Local Tour Roundup

Former DU golfer Espen Kofstad scores victory on European Challenge circuit; local PGA Tour players eliminated after first event of FedExCup playoffs

By Gary Baines – 8/22/2021

Former University of Denver golfer Espen Kofstad hadn’t won on the European Challenge Tour for five years, but apparently he hadn’t forgotten how.

After four previous top-six finishes on the Challenge Tour since May 1, Kofstad broke through for his fourth career CT victory on Friday by winning the Sydbank Esbjerg Challenge in Denmark. 

The 34-year-old from Norway birdied the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to claim the title in a matchup with Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson. Kofstad went 68-70-68-67 for an 11-under-par 273 total in regulation.

“This one was better than the other (victories) I think,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming; it’s been five years and it’s been really, really hard, I’ve been injured so much, and I finally got my stuff together and started to perform again.

“It’s crazy. I remember after wrist surgery in 2016 I took almost two years off and I played 2019 without too much practice and I thought, ‘I’m going to have to do something or I’m going to have to quit golf,’ so yes this one feels pretty special.”

With the victory, Kofstad jumped to fourth in the Road to Mallorca season-long standings, which virtual assures him a European Tour card for next season. He earned 32,000 euros.

For all the results form Denmark, CLICK HERE.

Elsewhere for local golfers on major tour golf:

(Updated Aug. 23) PGA Tour FedExCup Playoffs: All three players with strong Colorado ties who advanced to the PGA Tour’s FedExCup playoffs have gone one-and-out in the postseason. 

Competitors had to finish in the top 70 in FedExCup points after The Northern Trust in order to advance to the second playoff event, the BMW Championship. But Colorado residents Martin Laird and Tyler McCumber, and Denver native Wyndham Clark missed the cut at The Northern Trust in Jersey City, N.J. and ended up outside the top 70.

After missing the cut, Laird fell to No. 75 in the FedExCup standings, while Clark dropped to No. 87 and McCumber to No. 99.

Laird, the former Colorado State University golfer, won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open early in the season — last October — but that turned out to be his only top-15 finish of the season. Clark recorded two top-10s this season, including placing a PGA Tour career-best second in the Bermuda Championship early last November, but he struggled late in the season, missing cuts in his final seven tournaments. And McCumber, who lives in Lyons, likewise had two top-10s, both coming last fall, including a second in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. But he missed the cut in seven of his last eight tournaments of the season.

For all the scores from The Northern Trust, CLICK HERE.

— Korn Ferry Tour Finals: Former Air Force Academy golfer Tom Whitney tied for 14th place, while Denver native Mark Hubbard was 32nd and Cheyenne native Josh Creel was 54th in the first tournament of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. The top 25 performers in the KFT Finals overall — after three events — will earn PGA Tour cards for 2021-22.

Whitney, a former Fort Collins resident, carded scores of 67-67-68-68 for a 14-under-par 270 total in the Albertson Boise Open, which left him five strokes behind winner Greyson Sigg. Hubbard checked in at 274 (66-66-70-72), while Creel posted a 277 (70-68-70-69).

For all the scores from the Boise Open, CLICK HERE.

Forme Tour: Former University of Colorado golfer Jeremy Paul tied for ninth place on Saturday at the Forme Tour’s Forme Open at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio. Paul posted scores of 68-66-64-70 for a 20-under-par 268 total, which left him six strokes behind winner Corey Shaun.

It was Paul’s second top-10 showing in the last month on the Forme Tour, where many PGA Tour Canada players are competing in 2021.

For scores from the Forme Open, CLICK HERE.