Tyler McCumber said his health and a more focused mental approach to golf and personal fitness have been the driving forces behind his extraordinary run of golf on the Mackenzie Tour Canada.

The Nease and University of Florida graduate has won three of his last four starts and has shot in the 60s in 22 of his last 24 rounds. With two tournaments left, McCumber has earned $135,700 and is $69,820 ahead of No. 2 Zach Wright on the Order of Merit.

Wright, George Cunningham and Michael Gellerman are the only players who can catch McCumber for the money title, and they would have to win the final two events and hope McCumber missed the cut in both.

That’s important because the Order of Merit winner is fully exempt onto the 2019 Web.com Tour, while Nos. 2 through 5 fall into line behind other priority categories.

“It’s not a fluke,” McCumber said of his current stretch of play. “I’ve had some good opportunities and I’m playing well enough to take advantage of them.”

McCumber said he has fully recovered from shoulder labrum surgery 18 months ago, meaning he’s been able to practice and train as much as he wants without pain.

He also cited swing coach Rick Smith and mental/physical trainer Brett “Moose” Stephens for making improvements.

Smith has helped McCumber reduce the frequency and direction of his misses and shoring up the short game and putting. Stephens, an Australian McCumber met last winter, has incorporated some old-school physical training (such as running in sand dunes) with mental training that McCumber said has given him an approach that keeps him in the moment on each shot, without worrying about results.

One of Stephens’ clients in the past was tennis star Pete Sampras. He’s also worked with PGA Tour player Luke List.

McCumber said he’s in the process of writing to tournament directors of the PGA Tour’s fall events to request sponsor invitations. He also can attempt Monday qualifyings.

“It certainly doesn’t hurt,” when asked if his run on the Canadian Tour could have possibly gotten the attention of tournament directors. “I feel like I’m playing well enough to take advantage of the opportunities and show them I deserved it.”

Cink is surging

Stewart Cink is back in the Masters after a five-year absence and is entering the FedEx Cup playoffs at his highest spot (58th) since 2010.

How has the 45-year-old had such a hot summer? He harkened back to what worked in the past, such as when he won the 2009 Open Champioship.

Cink has had three top-five finishes in the last two months, capped by a tie for fourth at the PGA Championship in which he played with Tiger Woods in the final round at Bellerive.

With huge galleries cheering Woods on every shot, Cink matched Woods’ 66.

“It felt like a Ryder Cup,” Cink said of the experience. “It was a great challenge, and I really wanted to embrace it and test myself and see how well I can hang in there. I didn’t have the option to fall back into a comfort zone. There wouldn’t have been one in that group. I’m proud of myself the way I played.”

Cink said he worked with swing coach Mike Lipnick on hitting the ball the way he envisioned during his pre-shot routine.

“I didn’t do anything new,” he said. “I just recommitted to what I was working on the last year.”

Langer honored

Bernhard Langer is the 2018 recipient of the Payne Stewart Award, presented annually by the PGA Tour to the player who best exemplifies the character, charity and sportsmanship of Stewart, the three-time major champion who died in a plane crash on the Monday of the 1999 Tour Championship.

Cink was the award last year, and Jim Furyk of Ponte Vedra won it in 2016.

Langer has won the Masters twice, and added 37 victories and 10 majors on the PGA Tour Champions.

“Bernhard Langer epitomizes the ideals around which the Payne Stewart Award is built,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “Fueled by his strong faith and steadfast humility, Bernhard has become one of the great ambassadors for this game and continues to set an admirable example every time he tees it up.” 

Koepka clinches award

Brooks Koepka has clinched the points-based award from the PGA of America as player of the year. Majors are worth 30 points, and there is a 50-point bonus for winning two of them. That gives Koepka 110 points for his U.S. Open and PGA Championship victories.

Even if Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas or Bubba Watson wins all four FedEx Cup playoff events for seven titles this year, they would not catch Koepka.

PGA Tour

Event: The Northern Trust, Thursday-Sunday, Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, N.J.

At stake: $9 million purse ($1,620,000 and 2,000 FedEx Cup points to the winner).

Defending champion: Dustin Johnson.

TV: (Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m.); CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 2-6 p.m.).

Area players entered (FedEx Cup rank): Patton Kizzire (15), Brian Harman (32), Billy Horschel (41), Zach Johnson (52), Matt Kuchar (64), Keith Mitchell (68), Russell Knox (84), Trey Mullinax (95), Harold Varner III (106), Ryan Blaum (116), Sam Saunders (120).

Notable: The first FedEx Cup playoff has all but five of the eligible players in the field. No. 121 Bud Cauley of Jacksonville is out for the season following a May auto accident and Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Patrick Rodgers opted to skip the event. … Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Johnson and Spieth lead the field. … Johnson birdied the first playoff hole at Glen Oaks to beat Spieth last year. … The top-100 players on the points list will advance to next week’s event at the TPC Boston.


Event: CP Canadian Open, Thursday-Friday, Wascana Country Club, Regina, Saskatchewan.

At stake: $2.25 million purse ($337,500 to the winner).

Defending champion: Sung Hyun Park.

TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Saturday, 3-6 p.m.; Sunday, 4-7 p.m.).

Area players entered: Marina Alex, Katie Burnett, Chella Choi, Amelia Lewis.

Notable: Park shot 64 in the final round to beat Mirim Lee by two shots. … Park won last week in Indianapolis to be the second three-time winner on the LPGA this season, joining Ariya Jutanugarn. 

PGA Tour Champions

Event: Boeing Classic, Friday-Sunday, The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, Snoqualmie, Wash.

At stake: $2.1 million purse ($315,000 to the winner).

Defending champion: Jerry Kelly.

TV: Golf Channel (Friday-Saturday, 6-8 p.m.; Sunday, 7-9 p.m.).

Area players entered: None.

Notable: Kelly beat Kevin Sutherland by one shot. … University of Florida graduate Chris DiMarco and Darren Clarke will make their PGA Champions debuts.

Web.com Tour

Event: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Thursday-Sunday, Ohio State University Scarlet Course, Columbus, Ohio.

At stake: $1 million purse ($180,000 to the winner).

Defending champion: Peter Uihlein.

TV: Golf Channel (Thursday, 6-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 8-10 p.m.; Sunday 2-4 p.m.).

Area players entered: Blayne Barber, Jonathan Byrd, Vince Covello, Roberto Diaz, Matt Every, David Lingmerth, Julian Suri, Steve Wheatcroft.

Notable: The first leg of the four-tournament Web.com Finals begins, leading to the Web.com Tour Championship Sept. 20-23 at the Atlantic Beach Country Club. … Covello is the only area player to make the Finals off the regular-season Web.com Tour money list. He finished 74th, making the top-75 cut-off by $602. … Barber, Byrd, Diaz, Every, Lingmerth and Wheatcroft finished below No. 126 on the PGA Tour FedEx Cup points list and have to play in the Finals in an attempt to get their Tour cards back. … Suri got into the Finals by finishing sixth on the non-member FedEx Cup points list.


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