Golf

Blaum grinds way to PGA Tour card, commits to play in Pro-Am

Sanderson Farms Golf
Ryan Blaum hits out of a sand trap in front of the No. 18 green on the first day of the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Power was one of the early leaders. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Rogelio V. Solis STF
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 20, 2017 1:05 am

QUINCY -- It took Ryan Blaum nearly a decade to earn his PGA Tour card.

Now, he's intent on keeping it.

Blaum, who has committed to play in the WGEM/Herald-Whig TriState Pro-Am on May 29, heads into this weekend's Valero Texas Open ranked 88th in the FedEx Cup standings after making the cut in 11 of the first 13 events he's played.

That's quite an accomplishment for a player who had to fight his way to golf's top tour.

A Duke graduate who turned professional in 2007, Blaum endured a battle with mononucleosis that sidelined him for nearly two years and a shoulder surgery that cost him countless tournaments. He played the Challenge Tour in Europe, and in 2012, Blaum was a member for the inaugural season of PGA Tour Latinoamérica. Although he didn't win any tour stops, he captured the 79th Waterloo Open Golf Classic in Iowa.

In 2013, Blaum won twice on PGA Tour Latinoamérica, capturing the Dominican Republic Open and the Aberto do Brasil. He had five other top-10 finishes and captured first place on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica Order of Merit, which earned him a Web.com Tour card for 2014.

In three years on the Web.com Tour, he amassed 10 top-10 finishes but has yet to win a tournament.

In 2016, on the Web.com Tour, Blaum finished 33rd on the money on the strength of four top-10 finishes. In the Web.com Finals, he tied for fifth at the Alberston's Boise Open and tied for 18th at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship to finish in the top 25 and earn his PGA Tour card.

He's been consistent on the big stage.

He had two top-25 finishes in the first four events he played, finishing tied for 11th at the Sanderson Farms Championship and tied for 15th at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He missed his first two cuts in February at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Open, but he has made five cuts since with three finishes inside the top 40.

Blaum is the 15th professional golfer to commit to play in the Pro-Am, which will be held at Spring Lake Country Club. The field for the second-year event will feature 18 pro golfers and 72 amateur playing an 18-hole scramble event.