Two-week heater earns Peter Kuest special temporary membership
What a difference two weeks can make.
Fourteen days ago, Peter Kuest was gearing up for the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s Monday qualifier, hoping to earn his way into a fourth PGA Tour event of the season. Now, he’s the Tour’s latest special temporary member.
Kuest finished in a three-way tie for fourth two Sundays ago in Detroit, a performance that left the 25-year-old BYU product less than three FedExCup points away from special temporary status, which allots players unlimited sponsor exemptions. He then tied for 17th at this past week’s John Deere Classic to easily clear the threshold.
Kuest, who also tied for 14th earlier this year at the AT&T Byron Nelson, is in this week’s Barbasol Championship field as he works toward securing his full Tour card for next season. To do so, he’ll need to earn the equivalent number of FedExCup points to No. 125 on the final official FedExCup list this season. Akshay Bhatia, Ryan Gerard, Ryan Fox, Min Woo Lee and Nicolai Hojgaard are the other players who are playing as special temporary members this season.
The story of Kuest’s quick ascent is remarkable. Coming into the year, he had only conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour and had yet to get into an event. Last year, as a KFT rookie, he missed six of 13 cuts. Prior to that, he spent a year on the Challenge Tour, in 2021, and shortly after turning pro in Summer 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, he missed the cut in five of his six PGA Tour starts via sponsor invite.
The past two weeks he’s jumped from No. 789 to No. 327 in the world rankings.
In college, Kuest won 10 times, including eight in his final three semesters. Not bad for a player who didn’t focus on golf – he also played soccer and baseball – until midway through high school at Clovis West in Fresno, California, when his father, Peter Sr., a painting contractor, motivated his son by laying out some painter’s clothes on young Peter’s bed with a message: You can go all-in on something, or you can come work for me.
“My dad had a way with motivating that would piss you off,” Kuest told PGATour.com
Tragically, Peter Sr., at age 61, died of a heart attack in November 2021. Kuest took his dad’s death hard, losing weight and later developing alopecia, which he believed to be from the stress. Kuest, though he’s lost some hair, has since changed to a healthier lifestyle.
His golf is following suit.