Merritt golfer Roger Sloan will be competing next season on the PGA Tour, the world’s most prestigious golf circuit. Its membership includes the likes of Irish star Rory McIlroy, current FedEx Cup points leader Hunter Mahan, this year’s Canadian Open winner Jim Furyk and (when he is healthy) Tiger Woods.
Sloan, 27, earned his way onto the 2014-15 PGA Tour by placing amongst the top 25 finishers on this season’s Web.com Tour — the developmental golf series that acts as a feeder program to the major circuit.
Sloan ended the Web.com Tour’s regular season in 24th place with total earnings of $159,018. In 19 Web.com Tour starts, Sloan made the cut on 12 occasions, had four top-25 finishes, and was the winner of the $650,000 Nova Scotia Open in early July at the Ashburn Golf Club in Halifax.
The last month has not been easy for Sloan, as he saw his rankings slide each week since a season-high 12th-place immediately following his win in Nova Scotia.
“I’ve known for the last several weeks that I was in contention for a top-25 finish, and I was fairly confident that things would work themselves out. At the same time, there was always those little seeds of doubt lingering,” Sloan said in a telephone interview early this week.
“Relief is the best word to describe how I felt this past Sunday afternoon as the regular season wrapped up,” Sloan added. “I don’t think that I did the best job of handling the situation leading up to Sunday — thinking about it all the time, and perhaps playing a little too conservatively. It definitely was a real learning experience.”
Joining Sloan in the Web.com Tour’s top-25, and also earning his PGA Tour card is fellow Canadian and good friend Adam Hadwin. The 26-year-old native of Moose Jaw, Sask. finished fourth overall in the standings with earnings of $293,667.
Both Sloan and Hadwin will have a chance to improve their standings in the Web.com Tour’s top-25 as the series begins its four-event finals this weekend with the $1,000,000 Hotel Fitness Challenge in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The playoffs wrap up Sept. 18 to 21 with the Web.com Tour Championships in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
“My goal coming into this year was to make the top-75 on the Web.com Tour, qualify for the playoffs and secure my playing status for next year. Obviously I’m delighted to have accomplished that and so much more,” Sloan said.
While Sloan always believed that he had the ability to win on the Web.com Tour, it was never a specific goal going into any one tournament.
“My objective always remains the same — to consistently improve, to go through the process of becoming better, and to commit myself to each and every shot.”
Sloan’s PGA Tour card for next season will have ‘limited’ status. It will allow him to enter the majority of the Tour stops but not some of the exclusive invitationals and not the majors like the British and U.S. Opens and the Masters.
“Full exempt status is pretty well reserved for the top 125 players in the world,” Sloan said. “Actually there are about 18 different categories of player. Each category has a letter of the alphabet assigned to it with A at the top. I’m currently in category H which gives you some idea of where I stand right now.”
This year was Sloan’s second full season on the Web.com Tour. In 2013, he played 18 events, made the cut five times and picked up total earnings of $54,613.
Prior to joining the Web.com Tour, Sloan played two seasons on the Canadian PGA Tour. It was highlighted by a victory in 2011 at The Western Open in Kamloops, B.C.