It is the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro. And it is the penultimate event of a seven-event Fall Series that has been counting down now ever since the conclusion of the FedExCup in the middle of last month.
The last chance, of course, is Q-school. Thats where the PGA TOUR will be punching the last tickets to players looking for privileges to play in the Big Show for 2008.
The last chance before the last chance will take place at Disney, the week after the Ginn sur Mer Classic. That will be the final opportunity for players to earn their cards for 2008 by finishing in the top 125 on the money list.
The Ginn sur Mer, then, becomes the final opportunity for players to secure their playing privileges without the being forced to play brinksmanship golf.
Long hitters figure to have an advantage. The 7,381 yard Arnold Palmer Course at Tesoro (Par 73) in Port St. Lucie, Fl. has been altered. New tees have been built to bypass the sixth hole and incorporate the 18th hole on the adjacent Watson course. Only eight other PGA TOUR events this year were played on longer set-ups.
One player in the field who doesnt have to worry about the top 125'which now looks like it will cut off at close to $750,000'is Jesper Parnevik. Parnevik showed up at the Valero Texas Open earlier this month ranked 138th on the money list.
He responded with an opening 61 and earned $486,000 for finishing second, in a playoff, to Justin Leonard. Through the Frys.com Open in Las Vegas Parnevik had earned $1,036,056 on the year and had moved up to 88th on the money list.
I came into this week feeling the game was there, Parnevik said after the playoff. Sometimes when small things click and you have no idea why or there was no intention before, it just happens.
There are a whole host of players on the bubble hoping that kind of lightning will strike their games at the Ginn sur Mer which is offering a total purse of $4.5 million.
Speaking of 61s, amateur Daryl Fathauer fired a 61 earlier this month en route to winning the Alister MacKenzie Invitational, a Division I college event. Daryl and his twin brother Derek are seniors at the University of Louisville. They hail from Jensen Beach, not far from Tesoro. And both have received sponsors exemptions into the Ginn sur Mer.
They will become the first pair of identical twin brothers to play in a PGA TOUR event since Curtis and Allen Strange teed it up at the 1981 Texas Open.
What a tremendous opportunity, said Derek Fathauer, for us to play with the best in the world right in our own backyard. Daryl and I grew up playing golf with and against each other. And the whole time we have always dreamed about playing together on the PGA TOUR.
Recent additions to the Ginn sur Mer field include Sean OHair, J.B. Holmes and two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen.
GOLF CHANNEL will have all four days of coverage, beginning Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET.