It’s going to take a lot more money to stay on the PGA Tour this year.
Blame some of that on Tiger Woods.
Woods has gone over $10 million in earnings three of the last five years. The exceptions were 2008, when he played only six PGA Tour events before season-ending knee surgery and still made $5.75 million; and 2006, when he earned $9.94 million.
With chaos in his personal life and changes in his swing, Woods is at No. 65 on the money list with just under $1.3 million. It stands to reason that Woods failing to rake in so much cash means it has been disbursed down the ladder.
Another big factor is the tour has one extra tournament this year -- the Viking Classic was washed out in 2009 because of rain.
A year ago, Jimmy Walker finished at No. 125 on the money list with $662,683. With three tournaments left in the season, Aron Price is at No. 125 and already has surpassed that amount. Price has $693,502.
Tour officials expect it will take as much as $775,000 to finish in the top 125 and keep full status for next year. Among those who might still have some work left are David Duval (No. 109), Canadian Open runner-up Dean Wilson (No. 122) and Kevin Sutherland (No. 116), who has not finished out of the top 125 since his lone victory in the 2002 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
The two biggest spikes in money required to finish No. 125 came in 2007, the first year of a new six-year television contract, and in 2008, the year Woods played a limited schedule.
It also affects the top part of the money list.
Matt Kuchar is at No. 1 with about $4.9 million, and Sea Island was his last official event of the year. Whether he wins the money title depends on Jim Furyk, who is just over $100,000 behind and has not decided whether to play Las Vegas next week.
Either way, it will be the lowest amount to win the PGA Tour money title since Duval earned just under $2.6 million in 1998, the year before the tour signed its first big TV contract.