RSM qualifier again ends in dark; Thompson gets last spot under spotlights

RSM qualifier again ends in dark; Thompson gets last spot under spotlights
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Matt Atkins will play this week’s RSM Classic after Monday qualifying for the St. Simons Island, Georgia, PGA Tour event for the second time in five years.

Both times he’s done so in a playoff that has finished in the dark.

Atkins was one of seven players who shot 5-under 65 Monday at Brunswick Country Club to get into a playoff for the remaining three spots for the Tour’s fall finale. Jacob Solomon, an Auburn alum, punched his ticket in regulation with a 64, leaving Atkins, Rafa Campos, Tommy Gainey, Curtis Thompson, Will Chandler, Ben Silverman, Michael Blair and Ohio State senior Maxwell Moldovan to duke it out in an 8-for-3 playoff.

Back in 2019, Atkins and Luke Guthrie went three extra holes for the last qualifying spot with Atkins making a clinching par putt nearly 40 minutes after sunset as nearby headlights illuminated the ninth green.

This time around tournament organizers had spotlights shipped in for the occasion.

Atkins didn’t need them. Campos birdied the first playoff hole and Atkins the next, as the pair grabbed two of the three available RSM spots. Gainey finished early, too, as he was pulled off the course because he’d gotten into the RSM as an alternate. That left the remaining five players to fight for the final berth – and by this time the spotlights had been turned on.

Three holes later, around 6 p.m. ET, Thompson, the younger brother of LPGA player Lexi Thompson, rolled in a short putt to eliminate Chandler and clinch his first Tour start since this year’s Honda Classic back in February.

Ah, Mondays.

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