For the majority of Americans, Mondays are the seventh-best day of the week. For journeyman pro Chris Naegel, Mondays are currently No. 1 in his rankings, particularly in the month of July.
Naegel, 39, has channeled Patrick Reed of late. Reed was a Monday-qualifying legend before turning into one of the best players on the PGA Tour. This past Monday, Naegel shot a six-under 66 at The Orchards in Washington, Mich., site of the Monday qualifier for this week’s PGA Tour event in Detroit, the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
That earned Naegel one of four spots available, marking the fourth time in July alone that he’s Monday-qualified into a tour event. He had previously qualified for the 3M Open, Barracuda Championship and the John Deere Classic. While he missed the cut at both the 3M and the Barracuda, Naegel did manage an impressive T-16 at the John Deere, the best finish of his career on the PGA Tour.
Prior to this season, Naegel had only made four career starts on the PGA Tour. His fifth came at this year’s U.S. Open at Brookline, which he gained entry into by shooting nine under over 36 holes in the final qualifying stage—which just so happened to take place on a Monday. He went on to make the cut, finishing in a tie for 56th.
Naegel, a Missouri native, has spent the bulk of his career on the Korn Ferry Tour. With 52 non-member FedEx Cup points to his name, Naegel will have a chance to return to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, where 25 PGA Tour cards are available, should he earn more non-member points than the 200th-ranked player on the FedEx Cup points list. As of now, that player is Jimmy Walker, who has 83 points and is not in the