Monday qualifier doesn’t win Shriners but earns another start

Monday qualifier doesn’t win Shriners but earns another start
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Isaiah Salinda didn’t join elite company on Sunday in Las Vegas, but he will be among the 132 players who will tee it up in Cabo in a few weeks.

The 26-year-old Salinda was vying to become just the sixth Monday qualifier since 1980 to win a PGA Tour event when he began Sunday’s final round of the Shriners Children’s Open just two shots off the lead. Salinda played his first eight holes birdie-less and in 1 over before carding four birdies and an eagle the rest of the way to shoot 4-under 67 and secure a T-7 finish.

The top-10 showing didn’t exempt Salinda into next week’s no-cut Zozo Championship in Japan, but it did punch Salinda’s ticket into the World Wide Technology Championship, which begins Nov. 2 at Diamante Cabo San Lucas in Los Cabos, Mexico.

“Just a very special week,” Salinda said. “Glad to cap it off with that.”

It’s been a “long, grueling season” for Salinda, who began the week No. 652 in the Official World Golf Ranking and having recently fallen just short of full Korn Ferry Tour membership for 2024. Salinda logged 21 starts in his rookie season on the Tour’s main developmental circuit after not getting into the first two events. He posted five top-25s yet missed seven of his last eight cuts to end up No. 80 in points, five places out of locking up his card.

Salinda reset mentally these past few weeks in Las Vegas, where he moved to at the start of this year, from his native Bay Area, to be around better players such as Collin Morikawa, Kurt Kitayama, Justin Suh and Salinda’s former Stanford teammate Maverick McNealy. He then got through the Shriners’ Monday qualifier to earn his ninth career PGA Tour start – and his first since the 2022 U.S. Open.

Prior to Sunday, Salinda’s best finish was a T-33 at the 2019 Safeway Open, his Tour debut just months after leading Stanford to an NCAA team title.

And his biggest paycheck before the $238,000 payday he received Sunday at TPC Summerlin? $34,415.

“It’s been a little bit of a while since I played a Tour event,” Salinda said, “but I felt pretty comfortable out here for most of the week. I feel like my game is good enough to compete with these guys. A lot of different ways to get here, and just still kind of figuring out my path.”

That path will go through Cabo next month.

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