Chinese duo Carl Yuan and Marty Dou believe they have everything to gain and nothing to lose as their fight for PGA TOUR survival continues at the FedExCup Fall penultimate event, the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, this week.
Both players are currently ranked outside the Top 125 of the FedExCup Fall standings which is the requirement to secure cards for the 2024 season, with Dou sitting in 127th position and Yuan in 134th.
“I definitely know my current ranking requires a top result, so I don’t have much to lose,” said Yuan, whose rookie PGA TOUR season has yielded a lone top 10 and three other top 25s. “I think the more important thing is to remain patient, even if the start is not very good or when I get a little anxious. I need to focus and get into the weekend rounds which I feel I can then have a lot of success.”
Dou, who is enjoying a second stint on the PGA TOUR, achieved a 12th place finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship in October but missed three other cuts during FedExCup Fall which features seven tournaments for players to fight for their cards and other playing rights for 2024. The 2022-23 season concludes with The RSM Classic next week.
“I definitely want to secure my card by ranking among the Top 125, but golf is golf,” said Dou. “I’m thinking about how many points I may need to earn my card.”
A return to the holiday isle for the fifth playing of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship is giving Dou added confidence as he finished a creditable tied 17th here last year. Swirly winds will pose a stern test and he knows the importance of managing his game in tough conditions.
“The wind here is generally strong, and you need to hit a lot of low-flight shots. Every time I come here, I seem to feel better. Maybe my trajectory is a little lower than usual and my swing subconsciously becomes a little better,” said the 26-year-old Dou.
Yuan, who is also 26, knows all will not be lost if he doesn’t finish in the Top 125 as those ranked from 126th to 150th will still enjoy limited playing opportunities on the PGA TOUR. There is also the option of taking up DP World Tour membership in 2024 or returning to the Korn Ferry Tour which was were Dou and Yuan achieved success last year to earn promotion onto the PGA TOUR.
“I might consider (DP World Tour), but if I don’t keep my PGA TOUR, I think next year I will focus more on playing the Korn Ferry Tour,” said Yuan, who finished tied sixth in the Sanderson Farms Championship last month.
“I played well the week in Mississippi (Sanderson Farms). In terms of ball-striking and putting, I performed at a good level and I had a chance to win. After that, I felt my confidence improved. Although I didn’t perform well in Mexico last week, I spent time practicing over the weekend and made adjustments. I feel confident about this week.”