GULLANE, Scotland – Earlier in the week Peter Hanson figured he was “50/50” to play the Open Championship. That number had been bumped up to 100 percent by Wednesday.
The Swede’s back, which has been ailing him all season, isn’t feeling any better, but with time running out in the 2013 PGA Tour season he has to at least tee it up on Thursday at Muirfield if he is going to maintain his status for the 2013-14 season.
Because the injury forced Hanson to miss the first month and a half of the season he has only played 11 Tour events, although he is 124th on the money list with $503,000. He could request a minor medical exemption for next season but that would allow him only five starts at the events with the lowest purses.
“I spoke to the guys over at the Tour. I’m in an awkward situation. Basically, by teeing it up over the next four or five weeks I’m guaranteed to be in the top 125,” Hanson said. “I basically need to tee it up tomorrow and get in as many holes as I can ... I need to look at my ranking for next year.”
Even if Hanson withdraws after he starts it still counts toward his 15-event minimum to maintain his Tour status.
Hanson, who planned to play last week’s John Deere Classic but had to withdraw, can reach his minimum before the FedEx Cup playoffs by playing the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, PGA Championship and Wyndham Championship.
As for his chances this week at Muirfield, Hanson said he will continue to get treatment and has the added benefit of a late tee time on Thursday (2:34 p.m. GMT).
“I played nine (holes) today and was pain-free for the first two holes so I’ve been limping around,” Hanson said as he gingerly made his way to the clubhouse on Wednesday. “We’re doing as much as we can to try and get it ready.”