Sponsor exemption’s impossible hole-out and clutch finish leads to best made cut you’ll ever see
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Earning a PGA Tour card is one of the hardest things to do in sports. Hundreds of uber-talented Korn Ferry Tour players never make it to the Big Show. So when you get a rare chance to play a PGA Tour event without Tour status, you have to make the most of the opportunity. Enter Turk Pettit.
Pettit is a 23-year-old Korn Ferry pro who, following a successful career at Clemson where he won the 2021 NCAA D1 Individual Championship, earned his Korn Ferry Tour card by finishing in the top 5 of the Forme Tour last year, thanks to a win at the Birck Boilermaker Classic in July.
Pettit doesn’t have PGA Tour status for this season, but he received a sponsor’s exemption to play in this week’s Wells Fargo Championship. If you do get into a Tour field without status, as Pettit has this week, it gives you a chance to ride the fast-track to PGA Tour membership. A win gives you a two-year PGA Tour exemption. A high finish can earn you FedEx points and more sponsor’s exemptions going forward.
Knowing this, Pettit is trying his best to make something happen at TPC Potomac. And on Friday he did exactly that, putting together one of the most clutch finishes you’ll ever see to survive and play the weekend.
Pettit got off to a great start on Thursday, shooting a three-under 67 to give himself a realistic shot at making the cut and even contending for the title. All was still going well halfway through round 2. He shot a 34 on the front nine to make the turn at four under for the tournament, within striking distance of the lead.
But then at 11 disaster struck when a wayward drive and a three-putt gave Pettit a double-bogey six. That dropped him to two under, still one clear of the one-under cut line.
At 13, things went awry again when his drive found a native area forcing him to take a penalty drop. The ensuing double bogey dropped him to even par and out of the running for a weekend tee time.
That’s when Pettit beared down and pulled off his clutch finish.
At the par-4 14th, Pettit took a risky line and nearly drove the green, leading to an up-and-down for birdie that moved him back to the cut line.
But then at the par-3 17th, things got dicey again. He lost his tee shot wide to the right, leaving a ridiculously tricky chip from above the hole with zero green to work with and major potential for a devastating bogey or worse that would likely end in a missed cut.
Incredibly, Pettit holed the impossible chip on the fly for an unlikely birdie, moving him to two under.
You can check out the unbelievable shot below.
Unfortunately for Pettit, the drama wasn’t over yet. His approach shot at the closing hole found a fairway bunker short of the green. Even worse, he left his bunker short, too, failing to reach the putting surface.
Now Pettit was faced with a do-or-die up-and-down to make the cut and keep his dreams alive, and again he pulled it off. His fourth shot reached the green and left him with a 9-footer for bogey, and Pettit drained that one to finish off his 72 and make the cut right on the number.