Blixt needs strong finish at Disney World to earn first berth in Masters

Jonas Blixt
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Jonas Blixt probably needs a top-three finish on Sunday to seal a spot at Augusta National.
By
PA Sport

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 | 7:39 p.m.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- This has already been the best year of Jonas Blixt's golfing life, but if he can just climb five places on the PGA Tour money list this week, he will have even more to celebrate.

Winner of his first title four weeks ago, the 28-year-old from Sweden is 35th on cash chart -- and the top 30 after the this week’s season-ending Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at the Disney World Resort earn invitations to the 2013 Masters.

Blixt probably needs a top-three finish on Sunday and is determined to give it everything he has.

"I went there four years ago for the first time (just to watch) and thought it was the coolest golf course and atmosphere I'd ever seen," he said Wednesday. "It would be a dream come true."

He also has a chance to be the PGA Tour rookie of the year, not bad for someone whose target at the start of the season was simply "to make enough money to stay out here."

Surviving for another year remains the objective for many of the field at the last of the circuit's Fall Series -- including England's Gary Christian. A former contestant on "The Weakest Link," the 41-year-old became the oldest rookie on the circuit this season after graduating from the Nationwide Tour.

He has earned $615,000, but such are the riches on offer these days that he stands 127th on the money list -- and only the top 125 on Sunday night keep their cards.

Christian trails 125th-placed Billy Mayfair by about $3,500, which makes every single shot crucial.

The chance to secure his immediate future was there when he began the McGladrey Classic three weeks ago with an opening 67, but he ended up tying for 72nd place and hasn’t had a top-20 finish since July.

"I've played very solid for a lot of tournaments and unfortunately your brain goes to kind of what you've been doing recently, which has not been terribly good," he said. "You've just got to get back to telling yourself how good you are, how well you've played. I was telling my mum and dad and brother, 'you've got to tell me how good I am'.

"English people are not the most rah-rah people," he added. "I think they said 'you're doing all right, we're very proud of you' - that's about as good as you get out of an English person."

Former Ryder Cup player Robert Karlsson needs a much bigger week than Christian to avoid Q-School -- he is down at 161st place and probably needs a top-three finish.

The tournament is also of huge interest to Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, one of Europe's heroes in Chicago in September, even though he is not playing.

Colsaerts' earnings in PGA Tour events this season would put him in 122nd place if he was a member, and if he stays above the player who finishes 125th then he will be awarded a card for next season.

England's David Lynn, a shock runner-up in the PGA Championship in August, and Sweden’s Peter Hanson already have done enough to earn their 2013 PGA Tour cards.