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Points system creates competitive casualties

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The law of unintended consequences has caught up with Bob Estes. When Estes missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship he assured himself a five-week hiatus from the PGA Tour.

At the time Estes was 125th in earnings, 150th on the FedEx Cup points, and $3,698 behind No. 124. After missing all four playoff events Estes dropped to 127th in earnings and $14,364 outside of the top 125 and a 2012 Tour card.

Ditto for Roland Thatcher, who was 123rd in earnings (135th in points) after the Wyndham but has since dropped to 126th in money and is scrambling for his status next year.

Both players still have the four Fall Series events to secure their 2012 Tour cards, but the disconnect between points and earnings – the byproduct of a higher percentage of winnings than FedEx Cup points going to a player who finishes in the top 20 at a particular event – is a hole in the system that will likely lead to more competitive casualties in the future.