Dubai-based professional Rafa Cabrera Bello will have one last shot at retaining his PGA Tour status when he gets his final round under way on Sunday at the season-ending Korn Ferry Tour Championship.
The Spanish star failed to secure enough points in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings to keep hold of his playing privileges after finishing on 205 points in 170th position.
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That meant a trip to the three-tournament Korn Ferry Tour Finals where 25 players will secure a PGA Tour card for next season in addition to the top 25 players who banked their card through the Korn Ferry Tour regular season.
This is where things get a little complicated. After the Korn Ferry Tour Finals are completed there are two separate points lists.
The first is the one which decides the top 25 in Korn Ferry Tour Finals earnings for players ranked 26th-75th in the Korn Ferry Tour regular season and Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s regular season FedEx Cup points list, as well others who qualified for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals through medical extensions or non-member FedEx Cup points.
The second decides the initial PGA Tour priority order for the top 25 players on the Korn Ferry Tour regular season points.
The winners of both of those points lists are fully exempt for the season ahead and get a spot in The Players Championship and are exempt from the PGA Tour reshuffle.
Every other player is subject to the reshuffle and gets priority order in alternating fashion, pulling from the top 25 from the Korn Ferry Tour regular-season and the top 25 from the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
Cabrera Bello is aiming for a place on the top 25 of the first list with his winnings from the final three events contributing to his final position. The three-time European Tour winner missed out on the first of those three events due to being by his wife’s side for the birth of their second child, Rafael Erik Cabrera Lundstedt, before missing the cut at last week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.
That left him needing a big finish in the final event in Newburgh to keep hold of the PGA Tour status that he has held since 2016.
An opening round of 69 gave the 2017 Scottish Open champion a promising start but after failing to break 71 on Friday and Saturday, Cabrera-Bello needs to go extremely low to stand any chance of playing on the golf’s biggest tour next season, with his current projected ranking standing at 54th — well shy of the top 25.
If he were to book his spot in the Final 25, Cabrera-Bello would join the likes of fellow European Tour stars Aaron Rai and Lucas Herbert in securing a PGA Tour card through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.