Gronberg playing for more playing time


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Mathias Gronberg parlayed a bogey-free 66 in Round 3 of the Children's Miracle Network Classic into a share of his first-ever 54-hole lead in 171 career PGA Tour events.  If you've been watching our live coverage this week, you're fully aware that this tournament is as much about who retains their job for next year as it is about who wins.

Gronberg basically needs to do one to accomplish the other.

It's been mentioned quite often during our coverage that he is good-to-go for next year because he finished in the top-25 on the Nationwide Tour this year and is 'exempt' on the PGA Tour next year.  That is technically true, but then again, he was technically exempt this year after finishing 18th in last year's Q-School.  And keep in mind that Q-School and Nationwide Tour graduates share the exact same level of 'exemptness' on the PGA Tour.  As a 'fully-exempt member' of this year's PGA Tour, Gronberg is playing his 13th Tour event of the year this week.  As a member of the top 125, he could play as often as he wants sans the majors and WGC events next year.  In short, the difference between a top-125 finish and a 'graduate' finish is night and day, and nobody knows that better than Gronberg.

Eighteen players are within four shots of Gronberg and the three other co-leaders, so Sunday should be quite the shootout.  And just about all the players who are on the outside (of the top 125) looking in would love to trade scenarios with Gronberg, with the one exception being Mathias himself.