PGA Tour

Novak has first Tour lead

Andrew Novak has the lead at the Rust Oleum Classic. The Wofford grad shot a 7-under par 65 inn the first round.

Wofford grad Andrew Novak has not had many chances to play in Tour events so far.

It is a frustration shared by many young players who are trying to get their professional careers started.

The 2017 SoCon Player of the Year has been a Monday qualifier for several events on the Tour and the PGA Tour.

“It’s been tough each week not knowing if you are going to play,” Novak said. “It kind of nice knowing now that I earned it that way,” he said.

This week Novak is making the best of his opportunity as he holds the lead after the first round in the Rust-Oleum Classic in Ivanhoe, Illinois.

The former SCGA Amateur champion opened the tournament with a 7-under par round of 65 to hold a one shot lead over Wes Roach.

Novak carded 10 birdies and 3 bogeys to lead the event. His 65 was his best career round.

“Monday’s taught me how to go low and I need it out here. This is a birdie tour. You have to make a lot of birdies and that was big for me having to do that,” he said.

In the five times Novak has made a tournament field, he has made the cut in three of the events, but just making the cut is only of limited value.

“It does me no good just to make the cut. Yes I get paid, but status wise it gives me nothing. It has been a little frustrating so I have to take advantage of the chances I get,” he said.

Golfers on the Tour who finish in the top-25, and do not have Tour status, get to play in the next event. The hope of those players is to string enough good finishes together to keep playing and earn enough money to gain regular status at some point in the year.

At the end of the year the top-25 golfers on the Tour earn their PGA Tour card.

Novak’s best finish so far this year was 30th at the Nashville Golf Open. He has earned a little over $7,000 and is currently ranked 141st.

A top finish in the tournament could be just the jump start Novak needs to reach his goal of becoming a regular on the Tour.


Novak talks about his TOUR experience so far 




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