired last week.
Australian Cameron Davis and veteran Shawn Stefani finished alone in third and fourth place, respectively, to guarantee that they’ll earn enough money to return to the PGA Tour for the 2018-19 season. Former U.S. Amateur champ Curtis Luck was among a five-way tie for fifth, leaving little work to do over the last three Finals events to secure one of 25 cards still up for grabs.
Other notable finishes in Columbus included Erik Compton (T-14), Hunter Mahan (T-17), Lucas Glover (T-17), Aaron Baddeley (T-24) and Ben Crane (T-44).
The Finals continue next week in Beachwood, Ohio, with subsequent stops in Boise, Idaho, and Atlantic Beach, Fla. Prize money is equal at all four events, meaning that a finish of solo fifth or better at any single event is enough to guarantee a spot on the PGA Tour next season.