Derek Ernst, PGA TOUR, Web.com Tour
PGA TOUR Champion
The most recent former Rebel golfer to earn his PGA Tour card is Derek Ernst, who played at UNLV from 2008-12. He was the only college player in 2012 to go from graduating to earning full exempt status on the PGA Tour. He will also be the last to ever accomplish that as qualifying rules have been changed. He made it through all four PGA Tour Q-School stages.
Originally from Clovis, Calif., Ernst was a two-time All-American and two-time Mountain West Golfer of the Year at UNLV. He also was selected to the All-MW team all four years of college. He won four individual titles as a Rebel, including the 2011 MW Championship. His four victories rank fourth in program history.
Ernst, who shot two 64s in college tournaments (ranks second in UNLV history), turned in a career scoring average of 71.80 – also ranking second all-time. His senior year’s average of 71.39 is the sixth-best. In 2012, Ernst played in just one PGA Tour event, finishing tied for 41st at the Frys.com Open.
Then as a rookie in 2013, Ernst won his first PGA Tour title in a playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship. That tournament was just his ninth career start, and he was granted a spot in the field off the alternate list Monday of tournament week after another player withdrew. He has already earned more than $1.6 million on the PGA Tour.