Last Chance to Qualify for Match Play

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This weeks Buick Invitational could lead to a $1 million payday for someone in the near future.
 
This is the final event to qualify for the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, to be played in two weeks at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.
 
The top 64 players in the Official World Golf Ranking at the conclusion of this weeks events worldwide will qualify for the $5 million event just outside San Diego.
 
Several of the players on the bubble are in San Diego. No. 62 Kevin Sutherland and No. 63 Miguel Angel Jimenez are trying to maintain their positions at Torrey Pines.
 
On the other hand, John Cook (No. 66), Bob May (67), Shigeki Maruyama (68) and Lee Janzen (69) are trying to play their way in.
 
The man on the cutline, No. 64 Dudley Hart, is taking his chances by not competing this week, while No. 65 Peter OMalley is in Australia at the ANZ Championship.
 
Europeans Thomas Bjorn and Colin Montgomerie are uncertain whether they will play, which could lead to Nos. 65 and 66 being tapped for play. Montgomerie, No. 19, is plagued by a back injury and Bjorn, No. 24, is uncertain whether he wants to travel from his home in Dubai.
 
Those outside the top 70 are far from done.

Matt Gogel showed last week how much a sparkling finish can help ones ranking. His victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am vaulted him from outside the top 100 into 61st place. Gogel withdrew from the Buick to be with his family at their Mission Hills, Kan., home, where a winter storm struck last week.
 
Last year, 40 players declined an invitation to the event, the reason being that it was a long flight to Australia during the first week of January.
 
Last year's winner, Steve Stricker, would not have even made it into the field had it not been for the hefty amount of withdrawals. Stricker started the year 2000 ranked 90th in the world.
 
Stricker, seeded 55th this year, went on to defeat No. 21 Pierre Fulke 2-and-1 in the 36-hole final. Two years ago, No. 19 Darren Clarke upset No. 1 Tiger Woods. And No. 24 Jeff Maggert topped No. 50 Andrew Magee in the inaugural championship in 1999.
 
Full-field scores from the Buick Invitational