The real pressure is on this week


With all due respect to my fellow scribes, the hype placed on last week’s final Tour event at Walt Disney World and next month’s final stage of Q-School is, at best, misplaced.

Truth is, if you finish outside the mark on Sunday at Disney, like David Duval or Jeff Maggert, you can still bank on 15-20 starts via your status as a veteran, former champion and your placement between 125 and 150 in earnings. Players who missed the money mark last week also have Q-School to get the job done.

And next month’s final stage may be a winner-take-all endeavor, but if you make it to Bear Lakes in south Florida you’re guaranteed a job on the Nationwide Tour in 2010 at worst.

Now, if you want real-time and long-lasting pressure, head out to one of this week’s second stage Q-School sites. The bottom line is if you don’t make it out of second stage you don’t have a job, or at least a good job, next year.

It is refreshing then that miracle man Erik Compton cruised through Wednesday’s first round (69 at Southern Hills in Florida) with the look of a man playing a Sunday afternoon four-ball at his home club.

For Compton it’s a clarity of thought he’s come by honestly.

“Erik has always had big highs and big lows,” said Compton’s long-time swing coach Jim McLean on Wednesday. “Since he’s gotten married and had a child it’s really changed him for the better. He’s much more grounded and organized. Since his second heart transplant (in 2008) nothing really bothers him on the golf course.”