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Bronson La’Cassie Wins Web.com Tour Finale, Earns 2013-14 PGA Tour Card
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Former University of Minnesota golf team standout and current Web.com Tour player Bronson La’Cassie won the final regular-season tournament of the year on Sunday to cement his bid for a 2013-14 PGA Tour card, finishing sixth overall on the Web.com money list. The four-time NCAA All-American won the Cox Classic on the third hole of a playoff against Matt Bettencourt after carding a 4-under 67 during Sunday’s round at Champions Run in Omaha, Neb. With rounds of 66-65-65-67, La’Cassie totaled a 21-under-par 263 for the week for his first win of the year, vaulting him 27 spots on the money list in the season’s final week, good enough to be one of the Web.com Tour’s top-25 finishers who are automatically eligible for PGA Tour membership next season. With two holes to play, La’Cassie was two strokes behind Bettencourt and had to birdie 17 and 18 just to force the playoff.
Though he missed the two previous cuts before the Cox Classic, La’Cassie put himself in contention earlier in the season with six top-25s, including two T-3 finishes this summer, which had him sitting at 33rd on the money list before the week. The win earned him $144,000 — more than double his season earnings to that point — and, more importantly, a spot on the PGA Tour next year, where he’ll be the fifth former U of M golfer ever to have a full-year membership.
The 30-year-old from Brisbane, Australia played for the U of M from 2003 to 2007; he won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year Award in 2004 and the Les Bolstad Scoring Award in 2006 for the lowest season scoring average in the conference. With 10 cuts made in 19 events, this has been a breakout year on the Web.com Tour for La’Cassie, who has competed sporadically since 2008 without ever finishing a tournament better than tied for sixth.
La’Cassie will now join the other top-75 Web.com money winners, along with Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour FedEx Cup point standings, in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals, where an additional 25 PGA Tour cards will be handed out. The first stop of the Finals is the Hotel Fitness Championship at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Here’s a look at what La’Cassie had in the bag for his first Web.com Tour victory:
Taylormade R1, 9 deg., Neutral Setting, with UST Mamiya Elements Fire 7F5 X-Flex shaft, Swingweight D7.
Bridgestone J40 3+, 14 deg., with Motore Speeder VC 8.2 Tour Spec X-Flex shaft.
Adams Super S Idea 2H, 17 deg., with Matrix Radix 8HY shaft.
Bridgestone J40 3-PW, standard lie and loft angles, with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shaft, Swingweight D3.
Bridgestone J40, 56 & 60 deg., with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts. (Will play a 52 degree instead of a 3 iron depending on course strategy.)
Odyssey White Hot Pro V-Line, 35-inch.
Golf Pride Tour Velvet
La’Cassie Gets Fit for TaylorMade SLDR driver at 2nd Swing Minneapolis
In the week leading up to the Cox Classic, La’Cassie, along with his caddie David DuBord, spent some time in the TaylorMade Fitting Studio at 2nd Swing’s Minneapolis retail location, where they worked with 2nd Swing expert fitter Justin Smith. (Smith, a former teammate of La’Cassie, led the University of Minnesota team to the 2002 National Championship title, where he tied with Graeme McDowell for fourth in individual scoring at (-5), one stroke behind Hunter Mahan.)
Their session was spent comparing the Taylormade SLDR driver with La’Cassie’s gamer, the TaylorMade R1 — with compatible hosel sleeves on the two heads, they were able to use the same UST Mamiya Elements Fire 7F5 X-Flex shaft in each one and only compare the heads – and the results were pretty astounding:
R1, 9.0 degrees
Ball Speed – 155 mph | Launch Angle – 13.7 deg. | Spin – 2578 rpm | Carry Distance – 265 yds | Total Distance – 277 yds
SLDR, 10.5 degrees
Ball Speed – 162.9 mph | Launch Angle – 15.4 deg. | Spin – 2367 rpm | Carry Distance – 288 yds | Total Distance – 299 yds
As you can see, all things being equal, with the SLDR La’Cassie gained almost 8 mph of ball speed, 23 yards of carry distance and 22 yards of overall distance, while scrubbing off more than 200 rpm of spin and raising his launch angle by a degree and half over the R1. That’s a pretty incredible difference for an already world-class performer. While he didn’t bag the SLDR during this session — why mess with success? — you can bet that La’Cassie will be taking a hard look at a potential driver change in the offseason as he gears up for his PGA debut; this year on Tour, the difference between a 277-yard average off the tee and 299 yards is 150 spots, from Brian Gay at No. 170 in average driving distance to Jason Day at No. 20. Needless to say, it would be an enormous asset on the longer courses played on the PGA Tour.