Streb wins Web.com Tour Finals opener in playoff

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Robert Streb won the Web.com Tour Finals-opening Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Sunday to regain full PGA Tour status, beating Peter Malnati with a par on the first hole of a playoff.

“Peter’s a good friend,” Streb said. “We both more or less achieved what we were trying to achieve. I would say it was probably a little more relaxed than normal. Could have flipped a coin, I think everybody would have been all right. It was nice to come out on top.”

Streb closed with an even-par 72 in scattered showers to match Malnati at 12-under 272 on Ohio State University’s Scarlett Course. The 2015 McGladrey Classic winner for his lone PGA Tour title, Streb was 178th in the FedEx Cup standings to drop into the four-tournament Finals.

Streb earned $180,000, with the top 25 in the four-event series earning PGA Tour cards. Last year, Seamus Power took the 25th and final card with $40,625.

It’s really nice,” the 31-year-old former Kansas State player said. “It’s been a pretty big struggle all year. I played a lot and was not playing well, so it’s really nice to get that knocked out the first week. (Now I’m) just going to work on improving and get ready for next year.”

Malnati finished with a 66. The winner of the PGA Tour’s 2016 Sanderson Farms Championship, he earned $108,000.

“I can’t tell you how good that feels,” Malnati said. “It’s cool and, you know, I’ve never really played this game to make money, but I don’t want to have to do something else to make money, either. So to get back to the PGA Tour, it’s just a little bit of freedom.”

Cameron Davis (66) was a stroke back, and Shawn Stefani (67) followed at 8 under. Davis made $68,000, and Stefani $48,000.

The series features the top 75 players — Davis was 34th — from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 — Stefano was 147th, and Malnati 161st — in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings; and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200.

The top-25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list have earned PGA Tour cards. They are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for 25 cards based on series earnings.

Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton (68) tied for 14th at 7 under, earning $18,000. He was 59th on the Web.com money list, jumping from 107th last week with a third-place finish in Portland.

Six-time PGA Tour winner Hunter Mahan (69) and major champion Lucus Glover (66) tied for 17th at 6 under. They each earned $14,500.