Las Vegas, Nev. (Nov. 11, 2010; UPDATED 11/21)—It’s just a number: 125. But, try telling that to Las Vegas PGA Tour pros as the grueling season came to an end. It’s simple really–finish in the top 125 and you get to play on the PGA Tour next year. Miss it and it’s back to Q-School. For 10 Tour pros with Las Vegas ties, it’s time to set their PGA Tour schedule for 2011 as they all earned enough money to make it into the top 125. For the other Las Vegas pros, it might be time to make sure the Q-School application was filled out.–by Bill Bowman
Rickie Fowler led the way for the Las Vegas pros, coming in at No. 22 with more than $2.8 million after the Children’s Miracle Network Classic, the final event of the PGA Tour’s Fall Series. That’s far behind No. 1’s Matt Kuchar at more than $4.9 million and runnerup Jim Furyk at more than $4.8 million. The rest of the Vegas contingent who can start making their travel plans for 2011 includes: Charley Hoffman (25) with more than $2.5 million; Nick Watney (27), more than $2.5 million; Adam Scott (28), more than $2.4 million; Ryan Moore (32), $2.3 million; Alex Prugh (70), $1.2 million; Bill Lunde (83), $1.07 million; Chris Riley (90), $1 million; Chad Campbell (96), more than $971,000; Alex Cejka (108), more than $904,000 and Dean Wilson (117), more than $832,000.
The previously mentioned tour pros make up the good news. The bad news is the Vegas golfers who now face the Q-School marathon after not making big runs at the CMN. Those include: Scott Piercy (136); Skip Kendall (178); Cameron Tringale (179); Craig Barlow (191) and Robert Gamez (207). Piercy, by finishing in the 126-150 range, should get an edge and be exempt into the final stage making his journey shorter, but still no easy task. He’s also exempt onto next year’s Nationwide Tour because of his finish. Other Las Vegas golfers who competed most of the year on the Nationwide Tour in 2010 and will probably be facing Q- School include John Riegger (39th), Bob May (89th), Barlow (93rd) and Jeff Gallagher (99th).
Lunde, a member of the 1998 National Championship team at UNLV, won the PGA Tour’s Turning Stone Resort Championship in August to solidify his ranking. He said earning that prestigious Tour card is life-changing. “One of the perks of winning is I get to set my schedule for the next couple of years,” he said after his outing in Shanghai at the HSBC Champions event. “But I really want to take advantage of it and keep things moving forward. Golf is year-by-year. There is no security unless you play well. To have the next two years is a big relief, but I can’t get too complacent, I have to keep improving. Lunde admitted earning his PGA Tour card wasn’t a given this year. “It’s been a weird year,” he said. “I got off to a bad start and the last half of the year I was playing well, but I just couldn’t put four rounds together. Then, all of a sudden I put things together and won. It’s definitely hard to be unhappy with a year when you win. And I learned a lot. I learned I can win and I learned to stay positive. ”And he knows about the trials and tribulations of facing Q-School. “I had my application in until I won,” he said.