Monday, October 19, 2009

PGA Tour's Bubble Battle for Top 125

PGA TOUR - Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
The biggest names have shut it down for the year and are lounging on their yachts or resting in exotic locales. The rest are fighting for 2010 exempt status on the PGA Tour and the right to continue in their chosen profession. Three Fall Season events remain for the guys on or near the 125 bubble to jockey for position. Chris Stroud holds the dubious "125 spot" this week heading into the Open in Scottsdale. The final two tourneys are the Viking Classic in Madison Mississippi and the Children's Miracle Network Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. With his 2010 card in jeopardy, Stroud has still managed to accumulate $600,019 in winnings so far, not bad for a guy staring a pink slip in the face. For the record, the average tour player has won $948,105 this year. The 125 are fully exempt while 126-150 maintain partial status. Partial status means no picking and choosing your events, but playing whenever and wherever you can get in. Full's definitely the way to go.

Prominent names that need to make a significant move to keep their cards include Tim Herron at 134, Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin at 142, Tom Pernice Jr. at 144, and Tom Lehman at 147, although Lehman's played some Champion's Tour events this year. Rocco Mediate at 151 needs a push. Jason Gore and Masters champion Trevor Immelman are at 153 and 154 respectively. Billy Mayfair, a fixture on tour for a long time, is right behind them at 156. Probably needing at least a win in the last three weeks would include Shaun Micheel, 177, Shigeki Maruyama, 178, and Steve Elkington, 183. Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey is most likely relegated to the Nationwide Tour at 201. John Daly sits at 215, which is higher than Len Mattiace and Brad Faxon at 226 and 227. Current Full Money List.

The pressure cooker involved in keeping your card is probably greater than closing a tournament. It ensures your working papers for another year. That twist makes the Fall Season worth watching even with the marquee names absent. Human interest stories all over the course. Every shot counts and all the other cliches apply. Click away from football for a bit. It may turn out to be high drama.

Til' next,

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