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Johnson weathers WGC loophole

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WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – With a birdie at Orange County National’s 17th hole on Monday Richard S. Johnson likely secured himself full status on the PGA Tour in 2011, but had the small print not gotten the best of him in China he may not have needed six rounds at Q-School.

Johnson finished 34th at the WGC-HSBC Champions, which was worth $51,000 in unofficial earnings. Had his China haul been official he would have moved that much closer to keeping his Tour card via the money list. Not that it mattered on a cold Monday in central Florida.

“Everybody wonders why that China event isn’t official, but with them giving appearance fees it’s not going to happen,” said Johnson, who had not played in a World Golf Championship event before the HSBC. “I finally get in one and it doesn’t count.”