The Barracuda Championship is set to begin with the excitement surrounding the Monday qualifiers who have earned their spots in the tournament. Charles Porter, Kyle Reifers, Grant Booth, and Eddy Lai showcased their skills and secured their positions in the field through the Monday qualifying round.
Charles Porter's journey into professional golf has not been an easy one. Growing up in government housing with six older siblings, Porter's passion for the game was ignited by his father and nurtured through programs like the First Tee-San Francisco and the Youth on Course. Despite limited tournament opportunities, Porter made the most of his chances, achieving victories at the 2020 San Francisco City Championship and Contra Costa Amateur. He also earned conditional Korn Ferry Tour status this season through Q-School. Porter, 24, carded an impressive 9-under 63 during the Monday qualifier, securing his place in the Barracuda Championship.
Joining Porter as qualifiers are Kyle Reifers, Grant Booth, and Eddy Lai. Reifers, who has been on a remarkable run as a Monday qualifier, has already made the cut twice in the past month at the Travelers Championship and the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Reifers, who finished as a runner-up at the 2015 Barracuda Championship, looks forward to returning to the TOUR's lone Modified Stableford event.
The four qualifiers emerged from a field of 56 players competing for the available spots. The Barracuda Championship, a co-sanctioned event between the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour, holds significance as it takes place in the third-to-last week of the FedExCup Regular Season.
Let's take a closer look at each of the four qualifiers:
Charles Porter (9-under 63): Age: 24 Hometown: San Francisco, California College: Napa Valley College PGA TOUR starts: 1 Cuts made: 0 Notes: Porter recorded seven birdies and an eagle during the Monday qualifier, earning his second TOUR event appearance of the season. He competed in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year on a sponsor exemption but missed the cut. With his towering height of 6-foot-7, Porter's game stands out both on and off the course. His journey reflects the mission of the Youth on Course program, providing access to life-changing opportunities through golf.
Kyle Reifers (8-under 64): Age: 39 Hometown: Columbus, Ohio College: Wake Forest PGA TOUR starts: 165 Cuts made: 89 Best PGA TOUR finish: Second, 2015 Barracuda Championship Notes: Reifers displayed exceptional form during the Monday qualifying round, carding eight birdies without a single bogey. This marks his third successful Monday qualification in the past month and the fourth overall this season. Reifers previously finished as a runner-up at the 2015 Barracuda Championship. He has a notable PGA TOUR history, including a victory at the Korn Ferry Tour's 2006 Chattanooga Classic as a Monday qualifier.
Grant Booth (7-under 65): Age: 27 Hometown: Penrith, Australia College: University of Nevada-Reno PGA TOUR starts: 1 Cuts made: 1 Best PGA TOUR finish: T64, 2018 Barracuda Championship Notes: Booth's impressive performance during the Monday qualifier, with six birdies and an eagle, earned him a return to the event where he made his PGA TOUR debut. In 2018, Booth made the cut at the Barracuda Championship, finishing T64. He also made the cut in his Korn Ferry Tour debut at this year's Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open. Booth holds scoring records at the University of Nevada-Reno and has gained experience caddying at prestigious courses.
Eddy Lai (7-under 65): Age: 24 Hometown: San Jose, California College: UCLA PGA TOUR starts: 0 Notes: Lai demonstrated his skills during the Monday qualifier, recording six birdies and an eagle. Although he is yet to start on the PGA TOUR, Lai competed on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica in 2023, making four cuts in 11 starts and finishing 88th in the Totalplay Cup. Lai holds a master's degree from UCLA in transformative coaching and leadership. He excelled in his final season at UCLA with a team-best scoring average and received All-Pac-12 honorable mentions in 2019 and 2022.
The Monday qualifiers have earned their place in the Barracuda Championship, showcasing their talent and determination. As the tournament unfolds, fans will eagerly watch these aspiring golfers compete against the best in the game, hoping to make their mark on the PGA TOUR.