Weather could determine Disney exemption


Children's Miracle Network Classic officials aren't prepared to say who's best positioned to win the prized final sponsor's exemption into the final PGA Tour event of the year, but it's a smart play if they're holding off to see how the Viking Classic turns out.

If the Viking Classic in Mississippi is canceled because of bad weather this weekend, Rickie Fowler won’t need a sponsor’s exemption to the Nov. 12-15 Disney event. Fowler’s top-10 finish at the Open, which got him into the Viking Classic, will carry over to Disney, provided the Viking Classic is a complete washout, according to PGA Tour officials. Jamie Lovemark’s top-10 last week also would get him into Disney, even though Lovemark didn’t use his top-10 to commit to the Viking Classic. Lovemark passed on the Viking Classic to play a PGA Tour first-stage Q-School qualifier this week.

Though Fowler has won temporary Tour membership with his prize winnings this fall, the special category won't get him into the Disney event. He needs to use the top-10 finish category or the sponsor's exemption to play.

The Disney event has already awarded three of its four sponsor exemptions to Rich Beem, Lee Janzen and Haymes Snedeker of Big Break fame (brother to PGA Tour pro Brandt Snedeker). Fowler and Miami’s Erik Compton are high-profile players awaiting word on the final sponsor’s exemption, though a number of players fighting to finish among the top 125 in money also are hopeful of winning the invite.