A Sunday In the Hunt

After recent rough stretch on PGA Tour, Denver native Mark Hubbard posts best finish in over 6 months; Sam Saunders, Tom Whitney continue strong play on Korn Ferry Tour with top-10 showings

By Gary Baines – 4/16/2023

The way things have been going over the last half-year on the PGA Tour for Mark Hubbard, it’s fair to assume that not many observers foresaw a top-11 finish for the Denver native this week at Hilton Head Island.

But as many golfers can attest, you just never know in this game when things might turn around.

Hubbard, who has either missed the cut or been disqualified in nine of his last 13 PGA Tour events, did indeed record a top-11 at the RBC Heritage, tying for 11th place against a very strong field on Sunday. 

It marked the best PGA Tour showing since earn early October for the Colorado Academy graduate. And he did it despite taking a double bogey on his first hole Sunday after an errant opening tee shot.

Hubbard narrowly missed posting four straight rounds in the 60s at a given PGA Tour event for the first time since July. As it was, he went 68-66-68-70 at Harbour Town Golf Links — for a 12-under-par 272 total, which left him five strokes behind champion Matt Fitzpatrick.

Only a missed par attempt from inside of 5 feet on No. 17 kept Hubbard from a top-10 performance.

The finish was worth $445,000, which marks the second-biggest payday for Hubbard in his PGA Tour career, surpassed only by the $667,500 he earned for his career-best runner-up at the 2019 Houston Open.

For all the results from Harbour Town, CLICK HERE.

Elsewhere in high-level tour golf:

— Two players with major Colorado connections — Sam Saunders of Fort Collins and former Air Force Academy golfer Tom Whitney — recorded top-10 finishes on Sunday on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Saunders continued his very strong play on the KFT in 2023 by placing solo fifth in the Vertex Bank Championship in Arlington, Texas. It was his fourth top-10 in seven Korn Ferry events this year, with one of those showings being a runner-up in a playoff.

Saunders went bogey-free for his final 24 holes and carded scores of 65-67-70-65. That gave him a 17-under-par total, leaving him three back of winner Spencer Levin. The Coloradan has recorded scores in the 60s in 11 of his last 12 KFT rounds.

As for Whitney, who also has been on a roll in 2023, he placed sixth on Sunday in Texas, now his home state. It was his third top-6 in eight tournaments this year on the Korn Ferry circuit. 

Whitney eagled No. 18 on Sunday to close birdie, birdie, bogey, eagle. He posted a 7-under-par 64 that included two bogeys. After earlier rounds of 70-68-67, he ended up at 15 under par.

For all the scores from the Veritex Bank Championship, CLICK HERE.

About the Author: Gary Baines owns and operates