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Golf

Fall Series Gives Other Golfers A Shot

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 27, 2013 at 03:56 AM

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The PGA Tour season ends this week. Honest. And this time they really mean it.

Although Tiger Woods carted off the season-ending Tour Championship, the FedEx Cup year-long points race and Player of the Year honors seven weeks ago in Atlanta, that didn't mean there were no tournaments left to play.

It just meant the marquee names would not be there to play them.

So while Woods went off to spend family time on his yacht, the Fall Series extended the year for those hoping to climb up the money list. But now, even those good times must come to an end. After this week's stop at Walt Disney World for the Children's Miracle Network Classic, the PGA Tour season actually will take a break.

While to some fans the final seven bonus weeks make as much sense as Major League Baseball scheduling a divisional playoff game for third place a week after the World Series, there is no disputing the draw for many players: Primarily, 2008 playing privileges - especially the fully exempt status earned by finishing among the top 125 on the money list.

'The top 30 guys are exempt from the tournaments worth probably $250 million or more,' said Ted Purdy, who holds the 125th spot. 'The next-tier guys, the top 70 to 31, are eligible for over $200 million worth of prize money. Then it goes from 70 to top 125. And I think we play, that category, plays for considerably less. Then after the top 125, playing basically for the scraps of the tour.

'So each tier is so important because of the dollars that you play for each week on the PGA Tour. The top 30 guys play for a higher percentage of the purses, and deservedly should. I mean, that's just the American way. Getting into the top 125 is an important situation.'

Among golfers ranked 110 to 170 on the money list, just seven are missing from the 132-player field.

Meanwhile, eight of the top 30 in earnings also are entered, as are 17 of the next 30, who are trying to get into that range and earn an invitation to the Masters.

Mark Calcavecchia, No. 12 on the money list, is the highest-ranked player in the field.

Although the Fall Series created no real buzz, it did not turn out to be a glorified Nationwide Tour schedule, either.

Sweden's Daniel Chopra won the delayed Ginn sur Mer Classic on Monday in Port St Lucie, getting his first career win in 133 starts and pocketing the $810,000 winner's check.

Other winners since the Tour Championship kind of but not really ended the season included Mike Weir, Steve Flesch, Chad Campbell and Justin Leonard.

'It's given players that haven't had access to tournaments for a while a chance to play and compete for good prize money and on television,' Stewart Cink said. 'Somebody's got a chance to move in from way down the list, way in the dark, to suddenly see the light and be able to move in and get a card for next year, that's a feel-good story.

'But as far as the way the Fall Series has gone, I can't really - I don't know. I haven't really spoken to any sponsors.'

AROUND THE GREEN: Hunters Green CC member Tim Hume won a regional Chrysler Cup event in Orlando and advances to the sectional event to be held next month at the Naples Ritz Carlton's Tiburon course. Hume also competed last week in the Florida Cup, representing the North team as one of the state's top 16 amateurs. ... Lake Jovita CC will host the 15th annual Southeastern Women's Amateur Team Championship Sunday through Wednesday. ... The Florida State Golf Association has named Scrib Kelly, Mike Lonergan and Ron Audi as 2007 Volunteers of the Year. Kelly and Lonergan are both from The Villages, while Audi resides in Ocala.

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