Backstage at the Southern Farm


2005 Southern Farm Bureau ClassicThe Tour Championship will have some company this week as the PGA Tour's Southern Farm Bureau Classic is also scheduled to be played after being postponed a month ago due to Hurricane Katrina.
Being the last full-field event of the season, many players will be jockeying for position to better their lot for the 2006 campaign.
This event now becomes a numbers game, with the most significant being 40, 125 and 150.
The top-40 on the money list after this week will get a letter from Hootie Johnson inviting them to tee it up next April in the Masters. Jose Maria Olazabal, who is already exempt into The Masters, sits in the 40th position with John Daly in 41st. Neither player is in the field this week.
The top-125 will breathe a sigh of relief as they retain their fully-exempt PGA Tour cards for next year. Briny Baird currently holds a $7,000 lead over part-time Champions Tour player Loren Roberts for the magic number.
For players landing in the 126-150 range, they receive conditional status on tour for 2006 and a pass into the final stage of Q-school later this year. Four-time PGA Tour winner Duffy Waldorf holds a slight lead over Nationwide Tour graduate Scott Gutschewski and both are in the field this week.
One notable absence from the field is 2004 champions Fred Funk. Funk, who is a two-time winner of this event, will be unable to defend his crown as he qualified to played in the Tour Championship in the No. 10 spot.
Another two-time winner of the Southern Farm is Brian Henninger, who will be hoping for a third title in an effort to get him back into the big leagues. He split time between tours in 2004 and has won just $87,000 in 2005 primarily on the Nationwide Tour.
There were twelve players who visited the winner's circle this year but failed to earn enough cash to break into the top-30. Geoff Ogilvy, who was bumped from the 27th spot after the Chrysler Championship, was one of those players teeing it up in Mississippi.
He'll be joined in the field by 05 winners Wes Short Jr., Tim Petrovic, and last week's champion Carl Pettersson.
The tournament is being held at Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Mississippi with a purse of $3,000,000. The winner's share is $540,000.
Madison is located in central Mississippi, about four hours northwest of the coastal city of Biloxi, Mississippi, and 3 1/2 hours due north of New Orleans.
All net proceeds from the tournament are to be donated to Hurricane Katrina relief in Mississippi.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Southern Farm Bureau Classic