Back 9: PGA Fall Series Starts in Las VegasWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
With the FedEx Cup drama over and Bill Haas taking home both the Tour Championship Trophy and the $10 million FedEx Cup, its time to move on to Las Vegas and the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open, the first stop on the PGA’s Fall Series.
The four tournaments that make up the Fall Series are a second, third and fourth chance for the players hovering around or below that all important 125 number on the PGA Tour money list. The top 125 players secure their PGA playing privileges for next season and avoid a dreaded trip to Q School or banishment to the Nationwide Tour.
David Mathis, with $563,752, holds the unenviable 125th slot on the PGA money list and will need to earn a few extra dollars to keep his PGA card for 2012. Roland Thatcher, Bob Estes and veteran Billy Mayfair occupy the next three spots and will be looking to move up. A pair of former British Open Champs, Ben Curtis at 142 and David Duval at 152, are on the outside and will be looking to improve their ranking. The Aquaman, Woody Austin at 161, and Scott McCarron at 163, also have some work to do if they want to avoid writing a bunch of letters begging for sponsor exemptions over the winter.
Another important number that some players will be trying to reach during the PGA Fall Series is the Top 30. It guarantees entrance into all the majors in 2012 and also eligibility for the lucrative World Golf Championship events. Y. E. Yang is currently No. 30 with Chez Reavie, John Senden and Rickie Fowler right on his heels. No. 39 with $1,918,991, Golf Channel’s Big Break alum Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, has had an excellent year thus far and could top it off by finishing inside the Top 30.
After Vegas, the PGA Fall Series moves to Corde Valle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., for the Frys.com Open, where Tiger Woods will make a rare Fall Series appearance and will try to knock some of the rust off his game and prepare for the President’s Cup in November.
The Series then moves back to the east coast with the McGladrey Classic held at Sea Island, Ga. and closes out with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
So if you get tired of watching continuous football over the next four weeks, flip over to the Golf Channel. There is a lot on the line in the PGA Fall Series: Veterans trying to find their game, youngsters trying to earn a card, and fallen heroes trying to find redemption.