Norman Xiong is headed for the PGA Tour.
Xiong, who was born in Guam to Chinese parents but grew up in Lake Elsinore, rolled to a four-stroke victory in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio.
By winning the third of four events in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, the 24-year-old Xiong jumped from No. 59 to No. 12 on the Points List, guaranteeing that he will finish in the top 30 and earn his PGA Tour card for 2024.
“I’m just happy to play golf again,” said Xiong, who missed 15 cuts as a rookie on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019 and stopped playing for a while. “I think once I turned pro it became not just hitting it and seeing it and visualizing it. I’m just so happy to feel like myself again and be out there having fun on the course, staying in the present, and loving it again. I feel so much different than I did when I was out here last year, a few years ago.
“This is one of my favorite courses. It was kind of my goal in the back of my mind to give me that one year to be where I’m at now. I was able to finally go back to just being myself … unlearning and getting rid of a lot of stuff that I didn’t need, or that I thought I needed.
“It just feels good to be out on the course walking as myself again.”
Xiong, whose only other pro victory came in the 2022 Wichita Open on the Korn Ferry Tour, carded a score of 69-67-71-67—274, 10-under-par, with five birdies and a single bogey on the final hole in the last round.
Curtis Luck of Australia, who won this tournament in 2020, shot 72-70-70-66—278 to tie for second with Joe Highsmith of Pepperdine, who finished at 72-67-70-69—278, and Chris Petefish of Danville, who wound up at 67-70-71-70—278.
Jake Knapp of Costa Mesa and UCLA was fifth at 67-73-71-68—279, followed by Max Greyserman, who is eighth on the points list, at 68-69-75-68—280, while Trace Crowe totaled 71-68-74-68—281 to tie for seventh with Joey Garber, who finished at 68-75-70-68—281, Josh Teater, who wound up at 69-71-71-70—281, and Chandler Phillips, who came in at 66-72-69-74—281.
The Korn Ferry Tour Championship will be played at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind., on Oct 5-8, and afterward the top 30 on the Points List will be presented their PGA Tour cards for next season.
For complete results, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/korn-ferry-tour/leaderboard