Top-125 money fight down to last round


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Here’s the setup for the game within the game in Sunday’s finish at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Disney World.

The rundown of the fight to finish among the top 125 on the money list in the season’s final PGA Tour event:

The Bubble Boys

No. 121: Ricky Barnes – With a 1-under-par 71 on Saturday, Barnes is tied for 56th in the tournament. It would be a stunner if five players were able to make enough money to move ahead of him on the money list and bump him back to No. 126.

No. 122: Steve Flesch – MC Friday, but his two victories in ’07 make him exempt through next season.

No. 123: Robert Garrigus – MC Friday, making him vulnerable to getting bumped out. If the season had ended Saturday, he would have finished 129th on the money list.

No. 124: Rich Beem – With a 68 on Saturday, he’s tied for 31st. The ’02 PGA Championship winner has some work to do if he doesn’t want to spend another winter writing letters for sponsor exemptions. If the season had ended Saturday, he would have finished 128th on the money list.

No. 125: David Duval – With a MC Friday, he’s almost certain to get bumped and spend the winter writing sponsor exemptions, unless he changes his mind and attends the final stage of Q-School next month. He’s signed up for Q-School but said the odds are he won’t go.

No. 126: Chris Riley – With a 73 Saturday, he’s tied for 63rd. Riley only needs to make $10,798 to pass Duval on the money list, but he’s got to worry about all those folks behind him who are poised to pass him.

No. 127: Jeff Maggert – A nice little 68 Saturday bumped Maggert up into a tie for 19th in the tournament. Another round like that should secure fully exempt status next year. If the season had ended Saturday, Maggert would have finished right on the number at 125th on the money list.

No. 128: Tim Herron – After starting Saturday tied for fourth, Herron’s 74 bumped him back into a tie for 31st. If the season had ended Saturday, Herron would have moved back two spots on the money list to No. 130.

No. 129: Matt Jones – MC, headed back to Q-School.

No. 130: Jimmy Walker – A solid 68 Saturday helped Walker climb into a tie for 14th. If the season had ended Saturday, Walker would have secured his privileges, moving to No. 124 on the money list.

No. 131: Will MacKenzie – Charging Saturday with a 66, MacKenzie moved into seventh place. If the season had ended Saturday, he would have secured his card, finishing 112th on the money list.

Poised at the back of the pack

Mathias Gronberg leads challengers low on the money list who can make big moves today.

Gronberg, 190th in earnings, has already earned exempt status for next season on the PGA Tour through the Nationwide Tour, but he can secure a two-year exemption with a victory. His 66 Saturday moved him into a four-way tie for the lead.

Carl Petterson (151st on the money list) is also making a run at winning, but there’s less a sense of urgency to do so. His Wyndham Championship victory last year makes him exempt through 2010. Joe Ogilvie (No. 135), Matt Weibring (No. 143), Chris DiMarco (No. 138) and Nicholas Thompson (No. 132) are among those in position to crack the top-125 with strong finishes today. Chez Reavie (No. 147) is exempt through 2010 after winning the RBC Canadian Open last year.