After finishing his final round last Sunday at the U.S. Open, Chip McDaniel hopped on a shuttle to San Francisco for a 9 p.m. red-eye flight to Boston. Once he arrived there around 5:30 a.m., the 23-year-old drove an hour and a half to Connecticut’s Ellington Ridge Country Club, right on time for the Monday qualifier for this week’s Travelers Championship.
Flying west to east is notoriously difficult, especially for someone trying to qualify for a PGA Tour event with a potential dream job on the line. McDaniel has no status on any tour and is striving to make it to golf’s major leagues via the most difficult route possible – Monday qualifying and then earning non-member FedEx Cup points. If he accumulates a total equal to or greater than what the No. 200 player in the FedEx Cup standings had last year, he is eligible for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals (Korn Ferry being the new sponsor of what long was known as the Web.com Tour). That’s where 25 PGA Tour cards will be earned later this year.
It’s a brutally difficult path, but McDani...
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