He said that it has been a fun run in 2011 but this is his last event of the year. Several members of his family are in town this week and they are all staying together at Disney World. The top 70 on the PGA TOUR Money List are exempt into all of the invitational events in 2012 and it is certainly a nice perk to have. The fields are smaller with just 120 players and he is definitely trying to stay in the top 70 this week (he is 69th on the Money List). In 2009 at Disney, he played with Major League Baseball player Johnny Damon in the Pro-Am. On the Kodak Challenge hole where he needed to make birdie to win $1 million, he saw Damon hit a horrible shot and that helped relax him. He then proceeded to hit his second shot close and make birdie to win the big prize. In his early days as a professional golfer after Duke, he drove about 300,000 miles in a few cars and feels that he could write a book about the experience. He was actually dropped by his sponsors in Southern California after he qualified for Pebble Beach and he was down to last few hundred dollars when he was befriended by a number of people who allowed him to stay at their homes and helped him get back on his feet and able to return to the mini tours. His wife Courtney also stuck with him during those tough days. Things are much easier now but he will always remember the hard times. The economy has made life especially difficult for mini tour players who are pursuing their dreams. In 2008, playing with Tiger Woods in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open and leading after the first round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines gave him invaluable experience as well as attention early in his career which helped adjust to life on the PGA TOUR.
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