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Bob Weeks

TSN Senior Reporter

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Ben Silverman logged his first top-10 finish as a member of the PGA Tour on Sunday, posting a tie for seventh at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

That finish is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the Thornhill, Ont., golfer’s bank account. He collected $134,000 for his finish, which is the biggest payday of his career.

He also moved to 58th on the FedEx Cup points list, up 51 spots. While it’s still early in the season, those points are important for his goal of retaining his PGA Tour privileges for next year as well as making it deep into the FedEx Cup playoffs.

However, at this juncture of the season, the most important benefit of his placing is that it keeps him well up on the Web.com Tour graduates’ reshuffle priority list. At various points during the season, those who earned their spots on last year’s Web.com Tour and Web.com Tour finals, have their priority ranking changed based on recent performance The first such reshuffle comes after the RSM Classic, Nov. 16-19.

After the Sanderson Farms event, Silverman has moved up 10 spots into 16th place. Simply put, the higher up the list he can stay, the more tournament starts he’ll get.

Silverman is in the field this week for the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas, Nev., joining fellow Canadians Nick Taylor, David Hearn and Corey Conners.

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The European Tour’s team for the 2018 Ryder Cup got a boost last week when Paul Casey announced that he will re-join the Euro circuit. That makes him eligible to play for the Euros when they take on the Americans in Paris next fall.

Casey has played for the Euro side in the Ryder Cup in the past, the last time coming in 2008. But he hasn’t been a European Tour member for the last three years. Casey makes his home in the U.S., and plays almost exclusively on the PGA Tour. At the time he gave up his European membership, he said he wanted to just play one tour to limit his travel.

But some believe he was disappointed in not being a captain’s pick for the 2010 Ryder Cup despite being inside the top 10 on the world ranking.

Regardless, Casey’s eligibility gives Europe an experienced player who has enjoyed a good run the last two years. He is currently 15th in the world ranking and in three events so far this season, he has three top-20 finishes.

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Course ranking lists always stir up emotions in golf lovers interested to see how their favourites fare. The latest one from Golf Digest has generated some conversation ­– and not just for the placement of the 30 courses that made the list.

In top spot was Cabot Cliffs, part of the two-course facility in Inverness, N.S., that has received rave reviews. The other course, Cabot Links, was in fifth spot.

What raised some eyebrows, however, was the inclusion of Sagebrush Golf & Sporting Club in Merritt, B.C. It finished in 18th place, up one position from the previous ranking, despite not being open for the past two years.

In its last ranking of the top 100 Canadian courses, SCOREGolf left the course off the list due to its situation. It was 10th in the Canadian publication’s previous list in 2014.

After some financial troubles, the course was sold in 2015 to the Newark Group. It said construction was needed on the facility and that it would not open for play in 2016. That continued into the spring of 2017 and Sagebrush failed to open for a second year.

Last month, the Newark Group’s owner, Mark Chandler, was in court facing extradition to the United States where he was facing charges on fraud regarding real estate dealings.

That led to the resignation of the course’s general manager and Newark’s president of golf operations. It’s uncertain just what Sagebrush’s future holds and whether it will open for play in 2018.