Seconds after helping to present Bud Cauley the championship trophy at the Hotel Fitness Championship, Rich Beem, the winner of the 2002 PGA Championship, had this to say: “There’s no doubt you’re going to win a bunch of championships on the PGA Tour. And I think I say this for everybody: I hope we don’t see you back here anytime soon.”
By winning the Hotel Fitness Championship, which was in its second year at Jack Nicklaus-designed Sycamore Hills Golf Club, Cauley pocketed $180,000 and secured his PGA Tour card for next season.
He shot a final-round 7-under 65 to finish at 20 under, one stroke better than Colt Knost, who lipped a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th hole that would have forced a playoff.
“Yeah, it was so much fun today,” Cauley said. “I’ve had some chances in the past and obviously haven’t gotten it done. But it was so much fun to be out on a Sunday afternoon, hitting the ball well, making putts and competing to win. It was a blast.”
The four-tournament Web.com Tour Finals, which began at Sycamore Hills, decide 25 such cards for next season.
Cauley finished tied for fifth place at the Hotel Fitness Championship last year at 17 under, three strokes back of champion Trevor Immelman, yet he wound up getting his tour card. This year, on the PGA Tour, he played in 19 events, making the cut in nine, finishing in the top 10 once and earning $647,886.
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