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Reavie on the clock at Memorial

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DUBLIN, Ohio – Just past noon on Tuesday the wait for Chez Reavie ended and a new countdown began. When Brian Gay withdrew from the Memorial Tournament it made room for what may be Reavie’s final start as a full member of the PGA Tour in 2011.

Reavie has been playing this year on a major medical exemption following season-ending surgery to replace a torn ACL in his right knee last June and had 13 events to match the amount earned by No. 125 last year. Through 12 starts he’s earned $444,876, which combined with his 2010 haul was $19,831 shy of retaining his Tour card.

“At first it was tough to deal with because I couldn’t get my mind off of it,” Reavie said on Tuesday following a practice round. “But at the end of the day I’m still going to be able to play (on Tour with limited status as a past champion) and at least I’m feeling good and I’m healthy.”

Recovery from surgery was slow, with Reavie not being able to take full swings with his driver until December, but he made the most of his “down” time, completing three classes to earn his degree in political science from Arizona State and losing nearly three inches off his waistline.

“I feel better than I’ve ever felt and I’m almost two clubs longer with my irons because I can use my (right) knee now whereas before I couldn’t get back on it without it popping out of place,” he said.

Reavie likely needs a top-40 finish or better at Muirfield Village to retain his Tour card, otherwise he figures he will get about five or six more starts and he already has a good jump on this year’s money list.