October 14, 2019

McGreevy takes Order of Merit title as four others will join him on 2020 Korn Ferry Tour

MACAU—On the advice of former PGA TOUR Series-China player Charlie Saxon, Max McGreevy elected to come to China to play the 2019 season. It was a great decision. McGreevy, a teammate of Saxon’s at the University of Oklahoma, won once, finished inside the top 10 in nine of his 13 starts and that was more than enough for him to win the Order of Merit title and earn Player of the Year honors.

The native of Edmond, Okla., locked up the money title this week at the Macau Championship with his tie for 41st at Caesars Golf Macau. He defeated No. 2 Trevor Sluman by RMB 186,288.  

After McGreevy and Sluman, the third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishers were American David Kocher, France’s Cyril Bouniol and South Korea’s Luke Kwon. Following the completion of the Macau Championship, the players received their membership cards in a ceremony that also honored the players finishing sixth through 10th on the Order of Merit.

McGreevy made his presence felt beginning in the season’s first week when he finished fourth at the Chongqing Championship, placing him fourth on the Order of Merit. He never left the top five after that. He added a tie for second at the Sanya Championship, a pair of third-place performances, at the Beijing Championship and the Nantong Championship. Following Nantong, he took over the No. 1 spot before dropping to No. 3 in late-June. Following his win at the Guangzhou Open in mid-July, McGreevy retook the No. 1 slot and never relinquished that position for the remainder of the year.

“I’m super happy with the season. It was really consistent. Unfortunately, I didn’t win as much as I thought I could have this year, but I can’t really put it into words how good I played this year. I just made birdies when I needed to and limited the mistakes all year long. Luckily, I was able to finish up on the leaderboard nearly almost every week,” said McGreevy after receiving his gold jacket, emblematic of his No. 1 position, and the crystal trophy that goes annually to the Player of the Year.

“It really isn’t surprising what Max has been able to do on this Tour this year,” said Greg Carlson, PGA TOUR Series-China Executive Director. “He played well from the outset, right when he got to China, and he never faltered the entire season. We knew he was an accomplished player when he arrived, and he proved what a high-quality player and person he is all season long. We expect his return to the Korn Ferry Tour will be a success, and we wish him all the best in his future.”

The players who finished in the sixth-through-10th positions on the Order of Merit are exempt into the finals of the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament at Orange County National’s two courses (Crooked Cat and Panther Lake) in Winter Garden, Fla., on December 12-15. They are Canada’s Richard Jung (No. 6), China’s Shengkai Bai (No. 7), Japan’s Yuwa Kosaihira (No. 8) and Americans Kevin Techakanokboon (No. 9) and Joey Lane (No. 10). 

The 2019 Korn Ferry Tour season, the 30th in its history, begins in mid-January. The Tour has not released its 2020 official schedule yet.

“I’ve already had one season on the Korn Ferry Tour, and it didn’t go the way I had hoped,” McGreevy said of his 2018 campaign. “I am excited to go back there next season and looking forward to having a better season. The way I played this year in China is a good springboard for me.” 

Beginning in 2013, the Korn Ferry Tour became The Path to the PGA TOUR by awarding all 50 membership cards to Korn Ferry Tour players for the following PGA TOUR season. Players can initially qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour through the Qualifying Tournament and by securing top-five Order of Merit finishes on PGA TOUR Series-China, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. PGA TOUR Series-China sent its first five players to the Korn Ferry Tour following the 2014 season. They were China’s Haotong Li and Xinjun Zhang, Australia’s Brett Drewitt, the U.S.’s Sam Chien and South Korea’s Todd Baek. In 2015, Australia’s Bryden Macpherson, New Zealand’s Josh Geary, China’s Zhang and Zecheng Dou and Canada’s Eugene Wong became Korn Ferry Tour members. The 2016 class included Dou, Charlie Saxon, American Alex Kang, South Korea’s Taewoo Kim and Zhang. The Tour did not play in 2017, and in 2018, England’s Callum Tarren, Saxon, New Zealand’s Nick Voke, Japan’s Kosaihira and Baek advanced to the Korn Ferry Tour.

Final PGA TOUR Series-China Order of Merit Top 10

Rank

Player (Country)

Earnings (RMB)

1.

 Max McGreevy (U.S)

974,153

2.

 Trevor Sluman (U.S.)

787,865

3.

 David Kocher (U.S.)

771,337

4.

 Cyril Bouniol (France)

674,968

5.

 Luke Kwon (South Korea)

668,359

6.

 Richard Jung (Canada)

608,044

7.

 Zhengkai Bai (China)

591,785

8.

 Yuwa Kosaihira (Japan)

535,020

9.

 Kevin Techakanokboon (U.S.)

487,808

10.

 Joey Lane (U.S.)

477,508

 

 

 

 

2019 Korn Ferry Tour Members Via PGA TOUR Series-China

 

Max McGreevy this Season

McGreevy finished fourth in his PGA TOUR Series-China debut in Chongqing, and that top-10 was a sign of things to come. The University of Oklahoma player eventually finished inside the top 10 in nine tournaments—six of them top-five performances, including a win at the Guangzhou Open that led to his Player of the Year honors and Order of Merit title. He made the cut in all 13 starts and finished outside the top-20 only twice. He also led the circuit in Birdies, with 271 and at one point during the season he had 13 consecutive under-par rounds

 

Trevor Sluman this Season

It didn’t take Sluman long to break into the win column, earning his first Series title at the second tournament of the year, the Sanya Championship in April. Although he wasn’t as consistent in his second season in China as he was in his first, when he didn’t miss a cut, Sluman made up for his three missed cuts in 2019 by finishing as runner-up at the Suzhou Open and then doing the same thing a month later at the Guangzhou Open. In addition, he added two more top-10s. 

 

David Kocher this Season

Kocher played in all 13 events, enjoying a quick start to his rookie season, turning in a third-place performance at his debut event, the Chongqing Championship, and then outlasting Yuwa Kosaihira at 3 Miles Golf Club, host of the Haikou Championship. During a three-week run, starting in late-June, Kocher ultimately earned his Korn Ferry Tour membership card with three consecutive top-10s—a second-place showing at the Huangshan Championship, a tie for third at the Guangzhou Open and a tie for seventh at the Dongguan Open.

 

Cyril Bouniol this Season

Bouniol made PGA TOUR Series-China history in June when he became the first player from Europe to win an official tournament. With opening-and-closing 69s sandwiched around a pair of 66s, Bouniol held on to edge Trevor Sluman by a shot at Jinji Lake Golf Club. Following that breakthrough victory, Bouniol tied for third in Guangzhou and tied for fifth in both Dongguan and Zhuzhou. He closed the season with a strong performance at the Macau Championship, finishing alone in fourth, after four rounds in the 60s. 

 

Luke Kwon this Season

Kwon sampled PGA TOUR Series-China in 2018, with three starts at the end of the year. He dove in as a full member in 2019, and he immediately had a strong showing—with a tie for seventh at the season-opening Chongqing Championship. After two missed cuts in his next three starts, Kwon broke through and won the Qinhuangdao Championship, opening with a pair of 67s and then shooting a final-round 65. That moved him to No. 4 on the Order of Merit, and he never dropped out of the top five after that. After his win, he added four more top-10s, finishing with a flourish by tying for fifth at the Macau Championship, rounds of 66-65 to finish his season.