On a day the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and DP World Tour seasons ended, here’s how local players fared on those circuits in 2023
By Gary Baines – 11/19/2023
It’s rare that two of the world’s top golf tours conclude their seasons on the same day. Three may be unprecedented.
But it happened on Sunday as the PGA, LPGA and DP World Tours wrapped up their official years within 10 hours of one another. In the case of the PGA Tour, it marked its final wraparound season as it is returning to a calendar-year schedule in 2024.
Here’s a rundown of how players with strong Colorado connections fared on the major tours whose seasons ended on Sunday, including their season-long rankings:
3rd (in FedExCup). Denver native and Valor Christian alum Wyndham Clark — Clark hasn’t competed in an official PGA Tour event since placing third in the Tour Championship in late August, though this fall he did represent the U.S. in the Ryder Cup and he competed on the DP World Tour’s Andalucia Masters. His breakthrough first two victories on the PGA Tour — at the Wells Fargo Championship and the U.S. Open — will get him into just about all of the biggest events in men’s pro golf, including his first Masters, this coming April. In all, he posted eight top-10 finishes in the 2022-23 season. Clark, who notched the first PGA Tour win by a Colorado native since 2004, will be inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame next year.
65th (in FedExCup Fall). Denver native and Colorado Academy alum Mark Hubbard — Hubbard will have a PGA Tour card for the fifth straight year — and eighth overall — in 2024. But he narrowly missed finishing in the top 60 in the FedExCup Fall, which gives those players spots in the elevated Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Invitational in 2024. In the 2022-23 season, Hubbard recorded six top-10 finishes, with a best of fifth place.
115th. Denver-area resident and former CSU golfer Martin Laird — A four-time winner on the PGA Tour, now 40, Laird will remain fully exempt for at least one more season on golf’s top circuit. Laird, who has earned more almost $22 million in his PGA Tour career, has now been a Tour regular since 2008. In the season that just ended, he posted one top-10 finish — a tie for second in the 3M Open.
193rd. Former Air Force Academy golfer Kyle Westmoreland — After spending his rookie season on the PGA Tour, Westmoreland lost his card. But he has a change to regain it — with a finish in the top five and ties in next month’s final stage of Q-school, if he can also make it through the second stage in the meantime. In 31 PGA Tour starts in the 2022-23 campaign, Westmoreland made 10 cuts, with a best showing of 27th place.
233rd. Part-time Denver resident Kevin Stadler — The Kent Denver graduate still has past-champions status after winning the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open, but likely will play most of his golf on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2024. In nine PGA Tour starts in the 2022-23 season, Stadler made two cuts, with a best finish of 54th place. Stadler has captured four Korn Ferry Tour titles in his career, along with his lone PGA Tour victory.
34th (in Race to CME Globe points). Colorado native and Jefferson Academy graduate Jennifer Kupcho — A season after winning three times on the LPGA Tour — including once in a major championship — Kupcho couldn’t add to her LPGA Tour victory total in 2023. Now wrapping up her fifth year on the LPGA Tour, Kupcho managed two top-10 finishes in 2023 — both coming in the late spring — including losing in a playoff at the Mizuho Americas Open, where amateur sensation Rose Zhang won in her pro debut. Kupcho also represented the U.S. in the Solheim Cup for the second time. Kupcho, now 26, will be inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2024.
DP WORLD TOUR
22nd (in Race to Dubai Rankings). Former CU golfer Yannik Paul — The former Buff, who won on the DP World Tour for the first time in October 2022, fell a little short of earning one of the PGA Tour cards that went to the top 10 players on the season-long Race to Dubai rankings not already exempt on the PGA Tour. Paul finished with 1,771 points, 193 behind the 10th and final DP World Tour player who earned a 2024 PGA Tour card through the Race to Dubai rankings (Ryo Hisatsune). Paul recorded seven top-10 showings in 2023, including two runner-ups.
110th. Kent Denver graduate and former CGA Player of the Year Gunner Wiebe — Wiebe’s rookie season on the DP World Tour was highlighted by a runner-up finish at the British Masters in early July, which led to his first appearance in a major championship, at the British Open. With the top 116 in the Race to Dubai rankings retaining exempt status, Wiebe checked in at No. 110 for the season to stick around for 2024.
Not Ranked. Former DU golfer Espen Kofstad — The former DP World Tour regular only competed in three DPWT events in 2023 and missed the cut in each case.
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com