Robbie Shelton: On the road to reclaiming PGA Tour card
Robbie Shelton has had a taste of the PGA Tour good life, and on Sunday he took a major step toward getting back out there.
Shelton, a Mobile native and Birmingham resident, made par on the second playoff hole to edge Ben Griffin for a win at the Korn Ferry Tour’s BMW Charity Pro-Am in Greenville, South Carolina.
His previous Korn Ferry Tour wins came in Nashville and Knoxville in 2019.
Shelton led by five strokes entering the final round but Griffin closed with a 5-under 66 to pull even after Shelton managed only an even-par 71 on Sunday. Both players tied at 22-under at the end of regulation.
Shelton and Griffin both parred the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th. The two returned to No. 18 tee for the second playoff hole, and only Shelton left with a par the second time around, thanks to Griffin’s missed a 9-footer which would have extended the playoff.
“It’s been three long years I’ve been fighting and fighting and trying to get a win, trying to just play some good golf,” Shelton said. “I’ve been trending and trending and trending, and finally it felt really good this week. It felt great and I ran with it. Made it a little tough on myself this last day, but I tend to do that.”
Shelton seemingly has rediscovered his game after losing his way on the PGA Tour.
He earned his Tour card after his two-win 2019 season and qualified for the FedEx Cup playoffs. But a swing change – trying hit a cut instead of the draw he had played throughout his career that included playing at the University of Alabama – proved disastrous and he found himself back on the Korn Ferry Tour.
‘Golfers are trying to chase perfection and it’s just not going to happen’
“I’m very frustrated at doing it to myself,” Robbie Shelton said. “Golfers are trying to chase perfection and it’s just not going to happen. I got on Tour and I just kind of wanted to be somebody else. Now I know my game, and I know everything about it now because I studied it, studied it, studied it to where I know what’s going to happen on the course when something goes on. It made me stronger, it made me better.”
Shelton missed the first five cuts this season before regaining his form. Now, he is closing in on reclaiming his PGA Tour card. The win moved Shelton from No. 63 to No. 14 on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour regular season points list, giving him a rather comfortable 138-point cushion between himself and the No. 25 spot.
“You just want to win,” Shelton said. “It solves everything. I feel amazing. I definitely want to make the next step again and, hopefully, stay out there a little longer.”
Given the circumstances and the struggles he’s been through, Shelton said his latest win might be his best win of the three.
“I’d say it’s up there. It’s probably better, honestly, because I wasn’t struggling as bad going into those events,” he said. “Through college, played well and just I was playing good golf my whole life and kind of struggled. The fight back was, you know, it was pretty heartwarming just to be able to do that and come back after playing really bad golf. Yeah, this one might be the best, for sure.”
His previous best finish this season had been a tie for eighth at the Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation in Nashville.
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Featured image by Gregg Dewalt