Listen, if you’re a Hoosier diehard only with no rooting interest in professional golf outside of Indiana ties, it’s maybe been a rough few years. Once the standard bearer for Hoosiers in pro golf, Jeff Overton’s almost completely removed from the professional golf scene after a life-threatening spinal infection last year. He’d battled injuries and surgeries before that, and hasn’t really ever been able to regain his form from the early 2010s -- when BOOM BABY became the lone highlight of a European rout at Celtic Manor in the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Still, even with all the success and his selection onto a Ryder Cup team, Overton never actually won a PGA Tour event. He’ll likely be a great trivia answer because of that one of these days, if he never returns to form. But now finally a few years later, Indiana’s perhaps getting closer to reeling in a victory on a major worldwide tour.
Fresh off playing in Canada for most of 2017, former Hoosier Chase Wright won his first ever Web.com Tour event this weekend at the Rustoleum Championship in Ivanhoe, Illinois. He held off Alex Prugh in a sudden-death playoff in the victory.
If you don’t follow golf regularly, it’s hard to describe anything more life-changing in sports than winning a Web.com Tour — as odd as that may sound. Young Web tour pros like Chase aren’t exactly living a lavish life, the checks aren’t huge and there’s little in the way of job security. One bad run of form can have you back at a local club as an assistant teaching pro, quickly.
Instead, Wright now will put himself in position to be the first completely new face Indiana’s added to the PGA Tour ranks in quite some time next season. The Top 25 on the Web.com Tour automatically get promoted to the big circuit after the year, and another 25 can make it through the Web.com Tour finals. Wright’s now 5th, which means he’s probably in very, very good shape to tee it up alongside the big boys next year.
The big win comes on the heels of heartbreak for Wright, too. He narrowly missed out on a US Open spot earlier in the week, losing in a playoff after the 36-hole sectional qualifying grinder. It’s still possible he gets into the show at Shinny this week: He’s the first alternate out of his location.
But Wright’s not the only Hoosier touring pro turning in a nice 2018. Jorge Campillo, who’s been chugging along on the European Tour for a few seasons now, is having his best year as a professional to date. Three top five finishes through the first half of the season have Campillo enjoying a top-15 position on the European Tour, and inside the OWGR top 100 for the first time in his career.