Notebook: Several keep PGA Tour cards even after missing playoffs

By Doug Ferguson
Published on
Notebook: Several keep PGA Tour cards even after missing playoffs

EDISON, New Jersey (AP) – Charlie Beljan didn't qualify for FedExCup playoffs for the second straight year and managed to keep his card.
There's a difference between FedEx points and PGA Tour earnings, and it has saved him. Beljan finished in the top 10 only once this year; he was third at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which had a $6.8 million purse. Beljan earned $462,400 that week, which was 59 percent of his season earnings. So while he finished at No. 149 in the FedExCup, he wound up at No. 118 on the money list, enough to keep his full PGA Tour card for next year.
Points are evenly distributed at all PGA Tour events, with a slight bump for the World Golf Championships and another for the majors. Prize money varies at tournaments, from the $6.8 million at Pebble Beach and $10 million at the majors to $5.4 million for the Wyndham Championship and $4.7 million for the John Deere Classic.
The PGA Tour kept the top 125 on the money list as part of its criteria when it shifted to the wraparound season and said it would evaluate whether to keep it. So far, the policy board has decided to keep it.
That's good news for Beljan, Will MacKenzie, Jamie Donaldson, Whee Kim and David Toms. They all finished in the top 125 on the money list and failed to make the playoffs. Kaymer also was in the top 125, though he didn't meet his minimum requirement of 15 starts. Scott Stallings, serving a three-month suspension for violating the anti-doping policy, also was in the top 125 but he already was exempt for next year from his 2014 win at Torrey Pines.
Seven players who reached the top 125 in the FedExCup standings were outside the top 125 on the money list – Vijay Singh, Jonas Blixt, Erik Compton, John Huh, Stewart Cink, Spencer Levin, Camilo Villegas and Jeff Overton.
Overton is No. 125 in the FedExCup. He was No. 154 on the money list.
William McGirt was safe either way, though he had the greatest discrepancy – No. 74 in the FedExCup, No. 114 on the money list.
NEW TO THE ROTATION: The Barclays already has been held at five golf courses since the FedExCup began. It's about to get another.
The PGA Tour announced Tuesday that Glen Oaks Club on Long Island will host the opening FedExCup event in 2017. The course was designed by Joe Finer and opened in 1971. It was named club of the year in 2015 by the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association.
That means The Barclays will be held at five courses over the next five years – Bethpage Black in 2016, Glen Oaks in 2017, Ridgewood in 2018, Liberty National in 2019 and Plainfield in 2020.
ONE BIG BOGEY: Anirban Lahiri of India tied for fifth at the PGA Championship, though his bogey on the final hole at Whistling Straits proved costly. It ultimately was worth $72,500, the difference in getting a PGA Tour card for next year.
Lahiri finished with $712,794 in non-member earnings, which was the equivalent of No. 128 on the money list. Had he been in the top 125, he would have earned a card.
Even with a tie for fifth at the PGA Championship, he was not eligible for the Wyndham Championship because he was not a special temporary member and had already used up the maximum 12 exemptions on the PGA Tour.
So what's next?
Lahiri will be eligible to take part in the Tour Finals and could try to earn his card through those four events.
DIVOTS: PGA Tour rookie Justin Thomas gets new shirts for his first FedExCup playoff event. He has signed an endorsement deal with Citigroup, which starts this week. The logo will be on his left sleeve. Thomas is No. 36 in the FedExCup. ... Davis Love III at No. 613 in the world became the seventh player ranked outside the top 200 to win on the PGA Tour this season. The others were Nick Taylor (566), James Hahn (297), Padraig Harrington (297), David Lingmerth (212), Fabian Gomez (288) and J.J. Henry (426). ... Leona Maguire of Ireland won the Mark H McCormack Medal as the No. 1 female in the 2015 world amateur ranking. ... The PGA of America has selected former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman to receive its Distinguished Service Award. Beman will be honored Nov. 13 during the PGA's annual meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Dating to the start of the FedExCup in 2007, Ernie Els made the cut in all four majors for the first time, and missed the playoffs for the first time.
FINAL WORD: "He's the real deal, and he can play under pressure. He's like Tiger. I didn't know if we'd find somebody that could make the putts that he does and stay consistently through the pressure rounds of the majors, and he seems to have that kind of game." – Johnny Miller on Jordan Spieth.
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