As the 2009 PGA Tour winded down its season we watched with excitement as 2010 Tour cards were secured at the Nationwide Tour Championship, at the regular season's last event at Disney and this past Monday at Q-School.
We forgot to look back at the big picture of 2009 and the poor souls who had a Tour card back in January but fell out of the Top 125 by the end of the season.
In reality there were 29 PGA Tour members, roughly 25 percent that failed to perform as needed to maintain their Top 125 standing.
Luckily for 22 of them there was either a tournament win in 2008 that will carry them through the 2010 season (9), a potential career Top 50 earnings' exemption (5), a medical exemption to play next year (3), the promise of the Champions Tour (2), or other good fortune.
But for the forgotten seven who lost their PGA Tour cards this year the only hope is Monday's qualifying or a sponsor's exemption for good deeds done in the past.
Of the seven only one passed on going to Q-School—two-time Players Champion Steve Elkington.
Four were eliminated or withdrew in the second stage—Peter Lonard (W/D), Eric Axley, Dean Wilson, and Brad Adamonis.
Cliff Kresge missed his card by 13 strokes in the Finals at Bear Lakes while Ken Duke barely missed a long birdie putt on the 108th hole which would have given him his card for 2010. Both have the Nationwide Tour to fall back on next year.
Carl Pettersson, Marc Turnesa, Greg Kraft, Steve Lowery, Parker McLachlin, Ryan Palmer, Johnson Wagner, Chez Reavie, and Will MacKenzie all won but are on borrowed time and will need to play better next year than they did this year.
Stuart Appleby (15th ), Billy Mayfair (34th ), Tim Herron (42nd ), Rocco Mediate (44th ) and Corey Pavin (48th ) may elect to use a one-time Top 50 career earnings' exemption.
Dudley Hart (back surgery), Bart Bryant (wrist), and Tim Wilkinson (thumb) will be able to continue playing on major medical exemptions having a certain number of events next year to match the $662,683 won by No. 125 Jimmy Walker this year.
Tommy Armour, who has yet to play in a Champions event, and Tom Pernice Jr., who won the only one he has played in, both have an option to play by virtue of being the ripe old age of 50.
Good fortune and better performance has three other golfers that dropped out of the Top 125 hoping for a good year in 2010.
Trevor Immelman, the 2008 Masters Champion is exempt through the 2013 season. He expects to come back 100 percent next year from recent surgery on his left wrist. History says he will as he rebounded from abdominal surgery to win the Masters.
Joe Ogilvie rebounded immediately by finishing T-15 in Q-School.
Lee Westwood only played eight events on the PGA TOUR this year, thus revoking his membership. His $1 million earnings would have ranked him No. 86 after Boo Weekley, who played in 22 tournaments.
Let's remember the Forgotten Seven and see if they can regain their PGA Tour status during the upcoming 2010 season.
Andy Reistetter is a freelance golf writer. He follows the PGA TOUR volunteering and working part time for NBC Sports, CBS Sports, and The Golf Channel.
He resides near the PGA TOUR headquarters and home of The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. He enjoys pursuing his passion for the game of golf and everything associated with it. He can be reached through his website www.MrHickoryGolf.net or by e-mailing him to Andy@MrHickoryGolf.net
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