D.A. Points is 18th on the Nationwide Money List
April 16, 2008
Athens, Ga. - When we caught up with former Illini great D.A. Points, he was driving to Athens, Ga., to participate in the next Nationwide Tour event. Points is off to a strong start and if it continues, he hopes to be back on the PGA Tour come 2009.
Points calls the first part of 2008, "probably the best start I've ever had." He has finished strong in both PGA starts he made this season, earning better than $111,000 combined. Points received a sponsorship exemption for the AT&T/Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, where he fired a first round 68 en route to tying for 11th on the weekend at four-under par. He and his amateur partner, Peter Watzka, placed second as a team in the Pro-Am. In March, Points shot back-to-backs 68s in the first two rounds of the PGA's Arnold Palmer Invitational to again make the cut, finishing in a tie for 41st.
Points graduated from Illinois in December of 1999 and earned a tour card on the Canadian tour for 2000. After going through qualifying school in the winter, Points began play on the Nationwide Tour in 2001, winning a tournament in his first year. Although he didn't claim a title in either 2002 of 2003, he says he actually played better in those years.
Points' break-out season came in 2004, where he won twice again, claiming the Northeast Pennsylvania Classic and the Pete Dye West Virginia Classic, and finished second on the money list. The distinction was good enough to earn his PGA Tour Card for 2005. Despite finishing 160th on the money list, he qualified for his PGA card in '06 after finishing fifth at Q school following the '05 season.
After again not finishing high enough on the money list in 2006, it back to the Nationwide Tour to again earn his way back on the PGA Tour. The top 25 on the money list each year on the Nationwide Tour earn the PGA Tour card for the following season. Points was 39th in 2007, placing second in a tournament in Boise, Idaho.
After five events this season, though, Points sits 18th on the money list. He used momentum from his strong showing at Pebble Beach to play well in the Land Down Under in his second Nationwide Event of the season. He tied for fifth the following week at the HSBC New Zealand PGA and tied for seventh in the Moonah Classic just outside of Melbourne, Australia, a week after that.
"In working with my instructor in Orlando, I finally have my swing where I want," Points said. "I have a lot of confidence in it, so I'm not going into each tournament trying to search and find my swing. I can go into the tournament feeling comfortable and confident with how I'm hitting the ball."
Although he plans to try to qualify for the U.S. Open, his concentration will be on playing 25-27 Nationwide events in hopes to again make the PGA tour in 2009. Local fans can support him at the Bank of America Open at the Glen Club just outside of Chicago May 29-June 1.
Points won three events during his senior year at Illinois and earned third team All-America. He looks back on his days in Champaign fondly and returns to town to support Steve Stricker with his golf outing at Stone Creek each August. "I had a great time at Illinois," Points said. "I loved Illinois sports, especially basketball, and try to get back for a game every now and then."
Life on the road is made a little easier these days as his of wife of two years, Lori, joins him on most trips. "Living on the road is tough," Points said. "There's a lot of small cities and hotel rooms. I love it just the same, though."