LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic is the final event for PGA Tour players to improve their position on the money list. Throughout the week GTC will track the day’s winners and losers in the annual cash crunch.
Top 30 (exempt into the 2013 Masters)
Charlie Wi (currently 45th in earnings, projected 29th): Penciled in his first trip down Magnolia Lane as his primary motivation this week and thanks to a 22-putt effort on Day 1 he holds the early lead.
Jonas Blixt (35th, projected 36th): Despite an opening-round 70, a card that featured five birdies and three bogeys, he slipped a spot in his quest to play his first Masters. Even more concerning for the Frys.com Open champion, he began his week on the Palm Course, the easier of Disney’s two Tour layouts.
Top 70 (exempt into all 2013 invitational tournaments)
Brian Harman (85th, projected 64th): Rookie scorched the back nine of the Palm Course with an eagle and three birdies and is tied for fourth place.
William McGirt (70th, projected 73rd): Lackluster day for McGirt, who is tied for 49th, but he shifts to the easier Palm Course on Friday and will need to make a move to pad his schedule for next year.
Top 125 (fully exempt in 2013)
Billy Mayfair (125th, projected 127th): This week’s ultimate bubble boy struggled to an even-par card that included a double bogey-6 on the 18th hole of the Palm Course and is tied for 68th.
Camilo Villegas (150th, projected 107th): Before his opening 66 on the Palm Course, the South American phenom was bound for the final stage of Q-School later this month. If he keeps this pace up he can expect a reprieve, and a refund for his Q-School entry fee.
Top 150 (conditional status in 2013 and exempt to final stage of Q-School)
Matt Bettencourt (171st, projected 155th): After a pedestrian year that featured nine missed cuts in 18 starts Bettencourt opened with a 67, his best first round since a 66 in Mississippi nearly four months ago, to forge a tie for seventh place.
Billy Horschel (148th, projected 151st): Eventful opening round (four birdies, three bogeys) did little to help his chances at avoiding the second stage of Q-School. His 71 left him tied for 49th.