Staff writer Matt Daniels breaks down the chances of the five Illini who could leave with an oversized check at the state’s first PGA Tour event in 2013.
Class of 1999
Status report: The Pekin native has had an impressive 2013, probably his most productive on tour. Winning the Shell Houston Open on March 31 for his second career victory not only netted $1.1 million for the 36-year-old, but also a spot in his first Masters. Points played all four rounds at Augusta National Golf Club in mid-April, tying for 38th at the first major of the year. After tying for 12th at the HP Byron Nelson Championship on May 19, Points missed the cut at his next three tournaments, including the U.S. Open, before tying for 54th at last weekend’s Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia. He is right behind Stricker on the money list this year in 14th place at $2.16 million, which was helped out by a second-place finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in late April. His total winnings this year are already the most he’s accumulated during his seven years on tour.
Deere tracking: This tournament has not treated Points kindly. He has missed six of eight Deere cuts. The only time he played through the weekend came in 2011, when he tied for 38th.
Outlook: Points won’t enter the tournament with his name among the favorites based on his previous poor play at TPC Deere Run. A solid tournament for him will mean he makes the cut after Friday’s round. Anything after that is just gravy in what is Points’ most successful year as a pro.